Armenian cucumbers are scientifically known as Cucumis melo var. flexuosus. This kind of cucumber is very large with an average length of 28-30 cms. They are slender, elongated, curved, and often irregularly curled.
Its skin colour varies from light to dark green depending on various factors. It has many names such as Yard-long melon, Snake melon, Snake cucumber, Uri, Gullah, and Painted Serpent. But it is called Armenian cucumbers because of its appearance rather than its botanical name and features.
Armenian Cucumbers were first bred in Armenia in the 15th century and were spread with natural immigration to the New World. Today, Armenian cucumbers can be found growing in California and are available at speciality grocers and farmers markets in the United States and Europe.
They are good sources of Vitamins C, A, K, and potassium. This is not real cucumbers but a ribbed variety of musk melon that tastes like a cucumber and looks like a cucumber inside.
Growing s very helpful during the summer season as it keeps our body cool from the hot sun. Sometimes cucumbers are not up to the mark because of various factors which are not advisable to eat during summers.
It is best to grow Armenian cucumbers at home, backyards to get the right kind of cucumbers with all the healthy nutrients and vitamins.
Best Tips to Grow Armenian Cucumber
There are different ways to grow at various places like garden, fence, backyard and so on. Below there are tips to use to grow at the garden or the fence.
Before starting to grow Armenian cucumber plants at any place one needs to know how to sow the seeds indoors as it is the backbone of the plant.
Sowing Seeds Indoor
- Direct sowing is preferable but to get a nice start it is advisable to start from 3-4 weeks before the last frost. Seeds must sow in a pot. 3-4 seeds are enough per pot.
- Use a seed-starting formula to sow seeds at half inches deep inside a pot.
- A hot climate at 70 degrees is preferable for keeping the soil moist.
- It takes 7-14 days for seeds to transform into seedlings.
- Sufficient light is required once the seedlings grow. It can be achieved either through a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings -4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller.
- Most of the plants require dark shade for their growth. Ensure that the lights are turned off after a particular time. If not the seedlings damaged.
- Seedlings do not require much fertilizer. Natural fertilizer is used once the seedlings become three to four weeks old.
- A starter solution is used as a fertilizer to feed the seedlings based on the instructions mentioned on the label by the manufacturer.
- Thin to one plant per pot.
- Before you plant the plants in the garden they need to get hardened off for healthy growth.
- Young plants need a sheltered place as soon as they go out. They need to be protected from the sun and wind.
- If there are any frost threats due to the cool climate during evening or night times it is advisable to bring them inside and grow the next morning again.
- This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
Tips to grow Armenian Cucumber in the garden
- American Cucumbers thrive in hot summers.
- Give this cucumbers room or place to grow in the garden.
- Flowers play an important role.
- Pick Armenian cucumbers which are young and often basis.
- Harvest of the cucumbers in your garden.
Armenian Cucumbers Thrive in Hot Summers
Hot climatic conditions are best to plant the seeds and grow the cucumbers. This is only one such kind which favours high temperatures. The suitable temperature ranges between 65 F to 80 F. Before planting the seeds soil needs to be moist with a compost pit.
Plant 2-3 seeds ½ to 1 inch deep about 1 foot apart. When seeds are 3-4 inches tall, thin to 1 plant every foot. Though it favours hot climatic conditions it requires constant watering of seeds for healthy growth of the plants. This is one kind of vegetables that can grow in July in the low desert.
Give This Cucumbers Room or Place to Grow in The Garden
It has a tendency of growing quickly which takes more space as it loves to vine. Due to this, the garden gets occupied with more plants in less time. If you do not give sufficient space or a room then the plants get infected and damaged.
To avoid this, we need to ensure that there is no overcrowding of plants. If one plant laps with another plant, then there are susceptible to pests and diseases such as powdery mildew and squash bugs.
Always rotate the plants whenever you grow Armenian cucumbers. By doing this there is no mix with other melons, plants, and cucumbers. For the healthy growth of cucumbers, corn is the best thing.
By growing near the corn plants, they may climb the corn as they would a trellis. Armenian cucumbers are best grown on some sort of trellis to keep them off the ground. Trellised fruits will grow straighter.
Flowers Play an Important Role
Armenian cucumbers have both male and female flowers. It plays a vital role in the healthy growth of cucumbers. Out of both gendered flowers, male flowers grow first.
From the time male flowers come out, it takes two weeks for female flowers to come out. They both continue to bloom and are yellow. Male flowers will bloom and hopefully “bee” visited by a pollinator to pass the pollen onto the female flower, then wither and fall off.
Female flowers are bulbous, will bloom, and if pollinated will develop into some fruit. Blooms are numerous, and hand-pollination is usually not necessary. Encourage bees by planting oregano, basil, and other flowering plants nearby.
