Melotria, or the smallest cucumbers
Rough melotria or African cucumber (Melothria scabra) - a very decorative liana: its bright greens and small edible fruits delight the eye until autumn. In addition, due to strong growth, it clogs all kinds of weeds on the site (only it is necessary to put a support).
Melotria seeds are very small, so they are sown in medium loamy soil at a depth of about 1-2 cm, like ordinary cucumbers. They sprout very amicably after 5 days. They grow quickly and soon bloom. The leaves of melotria are rough in shape exactly like those of cucumbers, only almost three times less, but the shoots are much larger. The flowers are small, and the women are located singly in the axils of the leaves, and the men are collected in small panicles of 3-6 pieces. You can artificially pollinate them, but it is better to provide this work to bees.
Some shoots during the growing season reach 6-8 m. Therefore, in order to make it easier to pickle cucumbers, in June they put a metal mesh 1.5-2 m high for plants (other supports can also be built). Then they feed melotria with a solution of urea (20 g / 10 l of water), and later - like ordinary cucumbers. During the growing season, I did not notice any pests or diseases on the plants.
The fruits of melotria are light green, with a marble pattern, tiny (with a large fruit dogwood). They resemble cucumbers to taste, but without a characteristic odor. The hard peel gives them a sour taste of rabbit cabbage. Those fruits that fall off themselves are left on the seeds.
The most delicious cucumbers are young (overripe soften, they form a lot of seeds). Fruited fruits on time will be well stored for 2-3 months. You can eat them fresh, but it is better to salt (frozen ones are not suitable) or pickle.