Lemon Cucumber Origin
While there’s a debate about where lemon cukes actually originated, many sources think they came from India. Others suggest that they were introduced in the Middle-East during the 1500s and arrived in the United States and the late 19th or early 20th century.
Lemon Cucumber Differences
Spherical, lemon- and white-striped fruit isn’t the only thing separating lemon cucumbers from their more conventional relatives. Other major differences include:
- Cool weather tolerance. Most cukes seeds won’t germinate with a soil temperature less than 65°F (18.3°C). Lemon cukes seeds germinate at 55°F (12.8° C). In most parts of the U.S., they can be planted between mid- and late May.
- Low cucurbitacin content. This makes the plants much less likely to attract cucumber beetles or produce bitter fruit.
- Especially long vines. As vigorous growers, lemon cucumbers need the support of tall trellises. Install them at planting to avoid harming the cukes’ root systems.
Growing Lemon Cucumbers
Their differences aside, lemon cucumbers require the same growing conditions as other
Organically Rich Soil
One month before planting your seeds, loosen the planting bed remove the weeds and debris and work a 2-inch layer of organic compost into the soil. When the vines start flowering, feed each one was 1 to 2 tablespoons of organic, slow-release balanced granular fertilizer.
Sun and Shade
Lemon cukes need at least six hours of daily sun. Where the temperature regularly exceeds 85°F (29.4°C), however, afternoon shade is a must. Protect them with garden-store shade cloth if necessary.
Plenty of Water
Lemon cucumbers need 1 inch of water per week, or 2 inches when rainfall is absent. Provide slow, deep watering with a soaker hose or drip system two or three times per week. One inch of water equals 1 gallon per square foot of soil.
Powdery Mildew Protection
Powdery mildew covers lemon cucumber vines with powdery white spores during warm, damp weather. To prevent an attack, spray your cucumbers with 1 tablespoon (14.8 ml) of baking soda and ½ teaspoon (2.47 ml) of liquid soap in 1 gallon (3.78 liters) of water. Apply it twice weekly when the temperature is between 60 and 81° F (20 and 27.2° C).