How To Grow Cucamelons In Canada
Growing cucamelons in Canada is the perfect beginner to expert gardeners. This article is a complete guide to growing cucamelons in a cold climate. We will be looking at the more advanced method of starting them indoors and unique varieties to grow. For beginners we will be discussing the keys to success and the purpose for each variety.
If you are new to this blog my name is Ashley and I am a soil scientist. I am located in a Canadian Zone 3 and a USDA Zone 4. I write articles and make YouTube videos all designed for Canadians and Cold Climate gardeners using science based methods. If you are looking for anything specific be sure to let me know in the comments down below.
Starting Cucamelons Indoors
Starting cucamelons indoors is not necessary due to the short number of days till maturity. Most cucamelon varieties are 65 days from start to finish. This means cucamelons can be sown outdoors in Canada from hardiness zone 3 or more. For people living in the USA cucamelons can be sown outdoors from hardiness USDA zone 4.
Cucamelons are easily transplanted outside and therefore can be started in all nursery pot types. The reason I mention this is because in my cucumber blog post I mentioned using peat pots. This method helps for lessening transplant stress. Sow the seeds into a peat based soil and for faster germination rates by applying a small level of heat.
Before transplanting cucamelons outdoors you’ll want to take your time with the hardening off process. For more on the hardening off process be sure to check out this YouTube video. Or our gardening in Canada article talking about the entire process. This is important to help reduce transplant shock and potential death of the cucumber plants. One way to help reduce transplant shock with cucumbers outdoors is to use a fertilizer high in phosphorus. The nutrient phosphorus is used with root development. And typically with any transplant shock the issue resides in the root area.
Starting Cucamelons Directly Outdoors
For a lot of beginners gardening in Canada the best method for growing cucamelons is to actually directly see them outdoors. This can be done approximately 2 weeks before your frost free date. If you don’t know when your frost free date starts and ends be sure to check out the Etsy templates. These will give you an idea of a start time based on your major city in Canada.
When you start your cucamelon seeds outside you will want to ensure you place them approximately 1/2 to 1/4 inch deep in the soil. The leaves and vines on a cucamelon plant are thin and small making it difficult to find the surface if planted too deep.
With cucamelons you will generally want to grow vertically. Vertical growing will ensure you fruits do not come into contact with the soil surface. Cucamelons sitting on the soil surface can cause fungal & bacterial infections. When growing cucamelons vertically the spacing distance between each plant is much smaller. Meaning 2” spacing is more than enough room for proper growth. Keep in mind overcrowding can cause lower yields so be cautious of your spacing.
After you have your cucamelons spaced and seeded at the proper depth it is time to water. When watering seems you do not have to include any fertilizer. There is no root formation on the cucamelon seedling, yet meaning the fertilizer cannot be taken up. Try watering with a lukewarm water or a sun-warmed water. This will help ensure that our germination rates in a timely matter.
when Growing cucamelons in Canada going up a trellis is one of the only ways to achieve good results Now Using a trellis for cucamelons is a relatively easy task that can be done with both directly sown cucamelon and transplants. The benefits to this is that harvesting will be easier and cleaner.
If you are choosing to trellis your cucamelons then you will want to plant your transplant or seeds approximately two to three inches away from the base of the trellis. As the plants begin to grow in length and see first tendrils emerge you will want to train the cucamelons to crawl up the trellis. After this point the tendrils will do most of the work for you however to protect against windy days you may want to add some extra support such as twist ties. Make sure that if you are using twist ties that you do not secure them too tightly; a loose fit is ideal.
Pruning cucamelons is completely unnecessary. If you choose to prune your cucumbers there is little to no benefit. While this is not the case for all garden plants such as tomatoes and peppers it is the case with the Cucamelon family. It is in your best interest to allow the Cucamelon to put on as much branching as it desires. The exception to this would be if your vine is headed in a direction that is not ideal for the landscape.
Pollinating cucamelon is another form of maintenance that is not necessary. While there are male and female flowers the likelihood of the female flowers being pollinated is incredibly high. This is because things such as wind, insects, birds and even human interaction can all play a role in the pollination process. The only time you would need to consider pollinating a cucamelon plant is if it is in an enclosed environment such as a greenhouse.
Harvesting cucamelons should be done immediately when they are ready. Cucamelons are best harvested when they are young, this helps reduce that bitter or woody taste. The best way to determine the number of days to harvest your cucamelons
There you have it, the complete guide to growing cucamelons in Canada. You are Canadian Gardener and you’re looking for the best results in your cucamelon containers regardless of being a beginner or an expert and this is the article for you. Be sure to check out the rest of the gardening in Canada blog post for more science based information in the garden. Don’t forget to find us on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Tik-Tok. And let me know in the comments if you have grown cucamelons before.