May 2023: Metki Dark Green Armenian Cucumber

Blog by the Garden Center Team 


This month's seed kit features Metki Dark Green Armenian Cucumber (Cucumis melo)!To support our environment, seed kits are now available digitally. Scan the QR codes on the seed kits to download planting logs, delicious recipes, fun craft ideas, and coloring pages.  

Metki Dark Green Armenian Cucumber (Cucumis melo)  

Lovely, dark green, and ribbed. Tends to grow in a curled form. Bitter-free, very mild, tasty, and crisp.  


Planting Instructions 

Culture: Tend to do best with direct sowing. Prefers warmer weather, so best to plant in late spring/early summer. Choose a sunny location with loose, rich soil. In the warmest areas, a little afternoon shade is welcomed. Place about ½ inch deep, with 2 or 3 seeds per foot. Thin to 1-2 feet apart after plants develop second leaves. Trellis vines encourage growth and save space. 

Water: Keep soil moist, but not saturated, until seedlings emerge in 7-14 days. Thereafter, provide even moisture on a regular basis to prevent overdrying of soil. 

Harvest: Reaches maturity in 50–70 days. Best when it reaches 12–18 inches long. Clip the vine near the top of the cucumber. Harvest frequently to encourage the growth of more fruit! 

Culinary Tips: No need to peel! Just wash, slice, and use in salads or on sandwiches. 


Learn More About Armenian Cucumbers 

The Armenian Cucumber is an imprecisely named fruit that was first cultivated in Armenia in the 15th century. While this plant is properly named for its country of origin it is not, in fact, a cucumber. The Armenian Cucumber is actually a variety of muskmelon, one with many similarities to the cucumber. The general shape, coloration, and flavor of the fruit are often reminiscent of the cucumber. However, some varieties of the Armenian Cucumber can grow to be quite curly and may range in coloration from light yellowish green to dark green, giving the fruit a more distinctive appearance. 

The Armenian Cucumber was introduced into the United States by Armenian immigrants, many of whom arrived in the United States as refugees fleeing from genocide in the Ottoman Empire in the late-1800s and early-1900s. Settling in Central California, many of these Armenian immigrants and their descendants made their livelihood farming and selling dry fruits, nuts, raisins, and, of course, the Armenian Cucumber. 

The Metki Dark Green Armenian Cucumber is a hardy variety that is both healthy and tasty. A good source of potassium and rich in vitamins A, C, and K this Armenian Cucumber is always crisp and never bitter. 


Recipe: Grandma’s Marinated Cucumbers 

Serves:  4-8    Prep time: 15 mins.   Cook Time: 24 hours 


  • 2 medium size cucumbers sliced  
  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar 
  • 1 medium onion sliced  
  • 1 cup of water 
  • 1 tsp. of kosher salt  
  • 1/2 cup of sugar 
  • ½ tsp. of celery seed  


  1. Slice cucumbers into thin slices.  
  2. Cut the onion in half and cut into very thin slices. 
  3. Place the cucumbers, onions, and celery seeds into mason jars. 
  4. In a medium saucepan, add vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. Over medium heat, stir to combine until sugar completely dissolves. 
  5. Cool the brine mixture to room temperature. 
  6. Pour the brine mixture over the cucumbers and the onions are covered and submerged. Cover the jars with lids. Move to the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before eating.  
  7. Marinated cucumbers can stay fresh for 3-5 days in an air-tight container.  


Craft: Upcycled Tin Can Vase 


  • Tin can (emptied, washed, and dried) 
  • Enough sticks to go around the can, trimmed to size 
  • Hot glue gun (use with adult supervision)  


  1. Trim your sticks to the height of the tin can.  
  2. Carefully add a strip of hot glue along the first stick. 
  3. Place the stick on the can, lined up as straight as possible, and press firmly for a moment.  
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the remaining sticks, using the initial stick as a guide. 
  5. Figure out what you want to put in your new vase! Try fresh flowers, an arrangement of natural items, or even a pencil cup!