Skip to content

The Round Cucumber: Discover Its Unique Benefits And Uses

 A round cucumber may not be on your grocery shopping list but consider giving them a try.

If you like them, and I’m confident you will, consider adding them to your garden.

For sheer aesthetics, they are a tremendous addition to any garden. Not only will they provide you with fun growing them, but they will also provide a talking point among your family, friends, and neighbors.

They are not your typical-looking cucumber. Unless you did some research on them, a cucumber would be the last thought on your mind.

I made this mistake as a boy growing up on Mom and Dad’s farm. I wanted to add a melon variety to my garden and noticed Mom grew a short row of what I thought at the time were melons.

When I asked her if I could grow some the next season from seeds she said ‘sure’.

Then I asked if I could pick one of her “melons” and use the seeds from it. She responded with, ‘what melons’?

I replied, ‘the yellow ones in your yard that look like lemons’. She laughed and said, no silly, they’re cucumbers!’ Talk about confusing a kid, I felt almost ashamed.

You see, I wanted to look like I knew a little about gardening, and Mom being the gracious person she is said, ‘don’t worry, we’ve all made that mistake’.”

As you’ve guessed, a round cucumber is different from the long variety in several ways. Shape size and color are three.

They are easy to grow and better still, they will provide you with a bonus to your diet. They are healthy, high in antioxidants, low in calories, and great in many dishes, especially salads and dips.

The round cucumber has even been described as a superfood.

Round Cucumber Varieties

Round Cucumber VarietiesIn this article, we’ll highlight my three favorite round cucumbers. We’ll look at the Lemon, the Mandurian, and the Crystal Apple round cucumber varieties.

There are others but these three are my favorites and after doing a quick survey among a group of people I know, these three came up as the best known round cucumbers all the time.

Others to consider are the Cucamelon and Maroon cucumber. The strangest-looking round cucumber is the Maroon variety. Before we look at the three varieties individually, here are some key takeaways from this article.

Key Takeaways

– Round cucumbers come in different varieties and can be easily grown at home.

– These unique vegetables offer a versatile option for various dishes and have a range of nutritional benefits.

– Incorporating round cucumbers into your garden can spark conversation and add a new twist to your meal preparation.

– They have excellent health benefits and contain essential vitamins and minerals.

– They can also be cooked and we’ll highlight several examples below.

– And they are an essential item to take on a desert trip!

Lemon Cucumber

Lemon CucumberAs the name implies, the Lemon cucumber looks like a lemon. It’s a distinct yellow color and of course round.

It certainly had me fooled as a youngster and recently, I tested some neighbors when I showed them several Lemon cucumbers. Every answer related to it being a melon. That made me feel better. Even after all these years, it still haunts me.

Packed with a refreshing flavor, these cucumbers are perfect for eating fresh or adding to salads. They have smooth skin and are easy to grow in your garden. Remember to provide them with plenty of sunlight and well-draining soil for optimal growth.

Mandurian Round Cucumber

Mandurian Round CucumberTechnically, the Mandurian is not really a cucumber but a melon. But it tastes every bit like a cucumber and I wanted to give it a mention.

One thing is for sure, they are great for your garden. The skin provides a glistening focus in the garden and for some reason, they just seem to stand out. As the name suggests, they have a beautiful maroon color.

The crispy texture provides a somewhat attractive sensation when eating and they make great snacking alternatives in between meals. Not to mention they add an extra dimension to various dishes. They thrive in soil that drains extra well and appreciate plenty of sunlight.

Crystal Apple Cucumber

Crystal Apple CucumberThe Crystal Apple Cucumber is one I’m very familiar with. It was a staple growing up in Australia. We grew both the Lemon and Apple Crystals although the Lemon is not native to Australia.

We lived in an area with plenty of sunshine but with only an average rainfall of 6-8 inches a year.

Lemon Cucumbers were easy to grow. Apple Crystal Cucumbers were even easier to grow.

The Apple Crystal will eventually turn to a pale yellow color. Their skin is tender and they taste pretty sweet. If you are looking for a nutritious snack in-between meals, then the Crystal Apple is a great choice. The same applies to salads when you are looking to add a slight, sweet taste to them.

Always ensure proper care, such as consistent watering and well-draining soil, to keep them healthy.

One constant with all these varieties is that they are not drought-tolerant. They need regular watering and plenty of sunlight.

Another thing I remember distinctly being told is when you see the leaves turn yellow take serious notice. It could be too much water. It could be too little water. There may be pests at play or irregular exposure to sunlight. This can be caused by planting round cucumbers in areas that receive too much shade during the day.

Normally sweet tasting, you’ll know when things are not right as cucumbers will provide a bitter taste if they don’t receive the right conditions. Let’s look at what is needed when growing round cucumbers.

Think the Apple Crystal Cucumber might be the variety you want to grow? Here’s a short video showing you exactly what they look like growing in the garden.

