Cucumbers - Mexican Sour Gherkin
The Mexican Sour Gherkin
Have you ever had a sour pickle? Without the salt or sugar? If you have that is what this tiny cucumber tastes like. I don't think of it as sour; to me it is tart and refreshing.
The cumcumbers are tiny, about 1 1/2 and 2 1/2" long and resemble a mini watermelon.They remind me of the old children's tales about mice and birds. These would be the perfect size for a mouse's watermelon.
I grew mine this past year in a fifteen gallon pot with bamboo hoops as a trellis. I enjoyed them so much that i getting a proper trellis for them to climb this season. The plant is a very fast grower, almost uncontrollable, almost. It produced prolifically the better part of the spring and all summer, only stopping with the first winter night chill.
I have not seen seeds for this vegetable, so I planted a nursery start. I saved some seeds, but since their viability is unknown, I will be getting a plant as soon as possible in the spring. Hopefully March.
Use standard potting soil in a fifteen gallon pot. Set a trellis immediately. The vine grows fast and has tendrils so it doesn't need to be anchored. They will wrap around anything. The pretty yellow flowers attract bees and pollinators like candy attracts children. Feed every six weeks with a balanced fertilizer (5-3-1, 4-4-4) and water once a week to ten days. Harvestwhen the gherkins are about 2 1/2" long. Eat the whole thing, including the skin.
For the ground I would suggest a rich planting compost well mixed (50-50) with the garden soil. Still use a trellis and the same feeding applies. Be careful of the water. Thoroughly water the plants, then wait. If the first 2-4" of soil is dry, let the watering go a day or two then check again. If it is dry about 5" down water thoroughly and flow the same guidelines. Don't let them go to dry, but it is better to error on the side of dryness. Wilting can be helped, rotting can't.
This is a tasty little vegetable that is truly overlooked. Try it!