MELOTHRIA Scabra is a vine grown for its edible cucumber fruit about the size of elongated grapes.
In April this year this column mentioned the benefits and the ease of growing these cucumbers that look like a doll size water melon.
For those that missed the details, they are sometimes called a mouse melon or a Mexican sour gherkin.
Little room is required as the vine grows vertically and require at least two meters of height.
Its habit are small leaves and fine branches that can be just pulled away by hand and trained to the desired shape.
Not the usual garden vegetable but a great one for the kids to grow.
The fruit can be picked and eaten straight off the vine.
The plant is resistant to most pests and can be grown in the driest of times, although best not left to dry out.
Flowers are small and yellow with the fruit developing at the end of the female flower.
The plants have both male and female flowers and do require bees to help pollinate them.
So, it may be helpful to have some other flowering plants in close proximity to them.
For those “foodies” among our readers; For a delicious cucamelon bruschetta, cut cucamelons into thirds and add finely chopped onions and some basil or mint. Combine with a splash of cider vinegar, lime juice, olive oil and some honey and spoon on toasted bread and season with salt and pepper.
It’s not something that I would take the trouble of doing, however I came across this recipe while researching this column and thought I would share it with you.
Seeds are available at most larger stores, though you may have to ask for them.
We all like different things, I’m interested in easy to grow plants which require less upkeep.
I know that some of you love kale and eggplant while others detest kohlrabi and spinach.
We all have our likes and dislikes, probably why all vegetables are good for you in one way or another. Cucamelons don’t seem to be available in the shops and not many gardeners grow them at home.
Why not buy a pack and give it a go, maybe share some with your neighbours or family, you will be well rewarded.
Make your Summer salads interesting with these little doll size cucumbers and extra tasty with small pineapple pieces (preferably grown yourself).
These will give your salads that extra zing and start a conversation around your table.