PNW Landscape Plant Guide

brought to you by the plant geeks at Calendula Farm

Mouse Melon (Melothria glabra)

The most important thing to know about Mouse Melon is that it’s absolutely the cutest food you will ever eat. It looks like a wee watermelon. It almost looks like a prank. Indeed, it is related to melons, as well as cucumbers, squash, and gourds. It is incredibly easy to grow and is insanely prolific, producing its miniature gems from late July through early autumn. It also goes by the name Cucumelon and Mexican Sour Gherkin. We first learned of it from a seed company that called it Mouse Melon and we’re sticking with that name cuz it’s as cute as the plant itself. Photo #2 is Watermelon next to a Mouse Melon.

Mouse Melon grows very much like cucumber but with more delicate vines and smaller leaves. Also, it wants to climb up on things, so give it something vertical like a lattice panel, trellis, or wire grid panel. Mouse Melons take a few weeks to build up a head of steam but by late summer they go bonkers. You can harvest them every two days till a hard frost hits them. They’re best when they are about an inch long. We like them fresh at this stage. If you let them age, they are great for pickling or stir frying.

They have a tight, snappy skin which gives them a somewhat crunchy texture and a cucumber-like juicy pulp inside. They look like a watermelon but taste exactly like a cucumber with just a hint of refreshing sourness. They’re amazing in a salad. We lacto-ferment & enjoy them all year.