A couple of years ago, I was looking through a seed catalogue and saw this interesting little cucumber. The Mexican Sour Gherkin. Or “Mouse Melon” because it looks like a tiny little mouse-sized watermelon. They sounded interesting so I tried it and turns out, I love growing them.
The vines are very decorative, delicate yet strong and the plants are beautiful in containers. They seem to grow happily in their containers probably partly because they like heat….they’re tough and drought tolerant and don’t seem to mind when I miss a watering….
I start the seeds in my greenhouse in early May…they don’t like to go out too early here, they need the heat. Three to a pot.
I’ll be starting many more of these next spring for sale to Mayne Island gardeners so if you’re interested in trying this plant, let me know.
Here they are waiting to get planted into their big pots where they’ll grow all summer long. See that little plant growing in the container already? That’s a self-sown mouse melon plant. I was growing them in this pot last year and looks like one of the fruit that fell off the vine last fall seeded a new plant for me this spring. Usually I change the soil in the container from year to year but I decided to keep this one so this self-determined little plant could grow on…this is an heirloom plant so seeds are good to save because plants will reproduce true to their origins.
All grown up and ready to harvest!…almost…the fruit is at it’s best to eat when it falls off the vine, but I often can’t wait….I’ve now got a feel for when they’re almost ready to fall so most of them that I pick are very loose on the vine….
I found this article on Mouse Melons….some good info.
On the left, a bin full of Mouse Melons that I saw for sale at the Windfall Farms stand at Union Square Greenmarket last fall. First time I’ve seen these at a market! Here’s a quick link little read from their blog regarding “the curious case of the tiny cucumber”.