Learn how to grow the Unusual but Beautiful Lemon Cucumber. Follow my simple steps for a Successful Harvest.
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Lemon Cucumber Origin’s
The Lemon Cucumber originates from India and can be found in texts as far back as the 16th century! These unusual cucumbers have thin, slightly spiky skins with a milder sweeter flavour than their long green cousins. Tennis ball sized, I often eat mine like I would an Apple, they rarely make it to the chopping board! These are the seeds I used.
Where to Grow Lemon Cucumbers in the UK
Look like lemons, taste like Cucumbers! Lemon Cucumbers are easy to grow and require minimal fuss if you can provide them with a few simple elements. Firstly they require full sun, well drained soil, a frame to climb, and a shovel of well aged manure wouldn’t hurt either. Plant outdoors or in a Greenhouse (I always plant mine in the greenhouse, you can’t always trust the English weather!)
Plant them in rows about 50 cm between each plant, mound soil around the base, it allows water to drain away easily (prevents stem rot). Water regularly, keeping the soil moist but not sodden.
How to sow Lemon Cucumber seeds
- Sow your lemon cucumber seeds March- May in small pots or trays filled with a multi purpose compost. Dampen the soil before planting the seeds then cover with a propagator lid or cling film until seedlings appear.
- Sow around half an inch deep, sow them on their side, to avoid rotting.
- Lemon Cucumber seeds need warmth in order to germinate, so place them on a sunny windowsill.
- Germination will occur within a few days.
- Once the seedlings have developed their first set of ‘true’ leaves. Pot them on into individual pots
- Once they have grown to around 10 inches, plant out in their final positions (after the last frost) Plant outdoors or in a Greenhouse (I always grow mine in a greenhouse, British summers are very unreliable) Give the plants a structure to climb.
- If planting outside, be sure to harden them off first.
What Does Hardening Off Mean?
Plants raised indoors or in a greenhouse environment, need to be acclimatised to cooler temperatures and increased air movement for about two to three weeks before they are planted outdoors permanently . This is a ‘toughening up’ practice to prepare the plants for their new environment.
How to Harden Off
Place your plants out for a couple of hours in a shady part of the garden. The next day, leave them out again for two hours, but this time allow the plants an hour of direct sunshine in the morning. Gradually continue to increase the length of time the plants are in direct sunshine over the course of roughly two weeks.
Water the plants little and often so that the soil doesn’t become too dry. As fruits develop be sure to water every day.
When to Harvest Lemon Cucumbers
When the cucumbers start to turn from green to yellow and are roughly Tennis Ball size, pick from the vine. Don’t allow them to remain on the vine too long and turn a deep yellow, they will become overripe and have a bitter taste.