If you do not like to eat cucumber but want a vegetable that has the same health benefits and tastes better. Then you need to grow Armenian cucumber. Actually, they are not cucumbers they are muskmelon. Armenian cucumbers have a Crisp, sweet taste. They never taste bitter like some real cucumber varieties.
The best part is these cucumbers are heat tolerant. This means if you are living in warm climate then you definitely need to grow them. One Armenian vegetable can fully fill all your hydration needs. By eating them on hot summer days you can keep your body temperature in control.
Read till the end to know more about this most healthy foreign vegetable.
What are Armenian cucumbers?
Armenian cucumber is also famous with other names like snake cucumber, yard-long cucumber, rocket cucumber. You can easily buy the seeds from Amazon. There are famous in all parts of the world. In different countries, they are famous with different names. But to grow them you need a hot weather where you want to grow them. Hot days of summer are perfect to grow this hydrating vegetable.
The most common variety that is commonly found in the USA has pale green skin. Other varieties are also available here. But We Americans like to eat pale green-skinned cucumbers more. Before eating them wash with clean water to wash the fuzz. If possible instead of cool water use Luke warm water.
Generally, people harvest them when they are 1 foot long. To save seed for future use you should leave few of them to get fully matured. 3 feet long yard cucumbers produce seeds that you can save for further use.
For the best possible growth and taste, you need to grow them above the ground level. If you grow them on the ground, they get curled and do not grow long. Use cucumber trellises to grow them vertically. Because Armenian cucumber grows on large vines you have to manage them with supports. Or they will spread all over the place. Under ideal growing conditions, these vines can grow 20 feet long.
How to grow Armenian cucumbers?
You have two options to start one is to sow seeds direct in the outdoor garden. The second option is starting the seeds indoors. Once they become seedlings then transfer them to the outdoor garden. It takes about 75 days to get matured. After that, you can start harvesting your cucumbers.
The best way is to take seeds and sow them in seed starting trays one month before the last frost. Because it is a warm-season crop you need to keep the room warm to help seeds sprouting. If you have a good budget, you should use a grow light and seedling heat mat.
Plant the seedlings outside 10 days after the last frost. At this time the outside garden becomes workable. Plant each seedling 10 inches apart at the base of the trellis. When they start growing long in size, they catch the trellis steps and climb easily.
To direct growth you need to wait until the last frost date has passed. Here you need to measure the temperature of the soil with a soil temperature meter. If the temperature is below 18 degrees C you cannot sow the seeds.
Always choose the sunny place in your garden because these plants need plenty of direct sunlight. To make the soil warm and extra fertile add organic compost. For best results add granular fertilizers in limited quantity.
Benefits of growing them Vertically
There are many benefits of vertical gardening. But the main benefit is with vertical gardening you can save a large amount of space in your garden. Another benefit is not more pests and plant diseases. The fresh airflow reduces pest infestation and common plant diseases. Most of the pathogens and harmful bacteria live in the soil. In vertical gardening, plants grow above the soil and produce fruits. This way the vegetables remain in the air and do not get in touch with the soil.
In my garden, I use cucumber trellis to grow these long vines.
Caring cucumbers of Armenia
For outdoor growing vegetables you do not need to worry about the light requirements. They get complete their light needs from the Sunrays. You need to take care of two things that are watering and fertilizing.
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Use clean tap water to watering Armenian cucumber vines. Do not use the garden hose for overhead water. This will increase the chances of leaf rot. Always give water to plant roots. Roots of the vines are designed naturally to transport the water in all parts of the plant.
Because this vine produces hydrating water-rich fruit. It also needs a large amount of water. The evening is the best time to water Armenian cucumber vines.
Generally, these Armenian cucumbers do not need fertilizers to grow. But if you want to increase the production then you need to give some organic fertilizer. Organic fertilizers are slow releasing fertilizers. This way your plants get a continuous chain of nutrients. This way they produce large size cucumbers.
How to grow them in pots?
To grow them in containers you need to have a big container. My smart pot is 16 inches across. The bigger is the better because it can store a large amount of soil. Add fertilizer to the soil before planting the seeds or seedlings. This makes the soil extra fertile for seeds.
Container soil dries quickly than the garden soil. Therefore, you need to keep an eye on the container soil. This plant cannot handle the dry conditions. The cucumbers start to shrink and leaves turn yellow when underwatered.
When to harvest Armenian vines of fruits
For a sweet taste, you need to harvest them when they are 10 to 12 inches long. Once they get extra-long, they become less sweet and produce seeds. To eat crisp and delicious Armenian hydrating cucumbers do not let them grow longer than 12 inches.
For saving seeds only leave 1 or 2 cucumbers on the vines.
There are many salad dishes in which you can use these long cucumbers. I cut tomatoes, cucumbers, and olive in a bowl and sprinkle black pepper and salt, and eat it. For extra freshness, you can add few mint leaves.
Nowadays in many American salad items, Armenian cucumbers are the main ingredient.
Top growing varieties of Armenian vines of cucumbers
If you like to grow this vegetable then you need to choose from the below varieties.
This is the most common type of cucumbers that are mostly grown in many parts of the USA. They produce two to three feet long cucumbers.
This type produces the same type of cucumbers as the green variety. But the seeds of dark green Armenian cucumber are hard to find in local garden stores. If you like to grow it then you have to go to Amazon. You can find the best deal there.
How to save seeds from large cucumbers
If you grow only one type of seeds then it is easy to save them. Growing more than two types makes it difficult to get the same taste every time. Because Armenian cucumbers are open-pollinated. At the end of the season, the cucumbers that you leave for seeds get fully matured.
Harvest them when their outer skin becomes yellow and they look overmatured and soft.
For seeds cut the fruits into two vertical parts. Use a normal spoon to collect the seeds. Put all the seeds in the strainer to rinse then with fresh water to remove the pulp and seed coating.
Now put them in the newspaper and let them dry completely. It will 7 days to dry these seeds if you put them in an airy room.
Use a cool and dry place to store seeds. Put them in an envelope for future storage.