Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:45 pm
Small Mexican mini cucumbers (Melothria scabra) not only taste, but also look very attractive. Growing them is very simple, both under glass and outdoors.
- the Mexican mini cucumber belongs to the cucurbit family
- they are heat-loving and not frost-hardy
- cultivation is simple
- pre-breeding or direct sowing is possible
- plant needs climbing aid
You will need the following utensils before growing your Mexican mini cucumber:
- Pots or growing tray (alternatively indoor greenhouse).
- kitchen roll
- Growing soil or other not too nutrient-rich substrate
- Water (watering can or spray bottle)
- freezer bag, clear cover or similar
Mini cucumbers need it warm and humid to germinate well. Room temperature is good, but if that is not possible, a heat mat for plants placed under the pots will help. The cover of an aquarium is also warm, provided that it is still lit with tubes. Brightness cucumbers need only after they have already germinated. But after that, as much as possible.
The best time to grow Mexican mini cucumbers in advance is early spring, around March or April. It is important that there is already enough sunlight, otherwise the plants will take care after emergence.
Note: If you want to pre-grow your plants very early, you can use special plant lights.
- Cover holes in pots with some kitchen paper.
- Fill pots or tray with soil. Do not fill up to the rim and press the soil down.
- Water soil carefully.
- Distribute seeds. Either one or two seeds per pot or evenly in the seed tray. Press seeds down a little so that they have good contact with the soil.
- Cover seeds with soil and press down well.
- Moisten soil, it is better to use a spray bottle for this.
- Cover pots or trays with transparent film or a hood. Alternatively, use a greenhouse.
- Place in the intended location. Seeds will germinate within 10 to 20 days. Re-moisten only if soil becomes too dry.
- If necessary, repot the seedlings, then use more nutrient-rich substrate.
The young plants should be planted outdoors after the last frosts. There they need a protected, warm and preferably sunny location. The soil must be nutritious and loose. Possibly enhance with compost or other organic fertilizer. A climbing aid is mandatory and is attached right at planting. The cucumber subsequently climbs on its own and does not need to be tied. The planting distance is about 40 cm.
Note: The Mexican mini cucumber can climb heights of up to 3 meters.
The Mexican mini cucumber can also be sown directly outdoors. Thereby you should consider some points.
In the case of direct sowing, the location where the plants will subsequently remain is chosen immediately. It is also possible to sow in a tub. Mini cucumbers like a warm, sunny place, protected from cold drafts, but still airy.
Always wait for the last frosts before sowing outdoors. Then favorable is the end of May, beginning of June.
- Prepare the soil thoroughly. Loosen the soil, remove weeds and stones. If sowing in a container, provide it with a drainage layer, then fill with nutrient-rich soil.
- Press seeds into the soil. In the field, space seeds 40 inches apart. Place two seeds in the tub in case one fails to emerge.
- Cover seed with soil and press down. Then water thoroughly. Seed depth can be quietly more than 1 cm.
- Even in the open ground, it is worthwhile to cover the soil with a film to increase humidity. Perforated foil is well suited for this purpose. From wood, build a frame about 30 cm high, on which the film is stretched. Then simply place the frame on the bed.
- Germination may take a little longer in the open ground. However, after three to four weeks the cotyledons should be visible. The film can remain for some time after that. In between, water only when the soil has dried out.
- When the plants are stronger, mulch the soil all around and add a climbing aid. In the tub, remove the weaker plant when both have emerged. It is often not worthwhile to prick out the cucumbers.
Frequently asked questions
Can the Mexican mini cucumber grow in the greenhouse?
The mini cucumber also grows in the greenhouse. There it is warm and humid enough. In the greenhouse the cucumber can be sown earlier. But even there it should be ensured that the sunlight is already sufficient after germination.
Is it necessary to prune the cucumber plant?
It is possible, but neither necessary nor useful. If the cucumber is pruned, flowers and thus fruit will be lost. It also does not need to be thinned out. Removed are dead or diseased shoots and leaves, and regular harvesting ensures the formation of new flowers.
How to care for the mini cucumber?
Cucumber needs a lot of water, it should be watered regularly. Fertilizing is also important, especially if it grows in a container. Mulching the soil around the plant helps to suppress weeds and minimize evaporation.