Pick Armenian Cucumbers Which Are Young at Often Basis
After the pollination fruits come out from the flower explained in the previous step. Even though fruits can grow two to three feet from the ground, we can pick the fruits from 12-18 inches and 2 and a half diameters from the ground.
One needs to pick the fruits regularly so that they remain healthy. Once the fruit is picked immerse in cold water to lengthen its storage time. The best time to pick the fruits is early morning. Always cut the vine off from the fruit. By pulling it fruit gets damaged.
Always ensure there are no vines left on the ground which can slow the production rate of the fruits. This is observed when large fruits are picked up from the ground. Small fruits taste like cucumber. Large fruits taste like a melon.
Harvest of The Cucumbers in Your Garden
A few plants give plenty of Armenian cucumbers at a time. This is the best thing about growing Armenian cucumbers at home. For a young healthy cucumber, there is no need to peel, one can consume it directly. They are thin and edible. It can be used as pickles, vegetable kababs and smoothies.
Tips to Grow Healthy Armenian Cucumbers at Your Fence
By growing Armenian cucumbers on the fence, we will get more straightened fruits as it does not fall on the ground. It will save space which allows us to grow more cucumbers in less space and time. It takes a bit of extra effort to grow Armenian cucumbers on the fence, but it is worth waiting. A cleaner crop is ready by growing the cucumbers on the fence.
- Prepare a surface area to grow the cucumbers by digging a trench of 12 metres width and four metres depth from the base of the fence.
- The area needs to be cleaned and evenly poised with no rocks, large stones, weeds, or any other waste for the healthy growth of the cucumber plants.
- A fertilizer of 10-10-10 is mixed in the soil to enrich the quality of soil along with the directions of the package. Armenian cucumbers roots spread widely very often.
- By doing this one can ensure that roots are within the surface area designed to grow the crops. This will save time as we will not concentrate it underneath the planted area. Fertilizer in that trench is mixed infinite proportions for better growth of the cucumbers.
- Plantation of seeds into the soil is done when the temperature is around 65 degrees outside. If the soil is moist and cool the seeds will not germinate easily and quickly.
- Plant Armenian cucumber seeds 4 inches apart and one-inch depth from the surface of the fence.
- Regular watering of seeds is a must for healthy growth.
- Soil needs to be moist for the best-growing plants.
- Watering till 1.5 inches from the soil is a must every week for Armenian cucumber seeds.
- Tie the cucumber vine to the fence as soon as they are long enough to reach and be trained.
- Armenian cucumber has grasping tendrils which to hold the vine against the fence.
- Once fruits start growing tendrils become weak which makes it difficult to hold the vine.
- Continue to tie the main vine to the fence along its entire length.
- Always pick the cucumbers when they are of medium size which allows a continuous growth of Armenian cucumber plants throughout the season.
Problems Faced While Growing Armenian Cucumbers
- Poor planting techniques to stunt the growth of the plants.
- Lack of pollination affects the fruit set.
- Lack of water limits the growth of the vine of the Armenian cucumber.
- Poor nutrition affects the growth of the cucumber.
- Powdery mildew limits the growth of the plants.
- Cucumber beetles cause major trouble for their growth.
- Bacteria wilt and Fusarium wilt on cucumbers.
- The cucumber mosaic virus is a common cucumber problem.
The above images explain the problems faced while growing the cucumber plants.
To solve the problems proper nutrition, water is essential. Standard planting techniques can solve the stunt growth issue. Effective pollination is needed for fruits. To solve the mildew issue plant cucumber varieties with a known resistance (the disease resistance-code PM will be found on the seed packet or in the seed catalogue description), such as ‘Eureka’, ‘Jackson’, and ‘Transamerica’. Saladin’ and ‘Gemini’ are two great cucumber beetle-resistant that solves the cucumber beetle issue.
To solve the virus issue, one needs to check the disease resistance-code CMV will be on the seed packet or seed catalogue description of resistant varieties. Good choices include ‘Boston Pickling Improved’, ‘Eureka’, ‘Little Leaf’, ‘Salad Bush’, ‘Straight Eight’, and ‘Marketmore 76’. Purchase new, certified virus-free seeds each season.
Yes, it is a challenge to grow Armenian cucumbers at home. If you grow them with all the necessary precautions and measures you will have a bunch of cucumbers that are natural and healthy any season at any time. You will get more success than the troubles.
As you face troubles once at the start. For that one can refer to this article for the healthy growth of the cucumbers. They can seek professional help if they have any further doubts. Enjoy the harvest of healthy Armenian cucumbers during hot summers.
By growing you will get adequate Vitamin C which is important during summer. Have a yummy and healthy summer with your own natural grown Armenian cucumbers.