Sikkim cucumbers resemble their cousins, the cantaloupes. They have a webbed skin similar to cantaloupe that is an orange-red color, a tad darker than cantaloupe. It doesn't taste anything like cantaloupe however, it tastes like a cucumber but slightly sweeter. The foliage is about twice the size of normal cucumbers, as are the flowers.
This ancient hybrid produces large fruits that can be eaten both fresh, in salads or solo. It is believed to have originated in the Indian Sikkim region, and is popular in the Himalayas and Nepal.
Tips on Growing Sikkim Cucumbers
Like standard cucumbers, Sikkims are a vining plant and trellising or some sort of support is advisable, if growing on the ground use straw or wood chips.
They bloom in late spring and mature in 60 - 65 days.
Sikkim cucumbers are heavy feeders and thrive in rich soil full of organic matter. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers which which encourage lush foliage at the expense of the fruit.
They also require plenty of moisture. Mulching, whether trellised or not, is advisable to retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.
Harvest should commence once they are about 4-8 inches long and should continue till the onset of winter. If allowed to remain on the vine too long, they tend to become woody and unpalatable.
The cucumbers will sometimes remain hidden in the lush foliage despite the color difference, so look closely.