How To Grow Cucamelons In Canada
As a Canadian gardener that is just starting out you are probably wondering how to grow peas & beans in Canada. Whether you are located in Ontario, Alberta, the Maritimes or anywhere in between this is your ultimate guide on how to grow Cucamelons in Canada.
If you are new to this blog hello my name is Ashley and I am a soil scientist located in Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada. I have been gardening for over ten years and have plenty of tips and tricks to get you through the growing season.
When To Start Your Cucamelons In Canada
Starting cucamelons in Canada can happen either inside or outside. These plants transplant with very few signs of transplant shock, so long as they are hardened off properly. The total number of growing days needed is 65. With this in mind you may want to plant in waves ensuring you get a cucamelon snack on a regular basis.
If you choose to start your cucamelons indoors ensure that you do not start any earlier then 4-6 weeks before your last frost. These are vining plants so they will take up alot of room in your seed starting setup if started too early. If you start them directly outside feel free to plant them a week before your last frost date.
They are not frost tolerant so if there is a first warning be sure to throw a blanket over them for protection. This will be enough cushion against cold temperature in a canadian garden.
Hardening Off Your Cucamelons In Canada
Cucamelon leaves are relatively thin compared to other canadian garden plants. This means the hardening off process should take place over a week or more to ensure no browning. The process is simple and only involves you increasing the time the plant spends outside a little each day. For the first day start at 30 mins and every day after that increase the length outdoors by 30 mins more. Try to avoid full sun and high heat for the first week.
When To Plant Your Cucamelons Outside In Canada
The best time to plant your cucamelons outside is after the threat of last frost has gone. This is, for most Canadinas, the May long weekend. If you want to really protect against any potential stunted growth consider transplant once the temperatures are above 10 degrees celsius at night.
Do You Trellis Cucamelons?
Using a trellis with cucamelons is a must. Without an upward facing area to climb the plant tends to become tangled and messy. Allowing them to mound or trail will also affect the harvested quantity. Your cucamelon trellis does not need to be fancy and can simply include a pole to climb. The key is to place the trellis near the base of the plant or seed. If you are transplanting your cucamelons, put the trellis in place before you transplant. This will help you avoid potential root damage.
How Often Should You Water & Fertilize Cucamelons
Cucamelons grown in Canada can grow very large under the correct conditions. The main factors being fertilizer and watering. Watering once a day or thoroughly once every three days is important. The goal is no to allow the soil to dry out too much between watering because this will stunt the cucamelons growth.
For fertilizer you can feed once a week at full strength. These are heavy feeders so using a bloom formula with high phosphorus and potassium is important. This goes for both conventional and organic forms of fertilizer.
Common Issues With Cucamelons In Canada
The only known pest or issue found with Cucamelons grown in Canada is powdery mildew. If your plant gets powdery mildew be sure to remove the leaves immediately. From there treating with milk or a mild fungicide will do the trick. Never keep the foliage from a plant with powdery mildew because it will over winter in your compost or garden.
Be sure to harvest your cucamelons right away. This will promote more flowering and food production. The best uses for cucamelons include stir frys, pickling, or eating raw.
There you have it, a complete guide to growing cucamelons in Canada. Let me know in the comments below if you have grown cucamelons in Canada and how you went about it. The key to growing Cucamelons in Canada are starting them indoors, hardening them off, trellis, and regular food/water.