Harvested from the gardens at Monticello.
The 'gerki'n, which bears many small, cucumber-like fruits covered in blunt spines, was a common crop in the Monticello vegetable garden. Thomas Jefferson recommended it to his brother, Randolph, in 1813: "the season being over for planting everything but the Gerkin. It is that by which we distinguish the very small pickling cucumber". This was likely the West Indian Gherkin (Cucumis anguria), a native of Africa brought to the Caribbean through the slave trade, then reputedly introduced from Jamaica in 1792 by Richmond seed merchant Minton Collins. Jefferson-documented: This plant was documented by Thomas Jefferson in his Garden Book, Notes on the State of Virginia, or other writings.
Direct sow West Indian Gherkin seeds in hills or rows after the last spring frost; for hills, sow 6-8 seeds per 12"-wide hill, then thin to the best 3 plants per hill. The long, vigorous vines benefit from a support structure. Harvest when 1"-2" around for eating fresh, cooking or pickling. Approximately 25 seeds per packet.
|Exposure||Planting Method||Planting Depth||Plant Spacing||Days to Maturity||Size at Maturity|
|Full Sun||Direct Sow||1/2"||Thin to plants 2' apart, rows 6'; or hills 6' apart||65||10' vines|