Melotria is a plant popular in Africa and Central America. It looks like a miniature-sized cucumber. This culture is interesting to many gardeners who love to grow exotic plants. Description of fills, its characteristics, especially the cultivation will be presented in this article.
Mini cucumber melotriya
The first harvest fines
Melotria has many names, common in circles of scientists and farmers, among the most popular names you can find: mouse melon, hummingbird melodies, mini cucumber melodia, mini watermelon, African cucumber, Mexican sour cucumber, sour gherkin. And yet the most common name of the culture is the melodria rough.
The plant belongs to the pumpkin family. Stems are lian-like, about 3 meters long, but very thin, although strong. Three-lobed leaflets with sharp tips, covered with fine fuzz. Flowers can be female or male, only yellow, not very large, shaped like cucumber. To distinguish the type of flower is simple - women grow single, and men gather into inflorescences of 2 things.Interesting! Melotra rough is not only tasty, but also a useful product. It has a tonic, anti-inflammatory and tonic effect on the body.
The fruits of roughwater are very interesting. The color of the skin like that of watermelon is light green with dark green stripes. The surface is rough, but does not have a spike like cucumbers. The flesh is cucumber to taste, very juicy with visible seeds in the cut. The peel is always acidic, it is used as food.
Mini-cucumber melotriya is also known for its healthy root crops. If you compare the taste, they resemble daikon (Chinese radish) and even have a similar shape, but not so large. The roots are light brown, if cleaned, rough, with a rough skin. The form is rounded at the base, oblong after full maturation.
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Melodia rough is grown by gardeners to get nutritious fruits, root crops. Sometimes it is planted simply as an ornamental culture, as it grows, it can beautifully braid a hedge, an arbor or any other vertical support.
Melotria rough has a size of about three centimeters
- Cultivation in open ground, greenhouse or even on the balcony in a large container is possible.
- Culture endures drought, but may suffer from extreme heat.
- Mini-cucumber moth is attractive for bees, bumblebees and butterflies, so there are usually no problems with pollination.
- May be affected by diseases and pests of melons.
- Fruiting stretched, with proper agricultural technology can last until the first autumn frosts.
- High yield. Up to 5 kg of crop can be harvested from a bush!
Where to plant an exotic plant?
Melotria is a rough native of warm countries, and therefore in her genes love of the sun and heat. An ideal place on the site will be the south side, well lit from all sides, where the sun "dwells" most of the day, and not the shadow. Although many gardeners grow it in the penumbra, this option is also good. The soil fits loose, nutritious.
Exotic lovers grow melodria as decorative cultureIt is important! If after landing the return frost has arrived, it is necessary to cover the bed with plastic wrap for the night or agrofibre.
Onions, peas, and a tomato are considered good predecessors. But after the melon crops melotria hummingbirds grow poorly, because they are often sick, and may be affected by pests from an early period of development.
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Harvest cucumbers varieties "Hummingbird's Melohtria"
Hummingbird flesh can be grown through seedlings or seeds, by sowing in open ground. In the case of direct sowing, the fruit will ripen a little longer, but in greenhouses, on the balcony, this method is quite acceptable, and gives good results.
- Seed method
Seed sowing time is in the middle of May. Sow seeds always in shallow grooves. There are always 2 seeds next to each other, because they can grow poorly. The distance between the plants is 20 cm. After sowing, the furrow is covered with soil, a little tamped by hand and watered.Important! Melotriya contains a lot of fiber, as well as vitamins, minerals and other useful substances, therefore, it is recommended for diet and during rehabilitation after illness. But with gastritis to use this product is not worth it!
- Seedling method
For a good seedling, seeds are sown in containers around the beginning of April. Land for seedlings is taken simple for seedlings. From above, the crops only slightly crush the ground in order to sprout faster and cover with film or transparent glass. The container is placed on a warm window sill. After the emergence of seedlings, the glass is cleaned, they begin to water the sprouts regularly and wait for 3 leaves to appear. After the appearance of 3 full leaflets for each seedling, the seedlings are swooped in separate containers and fed to maintain strength.
Transplanted seedlings to a permanent place in an open ground or greenhouse, when warm weather is established - approximately mid-May. At this point, the seedlings should be 5 cm high. Plant sprouts in separate holes, located at a distance of 40 cm from each other.
As the melotria grows, the rough needs some care.
- When the bushes begin to grow, you need to take care of where they will grow - to put a trellis, props, or just initially planted against the wall, on which they can climb up.
- Watering should be frequent, but not abundant. Marshy land is not needed! For irrigation use warm, separated water.
- Weeds should be removed as they appear, and the ground is loosened every 3-7 days, so as not to be taken with a thick crust.
- Top dressings bring in the most active growth period when there is an increase in green weight. Nitrogen fertilizers are used for this. It also does not hurt to feed the culture with potassium and phosphorus during flowering and fruiting.
- If diseases, pests appear, you can use special insecticides and fungicides from them. But if there are no problems, you can simply spray the culture 2-3 times a season with soapy water and, from time to time, draw down well-chopped wood ashes.
Harvesting and processing
Roughness ripen rough pretty quickly. The first fruits can be tasted within 3 weeks after planting. You can collect the fruits when they reach 2-3 cm in length. Small cucumbers can be eaten fresh or used to prepare snacks, first, second courses. In preservation, they are also quite tasty.
Harvesting mini-cucumbers "Melotria"Important! Fruits and roots of flesh roughness cannot be stored for a long time. Therefore, with the processing of the crop is not recommended.
Not only fruits, but also root vegetables are edible. After harvesting the fruit, begin to dig and roots. It tastes like daikon. Root vegetables can be used to make soups, mashed potatoes, various snacks and other dishes.
Mini-cucumber melotriya only a few years ago appeared on the markets of Eastern Europe and in Asia. And although this plant has not yet gained widespread popularity, there are already quite a few adherents from it, we offer feedback on the cultivation and care of fines.
- Yaroslav Nikitin: I began growing melodia about 2 years ago. It has a high yield, fruits have an unusual taste, although they are very similar to cucumbers. We also use root vegetables for food, usually we put it in soups. In cultivation, it is picky. The greatest difficulty is in finding good seeds. "
- Alena Tsvetkova: “Roughness melodia interested me 5 years ago, but then it was difficult to find genuine seeds. After the purchase, it turned out that they were simple cucumbers. But 3 years ago I found seeds on the Internet, bought, planted and grew real melotria. The taste is cucumber, but equal difference is felt, especially since the peel is sour. "
- Albina Belozerova: “A cool plant. I grew it for several years just for decoration, and then tried the roots, my friend advised. They are very tasty! Something in between radishes and sweet potatoes. Now I’m harvesting and processing the whole ripe crop in time - these cucumbers need to be preserved ! ".