Growing Round Cucumbers

Growing Round CucumbersGrowing round cucumber varieties is relatively easy despite some of the problems you can run into as described above.

Essentially, plenty of sunlight, mild nightly temperatures that don’t drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and soil that is slightly acidic but not too much. pH shouldn’t be lower than 6.0, regular watering but only when needed, and minimal fertilizer.

The bottom line is, when growing a round cucumber variety, consistency is key. Consistent sunshine, watering, and temperature. Get these right and they’ll reward you with great tasting produce in droves.

Planting

When you decide to grow round cucumbers, plant just one variety. Whether it’s Lemon, Apply Crystal of Mandarin, choose one, and stick with it.

Plant cucumber seeds directly in your garden in small mounds of soil after the danger of frost has passed, spaced at least two feet apart. Whether you are trellising your cucumbers or planting in the ground, make sure there is ample room on either side for the vines to spread.

A major issue with planting them too close together is it blocks the circulation of air which can result in unwanted disease to your plant.

Soil and Compost

Soil and CompostPreparation of the soil is so important. The round cucumber can be fussy. It likes soil that is well prepared, full of organic nutrients, and soil that drains very well

Round cucumbers thrive with a pH of 6.0-7.0. Adding a layer of organic mulch, like straw or wood chips, can help retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.

One thing I was taught was to mulch the soil. Mulching is something I consider underrated by many gardeners.

Maybe it’s just me. But it’s something that helps maintain the right temperature and helps retain moisture levels.

In turn, it allows you to take one eye off your cucumber patch and do other things. After all, you don’t want to spend all your waking time watching them making sure things don’t go awry.

With cucumbers, sometimes it can feel like that. So mulch!

Irrigation

IrrigationSteady watering methods work best with round cucumbers. I was taught a very simple method that ensured an even coverage of water.

Too many people will either stand beside their garden patch and squirt it with high pressured water or dump buckets of water in one spot hoping it spreads to the end.

I like to start at the high side of the row, use a can such as an old one that may have been used for something else, place the end of the hose in the can, and turn the water on from low to medium.

This ensures the water gradually runs down the row and a slow and even pace. By the time it reaches the end, you can be confident that it has soaked into the right spots and your cucumbers will thank you for it.

Just remember, water is crucial for healthy cucumber growth. Lack of water may result in distorted cucumbers, smaller fruit size, and low yields, and a bitter taste.

To provide consistent moisture, watering evening when needed. One more thing, avoid wetting the leaves to minimize the risk of diseases. So don’t just stand in your round cucumber patch and squirt it from above.

Sunlight And Temperature

So let’s look and sunlight and temperature in a little more detail. The ideal scenario is full sun. It’s recommended at least six hours of sunshine a day.

If sunlit space is limited, consider growing them in a greenhouse under grow lights or an area in your home under trellising that won’t affect the surrounding area. But make sure that with sunlight or grow lights, your cucumbers get the right amount of exposure.

Temperature-wise, cucumbers grow best in warm conditions, around 60-90 degrees Fahrenheit but with a nightly temperature of no less than 50-55 degrees. There have been times when freakish low temperatures were predicted and I was forced to cover the patch. That’s a whole different story and we may cover it in another article.

Fertilizers And Manure

Fertilizers And ManureI have never been one to over-fertilize any vegetable or fruit. Again, the key is using the right balance.

Cucumbers won’t appreciate too much or unnecessary fertilizing. This is a mistake many make thinking the more they fertilize the better produce they’ll get.

I was taught too much fertilizer on any plant can burn it, especially unnatural fertilizers.

So consider using organic at every opportunity or when needed. For example, well-aged manure can help your cucumber reach healthy growth.

The shortage of nutrients could lead to round or malformed cucumbers. The only time to consider extra fertilizer is dependent on soil quality where additional applications may be necessary during the growing season.

Properly mulched soil from the beginning can help to cut down the need for too much fertilizing.

Pests And Diseases

Garden Pests And DiseasesPests and diseases are a given in any garden. I haven’t met a gardener yet that hasn’t had a complaint about pests in particular.

Pests include aphids, cucumber beetles, and even spider mites which will take a real shine to your round cucumber patch.

And then there are diseases such as powdery mildew, downy mildew, and bacterial wilt that may also affect your plants. This can be a real issue especially when the fruit is nearing maturity.

But regular monitoring and implementing preventative measures, like proper spacing and maintaining a clean garden, can help reduce problems with pests and diseases.

If needed, apply horticultural oil or organic pesticide to manage infestations. Or even better, companion planting. Marigolds, Nasturtiums, Oregano, and Dill are solid choices as they help repel pests but better still, attract those insects such as Ladybugs and Lacewings that prey on the pests.

It gets down to my message above where preparation is key. Well-prepared soil, good mulching, and consistent water and sunlight can help cut down on pests and diseases.

