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HomeAnnatheappleWhere, When, and How to Plant Cucamelons

Where, When, and How to Plant Cucamelons

This article was originally published by Mike and Dorothy McKenney on

If you’re looking for something interesting to grow, check out cucamelons! They look like miniature watermelons but are about the same size as grapes (approximately 1–2 inches long). They have green skin adorned with lighter, irregular, or striped patterns and offer a crisp texture. However, looking like a tiny watermelon is where the similarity ends. They are mildly tart and zesty, with a flavor like a combination of cucumber and lime.

Cucamelons are a warm-season crop, typically grown as annuals. Keep reading for step-by-step instructions on how to grow them from seed.

First, you’ll need to buy some cucamelon seeds. Numerous online stores specialize in selling seeds. Some well-known retailers include Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and seed companies like Burpee, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, and Eden Brothers. In addition, many seed companies offer print or online catalogs with various seeds. Request catalogs or browse online to find and purchase seeds.

Once you have your seeds in hand, these are the instructions for planting them:

Nothing is more empowering than growing a garden and harvesting food in your yard. For more helpful information, check out this guide on how to make a year-round self-sustaining garden.

Cucamelons are best suited for USDA Hardiness Zones 9 and 10, where they can be grown as perennials. However, they can also be grown as annuals in a broader range of zones, from 4 to 10, with some adjustments to the planting and growing process.

In cooler zones (4–8), it’s essential to start cucamelon seeds indoors 4–6 weeks before the last expected frost date and transplant them outdoors only after the risk of frost has passed. These plants require a long, warm growing season with temperatures between 75°F–85°F for optimal growth, so providing them with adequate heat and sunlight in cooler zones is crucial.

In warmer zones (9 and 10), cucamelons can be directly sown outdoors after the last frost date or grown as perennials, depending on the local climate. Since they are native to Central America, they thrive in regions with mild winters and hot summers.

A root cellar, or cold storage, can be created in many places, such as a cellar, basement, or crawl space. If you don’t have a root cellar, here’s a cheap and easy way to build a root cellar in your backyard.

Cucamelons are relatively resistant to common pests, so you shouldn’t lose sleep worrying about them, but they may still be affected by some pests targeting other cucurbits, such as cucumbers, melons, and squashes. Some common pests that may affect cucamelons include:

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