Cucumis sativus ‘Lemon’ Lemon Cucumber

by Lori Lapierre, Demand Media

Lemon cucumbers are aptly named; while actually being a vining cucumber plant, the growing fruit resembles a lemon, desired for salads and pickling. Gardeners will find that this variety is as easy to grow as the better-known varieties. With plenty of sun, water and warm temperatures — above 60 and below 90 degrees Fahrenheit — plants should thrive without too many demands.


You can start lemon cucumber seedlings inside 2 to 4 weeks before the last frost, or start them directly in the soil once the threat of frost passes. Winter sowing — the process of starting seeds outdoors during the colder months in milk jugs, which act like mini-greenhouses — is another way to start seedlings for gardeners limited on inside space, or those who want larger plants to transplant. Use good quality soil for seed starts, or soil mixed with compost if you will plant the seeds directly into the ground. Place seed trays or milk jugs in a sunny spot for germination; seeds directly planted should be in full sun, as well. Wet the soil prior to planting; it should be saturated but not swimming in water. Gently push seeds into the soil and cover with a small amount of dirt.


Lemon cucumbers need well-drained soil to avoid rotting of either the germinating seed or the roots, once the plants begin to develop. Keeping the soil moist during germination is important; however, once seedlings appear, continue to water frequently to help fruit set. Once fruit appears, giving the plants a gallon of water a week will increase fruit production and size. Water slowly to make sure the plants do not sit in puddled water, and water the soil around the plant rather than the plant itself.


Add compost along with phosphorus — which you can purchase at a garden supply center — to the soil prior to planting lemon cucumbers outside. Or mix in a commercial 5-10-10 fertilizer (5 percent nitrogen, 10 percent potassium and 10 percent phosphorus), following the manufacturer’s directions to prepare the soil. Apply a fertilizer that is higher in nitrogen a week after blossoms appear, and within 3 to 4 weeks later. Fertilize the soil on the side of the plants, and not the plants directly, to avoid “burning” from the nitrogen. Over-fertilizing will cause the vines to grow rapidly, expending energy on plant growth instead of producing fruit.


Growing lemon cucumbers vertically saves space; trellises that can support the weight can also increase the fruit yield of each plant. Place trellises around the plants at the time of planting to avoid damaging the growing plants later; they should be 6 feet high to provide adequate support. The cucumber plants will need to be “trained” to move up the trellis, as they would rather spread out over the ground. If necessary, secure the vines gently with nylon hose or garden clips to encourage the plants to move upward.


One thought on “Cucumis sativus ‘Lemon’ Lemon Cucumber

  1. Pingback: How to Plant a Vegetable Garden in Four Easy Steps | Recipes for a Healthy You

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s