What is a lemon cucumber? Although this round, yellow veggie is often grown as a novelty, it is appreciated for its mild, sweet flavor and cool, crispy texture. (By the way, lemon cucumbers don’t taste like citrus!) As an added benefit, lemon cucumber plants continue to produce later in the season than most other varieties. Read on to learn how to grow a lemon cucumber in your garden.
How to Grow a Lemon Cucumber
So you want to know more about lemon cucumber planting. Well to start with, growing lemon cucumbers isn’t difficult. However, lemon cucumber plants require full sunlight and rich well-drained soil – much like any other cucumber variety. A scoop of compost or well-rotted manure gets lemon cucumber plantings off to a good start.
Plant lemon cucumber seeds in rows or hills after the soil has warmed to 55 F. (12 C.), usually mid- to late-May in most climates. Allow 36 to 60 inches (91-152 cm.) between each plant; lemon cucumbers may be the size of tennis balls, but they still need plenty of room to spread out.
How to Care for Growing Lemon Cucumbers
Water lemon cucumber plants regularly and keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy; about an inch (2.5 cm.) per week is enough in most climates. Water at the base of the plant to keep the foliage dry, as wet leaves are more susceptible to powdery mildew and other diseases. A drip irrigation system or soaker hose is the most effective way to water lemon cucumber plants.
Lemon cucumber plants benefit from a thin layer of mulch to keep the soil cool, but don’t mulch until the soil has warmed. Limit mulch to 3 inches (7.5 cm.), especially if slugs are a problem.
Fertilize lemon cucumber plants every two weeks using a general-purpose liquid fertilizer. Alternatively, use a dry fertilizer according to label directions.
Watch for pests, such as aphids and spider mites, which are usually easily controlled with an insecticidal soap spray. Hand pick any squash beetles that might crop up. Avoid pesticides, which kill beneficial insects that work hard to keep pests in check.