Cucumis anguria, commonly known as maroon cucumber, West Indian gherkin, maxixe, burr gherkin, cackrey, and West Indian gourd, is a vine that is indigenous to Africa. This annual climbing or spreading vine is a common vegetable grown for its crisp, green fruit, which are used in pickling, as cooked vegetables or eaten raw. The flavor is similar to that of the common cucumber. They may be eaten whole with the skin on when they are young, and can be sliced thin and used in salads like cucumbers. They can also be used in casseroles and stews, and can be stir-fried with tomatoes, onion and garlic to make a ratatouille-like dish.
Growing West Indian Gherkin
- Cucumbers need very warm soil to germinate. Optimal soil temperature for germination (and transplanting): 15-30°C
- Direct Sow Cucumber seeds 2cm deep in each spot you want a plant to grow.
- Space plants 23cm apart in rows 90cm apart.
- Or start transplants indoors in individual peat or coir pots 3-4 weeks before transplanting out into warm soil. If starting indoors, use bottom heat.
- Transplant when the plants develop their third true leaf. If the plants are too big, they may experience transplant shock.
- Choose a warm, well-drained soil. Raised beds work well. Add dolomite lime and compost or well-rotted manure to the bed and ½-1 cup of complete organic fertilizer mixed into the soil beneath each transplant.
- Cucumbers are vigorous and need lots of nutrition and water. Try to water the soil only, keeping the leaves as dry as possible.
- Almost all cucumbers benefit from being trained onto a trellis of some kind.
Information is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment offered by healthcare professionals.