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Growing Armenian Cucumbers

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Growing Armenian cucumbers is a great way to ensure a steady supply of cucumbers in the heat of the summer.

This is great news for us desert dwellers who want cucumbers all summer long. First cultivated in Armenia in the 15th century, Armenian cucumbers (also called yard-long cucumbers) are actually not cucumbers at all – they are a ribbed variety of musk melon that tastes similar to a cucumber and looks like a cucumber inside. They are also high in vitamins A, C, and K, and potassium. Have I convinced you to try growing Armenian cucumbers? 

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5 tips for growing Armenian cucumbers in the Garden:

5 Tips for growing Armenian Cucumbers in the Garden. With the high temperatures of summer, most cucumbers are a fond memory except for Armenian cucumbers (which are still going strong).#gardening #armeniancucumbers #howtogarden #cucumbers #howtogrow #heatlovingveggies #arizonagardening #growinginthegarden

1. Armenian cucumbers thrive in hot summers

Heat tolerance is their number one attribute; high temperatures do not stress these plants. Before planting, prepare soil by amending with compost. When it is warm outside (consistent days above 65 ℉, and 80℉ is even better) 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. Although they are very heat tolerant, they require even and consistent watering to prevent them from becoming bitter.

Armenian cucumbers are one of only a handful of vegetables that can be planted through the beginning of July in the low desert.

Watch the video to the end and you will see the fruits of cross-pollination between an Armenian cucumber and a Chimayo melon. I didn’t realize the seeds I saved the previous year had cross-pollinated and those were the result. 

2. Give Armenian cucumbers room to grow in the garden

Armenian cucumbers love to vine and can easily take over a garden; monitor plants for signs of infestations and disease to catch it early.

  • Do not overcrowd plants – crowded plants are more susceptible to pests and diseases such as powdery mildew and squash bugs.
  • Rotate where you plant Armenian cucumbers – do not plant in the same area as you previously planted other melons, squash or cucumbers.
  • Corn is a good companion plant for Armenian cucumbers, and 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.
5 Tips for growing Armenian Cucumbers in the Garden. With the high temperatures of summer, most cucumbers are a fond memory except for Armenian cucumbers (which are still going strong).#gardening #armeniancucumbers #howtogarden #cucumbers #howtogrow #heatlovingveggies #growinginthegarden

3. It’s all about the flowers

Armenian cucumbers have both male and female flowers. Male flowers will appear first and will continue to bloom; about 2 weeks later the first female flowers will appear. Both types of flowers 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 fruit. Blooms are numerous, and hand-pollination is usually not necessary. Encourage bees by planting oregano, basil, and other flowering plants nearby.

4. Pick Armenian cucumbers young and often

5 Tips for growing Armenian Cucumbers in the Garden. With the high temperatures of summer, most cucumbers are a fond memory except for Armenian cucumbers (which are still going strong).#gardening #armeniancucumbers #howtogarden #cucumbers #howtogrow #heatlovingveggies #growinginthegarden

Although fruits can grow to 3 feet long in a hurry, they are best picked between 12-18 inches long and 2 ½ inches in diameter.

  • Pick fruit early in the day and immerse in cold water to lengthen storage time.
  • Cut off fruit from vine; pulling can damage vine.
  • Leaving fruit on the vine too long signals to the plant to slow or stop production.
  • Larger fruit have larger more noticeable seeds. Larger fruit taste less like a cucumber and more like a watermelon rind.
5 Tips for growing Armenian Cucumbers in the Garden. With the high temperatures of summer, most cucumbers are a fond memory except for Armenian cucumbers (which are still going strong).#gardening #armeniancucumbers #howtogarden #cucumbers #howtogrow #heatlovingveggies #growinginthegarden

5. Enjoy the harvest of Armenian cucumbers from your garden.

A few plants will give you almost more Armenian cucumbers than you can use. Here are a few ways to enjoy them:

  • No need to peel; skin on young Armenian cucumbers is thin and edible.
  • Use as you would cucumbers in salad, dips, sushi, or sandwiches.
  • Armenian cucumbers are delicious pickled.  
  • Try grilling them in vegetable kabobs or puréeing in smoothies.
  • Excellent with pork, fish, mint, oregano, dill, yogurt, and feta cheese.
5 Tips for growing Armenian Cucumbers in the Garden. With the high temperatures of summer, most cucumbers are a fond memory except for Armenian cucumbers (which are still going strong).#gardening #armeniancucumbers #howtogarden #cucumbers #howtogrow #heatlovingveggies #growinginthegarden

Looking for more information on growing cucumbers in Arizona? This article will tell you what you need to know. 

Summer gardening in Arizona can be a challenge. This post gives you the information to be successful. 

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Jimmy

Monday 9th of August 2021

I have trouble with Aphids every year by mid July. What is the best way to control or kill the Aphids infestation? I've ordered Lady Bugs in past years that seems to help a little but I didn't do it this year........ they seem to be exploding this year for some reason.

Angela Judd

Monday 9th of August 2021

Cut off the most damaged vines. Spray remaining vines a couple of times a day with a strong blast of water. You may have to treat for several days to get on top of it.

Ron

Monday 28th of June 2021

Hi Angela, Can you quickly explain how to save Armenian Cucumber Seeds for next season? Are they supposed to stay on the vine until they grow really big?

Angela Judd

Monday 28th of June 2021

Yes, leave them on the vine until over-ripe. Don't save if you are growing other melons in your garden. Here is a blog post with more info: https://growinginthegarden.com/how-to-save-seeds/

Kelly

Monday 31st of May 2021

These do well in the summer in Georgia - both in ground in containers. You definitely need a trellis, fence or something for them to grow onto. You can start the seedlings outside around Memorial Day or earlier inside. They grow well all through the summer and into the early fall. So Yummy!!

Angela Judd

Tuesday 1st of June 2021

Great to know, thanks for sharing.

casey

Saturday 22nd of August 2020

My Armenian Cucumbers were doing well the first month but now the cucumbers are super seedy and mushy no matter the size small or large.. They are also groing fatter instead of longer, what is happening? We have had a heat wave from 85 to 100 the last few weeks so wondering if that is doing something. I water once to two times a day because it dries out. It's planted in a pot and trellised on my back fence. What could be the issue?

Angela Judd

Sunday 23rd of August 2020

How large is the pot? The larger the pot the more soil, water and nutrients are available to the plant.

Laura Miller

Wednesday 5th of August 2020

Can you share your Armenian cucumber pickle recipe ?

Angela Judd

Wednesday 5th of August 2020

Sure. Here's the one I used: https://whatscookingamerica.net/KarenCalanchini/Pickled-Armenian-Cucumbers.htm