How to Grow Gherkins

1975 was the first time I ever tasted a gherkin.
Sure, Mandolin knew what they were; but for me these tiny pickles were just the neatest thing I ever saw.

I was young, mind you, and have since seen many more neat things.

This also was the summer Mandolin and I started dating again, which eventually led to our wedding.
Years before that we were a bit of an on-and-off summer romance, mostly as gawky and awkward preteens.
Now at 19 and 20, things were serious.

Gherkins in their natural habitat.

Gherkins in their natural habitat.

Those memories came back when I first came across a seed packet from Seed Savers Exchange for West India Gherkin.
Cool… you can grow that?

So without any hesitation the seeds were in the online cart and headed our way.

Ready to pickle.

Ready to pickle.

They are bizarre looking fruits, and were not very prolific for us. These are in fact the first we have harvested.

The spines are a little too much to eat, but easily brushed off with a knife.

The flavor is the thing.
Its something of a step up from your typical cucumber, less resemblance to a melon I’d say.
Still sweet though, light and crispy.

The skins are thin, as you can see in the picture.
We’re going to hold these in the fridge in vinegar, until we have enough to pickle.

Can you recreate a 38 year old memory?
Yeah…

you can grow that

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Botanical name: Cucumis anguria
Common name: West India Gherkin, Burr Gherkin
Yield: Each seed will grow one plant, with multiple fruit. Not known to be very prolific.
Plant Height: Vining type, with vines easily growing 4 ft. and more.
Days to Maturity: 2 months after sprouting, ours took 3 months.
Storage: Eat fresh, dry or pickle.

September 3, 2013  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Posted in: Cucumbers & Gherkins, How to Grow

7 Responses

  1. Ann Rein - September 3, 2013

    You’ve convinced me – I’m going to try them next year :)

  2. gj - September 3, 2013

    We will be interested to see what you think of them, good luck!

  3. Jean Starr - September 4, 2013

    They look tempting. Do they need a very hot summer to get going?

  4. gj - September 4, 2013

    They don’t need it, but I’m sure would benefit from it Jean. We are Zone 5/6 and only had a few weeks of ‘hot weather, for us, that’s in the 90′sF. That is when they took off though, and have been growing well ever since, in spite of the cooler weather.
    They can take drought conditions as well. Our as in a planter, and they seem to like it there.

  5. Adriana - May 23, 2015

    Hi I read your article about this vegetable gherkins and I am so happy that you add pics, I am from Brazil and for many years I’ve looking for this that we call maxixe and cooking in several recipes. I needto know if you can send me some and in exchange I will send some recipes that I already traslate, also I need to know how did you planted the seeds. Thanks

  6. gj - May 23, 2015

    Hi Adriana,

    I’m sorry but this post was from 2 years ago, and I no longer have seeds. I am sure you can buy them online. Good luck!

  7. Adriana - May 23, 2015

    Do you remember how did you plant them, I have somefriends that come to USA and I will ask them for seeds, in Brazil they grow wild, and nobody knows how to plant, I search in google but I didn’t found the steps how to plant the seeds.Thanks.

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