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The inadvertent cucumber

Not long after we planted the two cantaloupe plants and two squash plants that we picked up to fill in the space left empty by Operation Transplant, I squatted down next to one of the cantaloupes.

“Steve, do you think this might be a cucumber?” I asked.

I held one of the young leaves in my hand and looked over at the Marketmore cucumber plant. The leaf shape was awfully similar, and the blossoms that already were appearing on this new plant had that same point to the yellow flowers.

Steve looked at them both. “No,” he said. “They were marked ‘cantaloupe,’ right?”

“Yeah,” I said. “But look at this. The leaves. The flowers. And aren’t cucumbers and cantaloupe in the same plant family? Couldn’t the garden center have gotten mixed up?”

Steve shrugged, and I forgot about it.

Until Saturday.

On Saturday, as I was weeding, I lifted up the vines of the plant to grab at some weeds growing up underneath it. And what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a little baby cucumber and eight more just like it.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you…the Inadvertent Cucumber.

Inadvertent cucumber

8 Comments on “The inadvertent cucumber”

  1. #1 steven
    on Jul 26th, 2006 at 7:32 am

    You get a wee bit more control when you start your own seeds, but even then you get freaks, throwbacks and crosses. Gardening is edumactional!

  2. #2 kalyn
    on Jul 26th, 2006 at 8:42 am

    You’re such a good writer! Maybe it’s a good thing. In my experience, cantelope is ridiculously hard to grow, and at the end of the summer you might have one or two ripe ones. Cucumbers from the garden, however, are a thing of joy.

  3. #3 Lydia
    on Jul 26th, 2006 at 6:00 pm

    Just found your blog via Kalyn’s Kitchen. I love it! I’m a new gardener with a large second-year herb garden, and between the deer, and the beetles, and the travelers from my neighbor’s garden, it’s always an adventure. Thanks.

  4. #4 Carol
    on Jul 26th, 2006 at 7:43 pm

    I just ate a cucumber from my garden. You have something delicious to look forward to!

  5. #5 inadvertentgardener
    on Jul 27th, 2006 at 6:27 pm

    Steven, it absolutely is…no question about it! Fascinating…

    Kalyn, thank you for the compliment — you’re so sweet! I agree with you on the cucumber bit…they’re so delicious.

    Lydia, welcome to the garden! It definitely is always an adventure.

    Carol, I had one of my cucumbers as a snack while preparing dinner last night. I think there might even be another one ready tonight, if I’m lucky. Just got home and haven’t been outside yet.

  6. #6 GW
    on Jun 20th, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    A couple of years ago, my friend mailed me several veggie plants, including one he labeled “lemon cucumber”. I was especially excited about that one since I love cukes. As they grew, they began to resemble little watermelons. I wrote my friend and attached photos of the little guys. Sure enough, they weren’t cukes; they were pocket melons! We still laugh about those things. They weren’t really anything to crow about, though our dog thought them delish.

    I found your blog while looking up info on some pepper plants I bought today. Your writing is great, and I’m a sucker for a good gardening blog.

  7. #7 inadvertentgardener
    on Jun 26th, 2007 at 7:01 pm

    GW, that’s so funny! I’ve seen the lemon cukes — they’re adorable in their own right. Glad your dog got a treat out of the little melons, though. Thanks for visiting, and I hope you’ll stick around!

  8. #8 Amber Welsher
    on Jul 17th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    This has just happened to me! I was wondering why my cantelope looks like cucumbers! Well I first thought it was my space saving watermelon and the plant is much smaller than all of my other cucumbers. This is so confusing..

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