Gardening

How to plant a minipine

Melothria scabra

The minipepino, plant also known as Mexican minipepino or mini watermelon, is a climbing plant that can exceed 3 m in length. Native to Mexico and Central America, its whole fruits resemble small watermelons of 2 to 5 cm in length, but when cut they look like cucumbers and have a flavor similar to their flavor, which can be eaten in the wild or in salads.

Climate

The minipepino or the mini-watermelon is a plant of hot climate, growing well in temperatures above 18 ° C. However, it is more tolerant to cold than common cucumber (it can withstand temperatures close to 10 ° C). In hot climates it can be cultivated all year round. In regions with cold winter, it can be grown during the hottest months of the year. This plant does not support frost.

Brightness

This plant grows best in high light conditions, with direct sunlight for at least a few hours a day.

Ground

Plant in light soil, rich in organic matter, fertile and well drained. Ideally, the soil pH should be between 6 and 6.8.

Irrigation

Irrigate as often as necessary so that the soil is kept moist, but without being soaked.

Planting

Sowing can be done directly in the final place or in sowing, small pots or cups made with newsprint (10 cm high by 6 to 8 cm in diameter). The seeds usually germinate in a week or two, but it can take up to three or four weeks for the seeds to germinate. The initial growth of this plant is relatively slow.

For plantations renewed annually, it is possible to use a spacing of 1.2 to 2 m between planting lines and 40 to 60 cm between plants. In warmer regions, where plants can be kept for a few years, use a larger spacing between plants.

Cultivation

This plant is a climbing plant and needs support for its growth, such as fences and trellises, where its tendrils will be attached as the branches grow.

Remove invasive plants that are competing for resources and nutrients.

Each plant has male and female flowers and small bees or other insects are required for pollination to occur. It is also possible to do a manual pollination, for example, with the help of a small brush with soft bristles.

This plant is perennial in regions of appropriate climate. In regions that have low temperatures in winter, the minipine is grown as an annual. However, productivity per plant increases considerably from the second year.

Harvest

It is usually possible to start harvesting mini-straws or mini-pines 60 to 90 days after planting. The fruits are harvested when ripe or almost ripe.

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