Lemon Cucumber Plants For Sale:
There are many varieties of lemon cucumbers available for sale. They come from different regions like Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America.
There are some types which have been grown in the United States and Canada too. These include:
The most common type of lemon cucumbers are those with white flowers and small fruit size (1/2 inch or less). Some varieties are known as “Cherry” and “Raspberry”.
Lemon cucumbers are not native to North America but were introduced here from Asia. They grow well in cool climates such as Florida, Arizona, California and New Mexico.
They prefer full sun and moist soil conditions.
They need light shade during hot summer months so they do best planted in containers where they will get plenty of sunlight during the day time.
Lemon cucumbers require bright, indirect light at all times. They thrive in temperatures between 65°F and 85°F (18°C and 25°C) although they may tolerate lower temperatures if they receive enough water.
They prefer rich, fertile soil with good drainage. If your soil does not provide sufficient moisture for them, you can use peat moss instead of regular potting mix to increase humidity around the plantings.
Lemon cucumbers should be planted after all danger of frost has past. They can tolerate some freezing temperatures but not much so you should wait until weather forecasts predict no more frost for the season.
The best way to start growing lemon cucumbers is by seed planting. If you want to speed up the process a bit, you can also buy starter plants from nurseries or garden supply stores.
Plant lemon cucumber seeds 1 to 2 inches deep. After planting, keep the soil moist but not water-logged.
Caring For Your Lemon Cucumbers:
Lemon cucumbers are very easy to care for as long as you remember a few key things. They like to be kept moist but not water-logged.
You can achieve this by watering them frequently but making sure that the soil is not left dry.
Lemons also need plenty of sunlight. Without it, their growth will be stunted and they may not produce fruit at all.
If you live in a cooler region, you should cover your plantings with row covers or some other type of cloth during the night to protect them from unexpected frost. If you do this, you should also check on them daily since the covers can trap too much heat as well as too much cold.
Lemon cucumbers also need supports for their vines to climb. You can use a trellis, sticks, netting or some other type of framework for this purpose.
Suckering: Suckering is when the plant sends out new vine growth from the base of the main stem. This causes smaller stems and fruit to appear in random areas around the main plant, rather than only near the main stem.
This results in a decreased yield and smaller fruit size. Removing these suckers as they appear will encourage the plant to direct more energy towards the main vine.
Spindly Growth: Lemon cucumbers need support as their vines get heavy with fruit. If they don’t have something sturdy to climb on, the vines will sprawl all over the ground.
This not only decreases the yield but also can increase the likelihood of disease or rot.
Pests: Cucumber beetles, aphids and squash bugs all love lemons. If you notice that your plants have either of the first two, apply an approved insecticide.
For the latter, make sure you don’t have a lot of water pooling around the base of the plant and try to shake out or vacuum up any adults you see near there.
Harvesting: Pick lemons when they are small and their skin is still taut. Larger lemons may turn yellow and mature on the vine, but they won’t get as sweet.
You can tell when they are ready to pick because the skin will begin to wrinkle a bit even when still on the vine.
Lemons that aren’t picked actually have the tendency to ripen even more after being picked. This means they will get sweeter and juicier if left on the vine long enough.
Pick them when they reach the size you want and then it’s up to you if you want to eat them right away or leave them to continue to mature.
If your goal is to have lemons for recipes that call for juice (like lemon bars or lemonade) then it’s better to pick them before they are too ripe since you will be using the juice.
What do I do if there aren’t any signs of new growth or leaves?
It’s possible that your plant didn’t produce any fruit because it was getting too much sun. Cucumbers need at least eight hours of sunlight on them per day in order to produce fruit. They also need a long, warm growing season to really thrive.
Too much water or moisture in the soil can also cause spindly growth or failure to produce fruit.
Finally, there is a chance that the plant you are growing is actually a muskmelon (Cucumis melo) rather than a lemon cucumber (Melothria scabra). These two plants look very similar and can often be confused with one another.
You can check to see if your plant is indeed a muskmelon by slicing through the skin of the fruit in question and seeing if the inside has lots of brown seeds.
Both muskmelon and lemon cucumbers are edible, but the former is sweet and often eaten as a snack while the latter has a more subtle flavor and is more likely to be used in recipes.
If you are growing a muskmelon then you are out of luck when it comes to harvesting seeds. You can however eat the fruit since it is safe to do so and quite delicious!
If you want to grow more melons next year, save the seeds from other fruit that you may buy at the grocery store or collect from another garden.
How can I save the seeds?
If you love the flavor of your lemon cucumbers and would like to grow them again next year, you will need to save their seeds. This requires a few steps.
