Exploring the Unique Taste and Features of Mexican Sour Gherkin: A Tiny Delicacy


Mexican Sour Gherkin, also known as cucamelons or mouse melons, is a unique variety of cucumber originating from Mexico. It is a small and early-maturing fruit that looks like a miniature watermelon. The plants are frost-sensitive and should be grown only after the frost has passed. The cucamelon vines are thin and delicate, similar to those of herbs, and can best be grown with the help of irrigation to ensure a plentiful harvest.

This hybrid crop is ready for transplanting outdoors after the last frost date in your area. You can also start the seeds indoors and transplant the young cucamelon plants outside when the average temperatures reach around 60°F (15°C). This will give them a head start in their growth and development, as well as protect them from late frosts or cold weather. It takes about 55-70 days from planting to the first harvest.

What makes Mexican Sour Gherkin unique is its sour taste, similar to a cucumber but with a tangy twist. The small size of the fruit, about the size of a grape or cherry tomato, makes them perfect for snacking, pickling, or adding to salads. The cucamelon plants are disease-resistant, and they do not require any additional treatment or testing. They grow best in well-drained soil and can be planted in rows or directly seeded.

In Latin America, Mexican Sour Gherkins are referred to as “sour gherkins” due to their tangy taste, while in North America they are commonly known as “cucamelons”. They are also sometimes referred to as “mouse melons” because of their small size. The improved and disease-resistant variety has become popular in the South as well as in Mexico, where it has been successfully grown for generations.

If you are interested in growing your own Mexican Sour Gherkins, you can find the seeds from various online sources. The seeds are generally low-cost and can be easily purchased. To achieve the best results, it is recommended to plant them in plastic or covered rows to retain moisture and protect the plants from weeds. The plants grow relatively quickly and tend to produce abundant fruits throughout the growing season.

Now that you have the basic information about Mexican Sour Gherkins, it’s time to give this unique cucumber variety a try. Whether you want to snack on them raw, pickle them, or add them to salads, these little cucamelons are sure to add a sour and refreshing twist to any dish.

Mexican Sour Gherkin Specialty Cucumber

The Mexican Sour Gherkin, also known as Cucamelons or Mouse Melons, is a specialty cucumber variety that originates from Mexico and Central America. These small cucumbers are about the size of a grape and look like miniature watermelons. They have a unique sour taste, which makes them a popular addition to salads or pickled for snacking.

Unlike traditional cucumbers, Mexican Sour Gherkins are best grown from direct-seeded plants.

When growing this crop, it is important to know that Mexican Sour Gherkins prefer warm weather and cannot tolerate frost. Therefore, they should be started indoors in pots about a week before transplanting outdoors. Alternatively, they can be grown indoors throughout the year.

These cucumbers can be grown in containers or directly in the ground. They prefer well-drained soil and should not be waterlogged. Improving drainage by adding organic matter to the soil is recommended.

Mexican Sour Gherkins are fast-growing, usually taking around 60 to 70 days until they are ready to be harvested. The plants are vining and can reach a height of 6 feet. They can be trellised or grown along the ground.

It is important to note that Mexican Sour Gherkins are a gynoecious crop, which means they have separate male and female flowers. To ensure a good fruit set, it is recommended to plant a few different varieties or hybrid lines together.

When growing Mexican Sour Gherkins, watch out for cucumber mosaic virus, which can affect the plants. Providing them with proper air circulation and avoiding water splashing on the leaves can help prevent the spread of the disease.

These cucumbers can also be grown in floating systems or through drip irrigation. Floating systems, where plants grow on rafts placed on water, are popular for commercial production. Drip irrigation can provide plants with a steady water supply and prevent overwatering.

Mexican Sour Gherkins are a relatively low-maintenance crop. They have good disease resistance and do not require much additional care. However, they should be regularly checked for pests and diseases.

In addition to their unique taste, another advantage of Mexican Sour Gherkins is their ability to produce high yields. These cucumbers can produce an average of 70 to 100 fruits per plant. They are also known for their early and late-season production, which allows for extended harvesting periods.

If you are looking for something different to add to your garden, the Mexican Sour Gherkin is definitely worth considering. Its sour taste, combined with its distinctive appearance, makes it a fun and flavorful addition to any garden or salad.

For more information on how to grow Mexican Sour Gherkins or to purchase seeds, visit our website.

