lemon cucumbers?

dinajean(upstate SC -Zone 7b)August 19, 2007

Someone gave me some lemon cucumbers from their garden. They had the seed in their freezer for a while and grew them this year. I would like to grow them next year. How do I get seed? Do I just scoop out the seeds in the middle and dry? Please dont laugh if its a silly question, I have never grown veggies from seed and want to try. Thanks for ANY suggestions!!!

Dina :)

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You have to let the cucumber get ripe first (long past the eating stage) - it will get large with tough skin, very yellow. Then yes, you just scoop out the seeds, dry them and save them for next year.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 1:14PM
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Dina, lemon cucumber seeds are quite commonly available thru the catalog companies.

You can ask your gardener friend to allow some of the cukes to reach that ripe stage Oldroser is talking about. With the lemon cukes, it is the stage when they really, really look like lemons.

Something to remember, when they appear to be some strange light-green fruit - that's when they are crisp and delish. When they appear to be actual lemons - they are good for seed and nothing else.

digital Steve

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 2:54PM
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dinajean(upstate SC -Zone 7b)

I will ask him to let one grow to the lemon stage today - I would like to just for the heck of it try to start seed that way before I buy - I am a bit frugal anyway. I ate one today for lunch and now I am totally convinced they are going in my garden next year regarless of how I get the seed. WOW....YUMMMMMMMMM
Will one be enough or should I ask him for more than that?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 8:23PM
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Photo below of lemon cukes I grew this year in a 15 gallon easi-life grow bag. They were wimpy in the starting trays and for a few weeks after setting out (lagged way behind the squash). Then, all of a sudden, zoom. Fun to grow because they are climbers. They grab ahold of anything so if you let them sprawl and then decide to train them, you will be pulling them off nearby plants and themselves.

Note the white powder on the lower right leaves in the photo. Watch out for that. Three weeks after this picture was taken, the three plants in this bag and all my squash were dead. Powdery mildew I suspect. The cukes started in mid June so I still had a good crop.

A week ago powdery mildew appeared on some tall zinnias I have planted as a border. One application of baking soda took care of it. Pretty sure I could have saved these lemon cukes had I sprayed them when this photo was taken.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 10:40PM
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They are really crisp, with a refreshing, clean flavor. Awfully good to have around.

Cucumbers will cross with other cucumbers, Dina. The lemon cuke fruit is fairly seedy altho' harvesting should always take place well before the seeds interfere with eating. I'd say that most any gardener will have plenty of seeds from one fruit allowed to mature. Let 'em go until the skin gets really tuff and you probably can't allow them TOO long a time on the vine.

Here's what growseed.org has to say, "Cucumber seeds should be harvested only after allowing the fruit to overripen beyond the eating stage. . . Allow vegetables and fruits that encase seeds within their moist pulp, like squash, cucumbers or melons, to grow large and swollen, and hard enough that the rind will not dent when pressed by your thumbnail. Allowing extra time for the vegetable to mature on the vine and cure after harvest increases seed quality. Scoop out the seeds before the fruit starts to rot."

"Swell and harden in the garden,
let them sit till they are fit,
scoop and rinse,
till fit for a prince!"

Mildew doesn't seem to bother lemon cukes any more than the other cukes in my garden. One can appreciate that Davidinct is a lemon cuke fan despite problems with mildew. This disease will take out my zucchini, sometimes some of the zinnias, and always the delphiniums and cosmos have serious mildew.

About the only problem I've had with the lemon cukes over the 5 or 6 years I've grown them is when they were trampled by dogs. I mean trampled, treaded upon, and pounded asunder. Seems there was a doggy convention involving a visit to the half-grown puppies on the other side of the fence. The cukes never quite recovered.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 12:49AM
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For saving seeds you really should save from more than one fruit. That will protect genetic diversity and make sure you get some true lemon cukes.

Just think if that one cuke you were saving was croseed with a green variety, or was sterile. If you have several seeds from different fruits it will help you avoid these problems.

Always save seed from fruits that are "true to type" that is they look exactly like the variety is supposed to look like. If they are misshapen, or a different color than normal you may be propigating that genenitic flaw if you save seeds from it.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 1:07PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I think the seeds can need a little fermenting, soak the seeds and pulp in a little water until they separate and seeds sink to the bottom. I saved seed last year and ended up with a couple of hybrids but the others came true. One lemon cuke was like a plant on steroids, with a 1" wide vine and blossoms in a cluster with many ripening close together. Fun.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2007 at 2:59AM
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