1. Let the fruits ripen fully.
This means letting them turn a deep yellow (or sometimes even a brownish color) and become very soft to the touch.
2. Once they reach this state, you can eat them if you like, or use them for seed saving.
If you decide to use them for seed saving, then you will want to let them continue to ripen until they begin to rot and get mushy. This will cause the seeds to separate more easily from the pulp.
3. Cut the fruit in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and any remaining gooey pulp.
4. Place the seeds and pulp in a glass or plastic container that has a lid.
Add just enough water to cover everything, put the lid on, and put the container in a warm location. You can add a bit of bleach to the water you are using to keep unwanted organisms from growing.
5. After four days, pour the water off into a bucket and then pour it through a strainer to remove all of the pulp.
6. Spread the seeds out on a paper towel or newspapers to dry for two to three days.
7. Place the seeds in an envelope or small bag and store in a cool, dry location until next planting season.
What is the best way to harvest the seeds?
A great way to harvest seeds when growing cucumbers (melons, pumpkins, squash, and gourds all work this way as well) is to allow a couple of fruits to fully ripen on the vine until they fall off. The vines will naturally regenerate small fruits in a few places for you to pick and eat. To collect seeds, cut the fruit open and scoop out the seeds and surrounding goo with a spoon. Spread this on a plate to dry. When dry, the seeds will rattle in their shells when you shake them.
How can I tell if the seeds are good?
After one year, cucumber seeds lose their vigor. You can plant new seeds each year, or you can take the seeds from last year’s harvest and put them in a jar with water. Add more water to the jar every day. Leave the seeds in the water for one week. If seeds float, throw them out. If they sink, they are good to go. Plant the good seeds in seed starting mix.
When should I plant my seeds?
If you live in an area that has a long growing season, such as California, then your seeds will do best if planted outside in early spring after all danger of frost has past (sometimes this is in mid to late April). If you live in an area with a shorter growing season, such as New Jersey, then seeds should be started inside in early to mid February. Once temperatures consistently stay over 60 degrees Fahrenheit, then seeds can be planted outside.
You can accelerate the growing process by starting your seeds in a pot and placing the pot near a sunny window. In four to six weeks, the plants should be big enough to transplant into larger pots or into the ground.
How deep should I plant my seeds?
Plant your seeds at least 1 inch below the soil. Most seeds require light to germinate so keeping them away from the soil helps to ensure they grow.
How long do cucumbers need to grow?
Once planted, cucumbers take between 30 and 60 days to mature. The amount of time it takes depends on the variety, the weather and how big you want them to get. Most of the cukes you buy in the store are grown to be as large as possible while still being transportable. This means that they produce extra large cukes but take less time to do it than a heirloom variety would. If you have the room for them and the time, try growing a heirloom variety. They often have better flavor than their commercial counterparts.
How long do cucumbers take to grow?
It takes between 30 and 60 days for most cucumber varieties to mature.
How deep should I plant my cucumber seeds?
Since some cucumbers grow on the ground and some grow tall, you should plant your seeds at least 1 inch below the soil.
How do I keep squirrels from eating my vegetables?
Squirrels are a problem for many vegetable gardeners. The typical solution is to surround your garden with a fence or wall a few feet high. If this is not an option, try sprinkling cayenne pepper around the plants. The pepper will irritate the squirrel’s eyes and they will seek food elsewhere.
How do I keep birds from eating my vegetables?
You can create a visual barrier by placing netting or bird scare tape around your garden. You can also play recordings of natural predator sounds or distress calls to frighten the birds away.
Sources & references used in this article:
The M Locus and Ethylene-Controlled Sex Determination in Andromonoecious Cucumber Plants by S Yamasaki, N Fujii, S Matsuura… – Plant and Cell …, 2001 – academic.oup.com
… (Myzus persicae)(Sulz.), citrus mealybug (Planococcus citri)(Risso), and two spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae)(Koch.) attacks on tomatoes and cucumbers by … by CA Edwards, NQ Arancon, M Vasko-Bennett, A Askar… – Crop Protection, 2010 – Elsevier
Development and storage stability of cucumber-litchi-lemon juice. by TK Majumdar, CR Vasudish, KS Premavalli… – Journal of Food …, 2009 – cabdirect.org
Newspaper mulches for suppressing weeds for organic high-tunnel cucumber production by E Sánchez, WJ Lamont, MD Orzolek – HortTechnology, 2008 – journals.ashs.org
Population Structure and Development of Resistance to Hymexazol Among Fusarium solani Populations from Date Palm, Citrus and Cucumber by AM Al‐Sadi, RS Al‐Masoodi, M Al‐Ismaili… – Journal of …, 2015 – Wiley Online Library