Cucumber, Jelly Melon

Cucumber, Jelly Melon

(Cucumis Sativis) Jelly Melon is also known as horned melon,"Kiwano", African Horned Cucumber, and blowfish fruit. This variety of cucumber is native to Sub-Saharan Africa near the Kalahari desert and is an excellent source of water in the dry season.

The tart, sometimes astringent, flavour of the jelly melon has been compared to a watered-down banana or a combination of cucumber and zucchini. Try adding either salt or sugar to increase the flavour. While some eat the skin, when eaten raw it is best to suck out the pulp or scoop it out with a spoon and spit out the seeds as you eat it.

Make sure that your soil is well fertilized as this crop is a heavy feeder and takes a lot of nutrients from the soil. These plants prefer warm weather and soil so they should be grown when temperatures are over 20 C. You should avoid watering them from above as damp leaves may be susceptible to disease.

Using plastic mulch to warm the soil will help this African plant get started in the spring and protect it from cool nights. Clear covers made from juice jugs or 2l pop bottles will also help when the plants are small.

Sold as individual plants in a 3" square peat pot., as cucumbers do not like to be transplanted. Pot and plant should be soaked well before planting to help the roots get through the pot, and kept moist until the plants are well established. Water well and often to get the best crop.
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