Nutritional Benefits Of Round Cucumbers

Nutritional Benefits Of Round CucumbersCucumbers have been described as somewhat of a superfood. Eaten in balance with other fruit and vegetables, the benefits can be remarkable.

I have always considered the cucumber to be somewhat of a companion food. It’s great in side dishes and especially good in salads.

And it always tastes better with just a little salt. The nutritional value of cucumbers should be just about your reason for eating them.

Vitamins And Minerals

Round cucumbers, like other cucumber varieties, are packed with essential vitamins and minerals.

They are an excellent low-calorie source of important nutrients.

A cup of sliced cucumber has almost four grams of carbohydrates with 0.7 grams of fiber and offers you the following:

  • Vitamin K: 17.0mcg
  • Vitamin C: 3.0mg
  • Potassium: 152.8mg
  • Vitamin B5: 0.2mg
  • Magnesium: 13.6mg

Health Benefits

There are many reasons to include not just round cucumbers, but cucumbers in general in your diet.

We’ve established that the vitamins and minerals in round cucumbers contribute to their many health benefits. But there are several other reasons to enjoy this versatile fruit:

Antioxidant Support: Cucumbers, being high in vitamin C and other antioxidants, help neutralize harmful free radicals, protecting your body from oxidative stress and cellular damage.

Heart Health: Their potassium content supports cardiovascular health by aiding in regulating blood pressure and balancing the body’s fluid levels.

Digestive Support: The soluble fiber in cucumbers assists in promoting good digestive health and maintaining regular bowel movements.

Weight Loss: Cucumbers are low in calories and high in water content, making them a satisfying and hydrating snack to aid in weight loss efforts.

Hydration: Staying properly hydrated is essential for overall health, and round cucumbers can be a delicious way to reach your hydration goals. With their high water content and essential electrolytes, cucumbers offer a refreshing and hydrating snack option that can help boost your daily water intake and prevent dehydration, especially during hot summer months or post-workout.

So if there is a moral to this story, how many lives could have been saved by those venturing out into the desert if only they were well-stocked with cucumbers?

Now you can understand why the term superfood has been applied to the “trusty ol’ cucumber”, whether it’s rounded or oblong.

Round Cucumbers In The Kitchen

Round Cucumbers In The KitchenWhether it’s a round cucumber or a regular-shaped cucumber, they are a must-have in the kitchen.

With my Italian immigrant parents, naturally, their favorite cucumber dish was combining it with tomatoes, parsley, and salt, and voila! Talk about tasty.

As a child at the dinner table, my favorite part was to scoop up the mixed tomato and cucumber juice with bread and just let the flavor explode in my mouth. It was like having an…well, you know what I mean.

Round Cucumber In Salads

Incorporating round cucumbers into your salads adds a delightful twist. With their circular shape, they make perfect and unique slices that enhance the visual appeal of your dish. Plus, their crisp texture adds a satisfying crunch to any salad. Try using lemon cucumbers, a popular round cucumber variety, for a refreshing citrus flavor.

Round Cucumber Pickles

Round cucumbers are also great for making homemade pickles. Choose an heirloom variety like the lemon cucumber or experiment with other round cucumber varieties that come in a range of colors and flavors. Creating your own pickle recipe can be a fun way to explore different fruit sizes, and flavor combinations, and even mix in other vegetables like zucchini or squash.

Round Cucumber Snacks

For a quick and healthy snack, simply slice a round cucumber and enjoy its refreshing taste. You can also add some flair to your cucumber snacks by creating cucumber rounds with herbed cream cheese. Simply spread herbed cream cheese onto cucumber slices, and you’ve created a delicious and nutritious treat.

Conclusion: Round Cucumber Cooking Tips

Cucumber Cooking TipsYes, cucumber cooking tips. I know cucumbers are considered produce that’s better eaten raw but did you know that they are extra tasty in cooked dishes?

The first time I saw a cucumber cooked was when it was being lightly charred on the grill, adding a smoky flavor to your meal.

Again, that was as a child when we visited neighbors for the weekly Friday night get-together before sitting down together to watch the World Championship wrestling on television.

I have to tell you I developed an instinct liking for grille cucumbers. It’s no different with the rounded variety.

You can also try adding them to relish for an extra punch of flavor.

Just a few things to remember before you use a round cucumber for cooking. Make sure that it’s ripe, but not overripe. An overripe cucumber will compromise its structural integrity during the cooking process. In other words, it will not last long and will basically dissipate.

These are just a few cooked round cucumber examples. I’d be particularly interested to hear from you. Have you got a special cucumber dish, either raw or cooked you would like to share with our readers. Please comment below.

Meanwhile, enjoy your culinary adventure with these versatile and refreshing vegetables!

JD Dean

Growing up on a farm gave me and my family some huge advantages. One of them was learning to grow our own food. Apart from acres and acres of crops, we had a magnificent fruit and vegetable garden plus, we canned our own food. I’m hoping to pass on some of this expertise and experience to you.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top
Search