Additional Information

When growing Mexican Sour Gherkin, it is important to provide proper irrigation to avoid waterlogged soil. These small fruits, also known as cucamelons or watermelon gherkins, thrive in moist but well-drained soil. Regular watering, especially during dry spells, will help ensure their proper growth and development.

Mexican Sour Gherkin plants are frost-sensitive and should not be planted until all danger of frost has passed. It is recommended to wait at least a week after the last frost date before planting these gherkins outdoors.

The status of Mexican Sour Gherkin plants is similar to that of herbs or cucumbers. The gynoecious variety, in particular, is known for abundant fruit production. The Latin name for Mexican Sour Gherkin is Melothria scabra.

To improve the germination rate of Mexican Sour Gherkin seeds, it is recommended to soak them in water for 24 hours before planting. This process helps soften the seed coat and promote quicker and more successful germination.

It is also worth mentioning that Mexican Sour Gherkin plants are relatively disease-resistant, making them a good choice for home gardeners in areas prone to plant viruses. They are resistant to cucumber mosaic virus and can tolerate other diseases that commonly affect specialty cucumber crops.

For optimal growing conditions, Mexican Sour Gherkin seeds should be planted in full sun and within lines that are at least 2 feet apart. They can be direct-seeded or started indoors and transplanted once the threat of frost has passed.

Adding a layer of mulch around the plants can help retain soil moisture and suppress weed growth. Additionally, plastic mulch can be used to speed up the maturity of the gherkins by capturing heat and providing a warmer environment for the roots.

Mexican Sour Gherkins are often referred to as “cucamelons” due to their resemblance to miniature watermelons. However, they are more closely related to cucumbers than watermelons. The fruits have a sour taste and can be eaten fresh or pickled.

When it comes to gherkin seeds, it is important to buy them from reliable sources. Hybrid varieties, such as the gynoecious hybrid, offer improved traits and higher yields. Buying named varieties from reputable seed companies also ensures the quality and authenticity of the seeds.

To ensure a successful harvest, it is recommended to plant Mexican Sour Gherkin seeds about 1 inch deep and 3 feet apart in rows. Adequate spacing allows the plants to grow and spread, while also making it easier to harvest the abundant gherkins.

There is no guarantee for floating seeds in a packet of Mexican Sour Gherkin seeds. However, the majority of seeds should be viable. If in doubt, it is advisable to perform a germination test before planting to ensure a good crop.


Cucumbers are a popular crop, especially in many Latin American countries, where they are often referred to as “pepino melon” or “pepino dulce.” They are quick-growing plants that belong to the gourd family. Cucumbers are ready to be harvested within 50-70 days after planting and are commonly used in salads. They make a refreshing addition to summer meals and are often enjoyed sliced and eaten raw.

Cucumbers are typically direct-seeded into the ground, although they can also be started indoors and transplanted. They require full sun to grow well and prefer long, warm summers. Cucumbers grow best in well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. It’s important not to overwater them, as they can become waterlogged and susceptible to various diseases, including cucumber mosaic virus.

There are different types of cucumbers, including slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, and specialty cucumbers. Slicing cucumbers are the most common type and are generally eaten fresh. Pickling cucumbers, also known as gherkins, are smaller in size and have a unique tangy flavor. Specialty cucumbers, such as the Mexican Sour Gherkin, also known as cucamelons, are a hybrid variety that look like miniature watermelons. They have a refreshing taste and can be eaten raw or used in various dishes.

When planting cucumbers, it’s important to wait until after the last frost in your area. Cucumbers are warm-season plants and cannot tolerate cold temperatures. They should be planted in hills or rows, with about 3-4 seeds per hill or foot. A floating row cover can be used to protect the seedlings from pests and ensure optimal growing conditions.

Cucumbers benefit from the use of mulch, especially in hotter climates, as it helps regulate soil temperature and conserve moisture. Plastic mulch can be used to warm up the soil in early spring and promote faster growth. Regular watering is essential for cucumbers, especially during dry spells. It’s best to water them at the base of the plant to avoid getting the leaves wet, which can lead to the spread of diseases.

In summary, cucumbers are a versatile and easy-to-grow vegetable that adds flavor and crunch to various dishes. Whether you prefer slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, or specialty varieties like Mexican Sour Gherkins, there is a cucumber for every taste. By following the proper planting and care instructions, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of cucumbers all summer long.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.