Armenian cucumber is a long, slender, and pale green fruit with a crispy, mildly sweet taste. It has the appearance of cucumber on the inside and also tastes like one.
Still, scientifically, it’s a variety of muskmelon (C. Melo) related to the typical cucumber (C. Sativus). The plant has multiple names, such as snake cucumber, yard-long cucumber, and snake melon.
Gardeners find the plant easy to grow because of its heat tolerance during summer. Apart from the classical pale green color they come with, there are also other varieties with different stripped skin colors or deep green.
Armenian cucumber grows 76-91 cm long; they can grow longer in warmer climates. You have the option of planting them on the ground or a trellis, tunnels, and twines.
Their fruits are fuzzy when young, but you get rid of this by washing them. They have super thin skins that need no peeling before eating.
Growing Armenian Cucumbers in your Garden
Depending on your preference, you can set off the Armenian cucumbers indoors or directly seed them in a garden. The best planting time is a month to the last spring frost.
If you are planting them indoors, use trays or cell packs with enough lighting around. You also want to use a heat mat to speed up the germination because of their heat-loving nature.
Before transplanting, harden the seeds off ideally a week after the last frost. Spacing requirements for your Armenian cucumber generally depend on where you choose to plant them.
If planting them on a trellis, you can space them at 6 inches apart and gradually thin them to 12 -18 inches apart. If using long pot beds, you can plant four Armenian cucumbers per section.
Growing them on a normal seedbed will require that you first do a spacing of 18 inches before thinning them to 36 inches apart.
Armenian cucumber is a heat-loving plant, which means your garden’s soil and temperature conditions should be conducive to its growth.
For about two weeks, pre-warm the soil to at least 18 degrees celsius by covering it with a black plastic overtop. Ensure your garden has enough sunlight exposure.
Incorporate compost manure in your garden by digging it in a couple of inches before sowing your Armenian cucumber. Growing your cucumbers vertically comes with a wide range of advantages instead of growing them on the ground.
First, you will maximize your growing space since Armenian cucumbers planted on the ground take up more space. Supporting the plants means moving them away from the ground, which helps to save more ground space.
Apart from spacing, vertical growing helps control pests and diseases and makes harvesting your fruits easy.
How To Choose Good Companion Plants For Armenian Cucumbers?
Companion plants should be chosen based on their capacity to enrich and protect the principal crops.
These plants bring a range of benefits, such as pest protection, improving soil nutrients, attracting beneficial insects, and providing support.
What you want to ensure when choosing the companion plants is that they are not competing. You can choose plants that have different growth habits and nutrient requirements.
The Armenian cucumbers are no exception to this rule.
We have a list of best companions for Armenian cucumber plants in your garden we believe you will find helpful.
Also Read: Why Cucumber Leaves Turn Yellow?
Companion Plants for Armenian Cucumber
Each plant mentioned below provides varied benefits to your Armenian Cucumbers. Let’s get started.
Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus)
The sweet pea is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae. It’s a native of Sicily, in Southern Italy.
The sweet pea is a climbing plant that grows to a height of 1-2 meters if well supported. It loves a wide range of growing environments, including the woodlands, cutting and border gardens, twining in a trellis or an arc.
Sweet pea has pinnate leaves that contain two leaflets and a terminal tendril. Their flowers have multiple colors that range from pearly white, ritzy magentas, and inky purples.
One great advantage of having sweet pea as a companion to Armenian cucumber is that it’s a legume and therefore enriches its companion plants with the essential Nitrogen.
The other companion plant suitable to the Armenian cucumber is the sunflower. It’s an annual flowering plant in the daisy family Asteraceae that grows up to 450 cm in height.
It comes with rough and hairy stems and a deep taproot system. The Helianthus species is native to North and Central America.
Sunflower thrives in regions that are warm and temperate; it also loves humid conditions. They grow well in gardens, and their peak growing season is mid-summer.
Naturally, you will find them in woodlands, bordering creeks, and moist prairie-looking areas. Sunflower serves best as a companion plant to Armenian cucumber owing to its ability to form a trellis.
With them, you won’t need to create trellises for your cucumber. What you want to do is plant the sunflower a week before your cucumbers.
Ideally, plant the sunflower using seedlings and not seeds when using them as companions. It’s a fast-growing plant and will mature earlier than your cucumbers to provide them with the support they need.
Radish (Raphanus sativus)
Radish is an edible root vegetable found in the family Brassicaceae. Gardeners love it because of the pungent flavor that makes it an excellent addition to vegetable salads.
It’s an annual, relatively densely hairy plant that grows from 20 -100 centimeters tall. Their leaves grow in an alternate pattern and are glabrous.
The lower leaves show up in a radical rosette while the higher leaves are pretty small, subdentate, and shortly petioled. They have white flesh, but their roots range from purple, yellow, red, and green to black.
They are good with cucumber plants since they help repel insects such as beetles and rust flies. Plant the radishes among your Armenian cucumbers and give them the freedom to grow without limits.
They are fast-growing plants that mature early and create room for other vegetables to grow in your garden. Other root vegetables that thrive well as companion plants to Armenian cucumber are the Turnips, Parsnips, and Carrots.
They make good use of the space left available by the Armenian cucumber deep tap root system.
Corn (Zea mays)
A native to Southern Mexico, corn is a staple food in several countries of the world. It has leafy stalks that produce pollen inflorescences and the ears that yield the seeds, ultimately becoming the fruits.
The plant averages 6 -8 feet tall. You can also plant the shorter varieties that are well suited for gardens. Sow the seeds directly in the garden after the frost period.
They do well when you plant them in blocks rather than rows. Close planting is necessary because the male tassels produce pollen that comes into contact with the female silks.
Both plants are beneficial to each other. Corn stalks support the cucumber plants, while cucumbers act as live mulch preventing moisture loss from the soil.
Other Plant Species To Consider
There are also several other plants such as onions and garlic that you can use as companions to Armenian cucumbers, majorly to repel insects. Some other candidates for your consideration are given below.
Marigold is both an annual and a perennial flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. Typical scented leaves mostly characterize them, and gardeners grow them as ornamentals.
Their leaves grow opposite each other along finely cut stems with solitary or clustered flowers in a range of colors, including red, yellow, and orange. Marigolds grow throughout the summer.
Their ability to repel a wide range of insects, including aphids on the leaves, makes them a good companion for Armenian cucumbers.
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
Nasturtium is also both an annual and a perennial herbaceous flowering plant. It’s a warm-season crop with brightly colored flowers of yellow, red, cream, and orange.
Their leaves appear circular with brightly colored veins that begin from the central petiole. The leaves can grow as large as 4 inches in some varieties.
Plant them in a sunny garden with well-draining soil. Sow the seeds directly in soil at a half inches deep.
They will bloom until the frost period. Nasturtium attracts aphids, acting as natural bait. Plant them at a short distance from your Armenian cucumbers to keep the insects away from your main crop.