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Surely there is no such person who would not like cucumbers. Nowadays, in order to obtain an environmentally friendly product, an increasing number of the population prefers growing plants on their own. But to get the best harvest possible, you need to have information on how to prepare cucumber seeds for planting.
How to properly collect material for sowing yourself
Remember that only certain varieties of cucumbers can be harvested for sowing. For this, the fruits must be on the bushes until fully ripe - they are also called seed. The cucumber is picked only when its color becomes yellow. After that, it is recommended to place the fruit in a warm place for about a week - this time is enough for the cucumber to become soft. Then, having cut the vegetable, the seeds are thrown into water (give preference to a glass container) and left for several days.
Please note that a situation where a film or mold forms is a variant of the norm. This is due to the fermentation process.
When the seed is lowered to the bottom, the film is removed and the container is shaken to separate the empty seeds that float up. The rest are washed and dried. It is recommended to spread them out on cheesecloth or a tray.
Do not dry with plain paper that might stick to them. When pre-sowing treatment of cucumber seeds, do not accelerate their drying by artificial heating.
If the prepared cucumber seeds for sowing are well dried, they are placed in a paper envelope and signed, noting the variety and time of collection. In order for the seeds to be stored properly, the bag is placed in a dry place.
The shelf life of seeds harvested in this way is three years. Two-year and three-year-old specimens have a higher germination rate, further the shelf life decreases. To improve the quality of young seeds, special conditions are created: they are stored in a dry place, protected from direct sunlight, at temperatures up to 20 ° C.
For the preparation of cucumber seeds for sowing for seedlings, fruits of varieties marked F1 are not suitable - this is a designation of hybrids that are sterile.
To get a high yield, you need to know how to properly prepare your seeds.
The following actions are recommended for seed preparation:
- determine germination;
- stimulate germination;
- harden the seeds.
For growing seedlings, cucumber seeds are prepared for planting in a greenhouse.
How to determine germination
On the shelves of agricultural stores and kiosks, you can find seeds of various varieties of cucumbers, however, there, too, the seeds can be of poor quality, unprocessed and unsuitable for growth. Now let's figure out how to properly prepare cucumber seeds from a bag.
To select healthy specimens, it is recommended to place them in a solution that can be prepared by dissolving 50 g of salt in a liter of water. Those that come up can be considered unusable and thrown away.
It is recommended to sort the processed cucumber seeds by size, because those that are larger should be planted deeper in the soil. It is best to do this one month before the planned sowing.
It should be remembered that the shelf life of seeds should not exceed three years.
When preparing cucumber seeds for sowing in open ground, you need to use heating. The most optimal option is to place the material for sowing on the stove or near the battery in a suspended state. As for the temperature, the indicators should not exceed 35 ° C or fall below 23 ° C. This is explained by the fact that otherwise the seeds will be overdried or steamed.
You can warm them up using a thermostat. It is enough to place the seed in it for a period of time, the duration of which is 2 - 3.5 hours - everything will depend on the temperature.
Such measures will improve germination and yield, stimulate the formation of a female color, which will make it possible to get ripe cucumbers as early as possible.
When preparing seeds for planting in open ground, they are fertilized by soaking them in a certain composition for several hours. The mixture can include ash, sodium humate, or Nitroammofoska. A considerable amount of research indicates that the required properties are characteristic of melt water. After the inoculation material is washed, placed on a damp cloth and left for 24 hours in a dark place.
It is necessary to harden the seeds of cucumbers before planting so that their subsequent presence in a dark, cool place after planting on seedlings does not affect the quality.
Hardening is carried out by gradually reducing the temperature indicators of the environment where the seed is stored. You can ventilate the room or keep the seeds in the refrigerator for a day.
It is imperative to carry out disinfection. Please note that after pickling, the risk of developing diseases will not only decrease, but the level of resistance of the vegetable crop to the negative effects of environmental factors will also increase. For the procedure, you need to process the seed with a strong solution of potassium permanganate or boric acid.
You can irradiate the seeds with ultraviolet light for 3 to 5 minutes. After that, you need to ensure that no light falls on the sowing material until it enters the soil. It is recommended to place the seeds in an opaque bag.
What to do with seeds from the factory packaging? Store-bought seed marked on the F1 packaging does not need to be hardened and fed. All that is needed is to determine the percentage of germination by germination before sowing into the ground.
We grow seedlings correctly
Before planting cucumbers in the ground, you need to grow seedlings. Practical application of information on how the preparation of cucumber seeds for planting seedlings is carried out will help to obtain the most favorable results:
- bushes grow quickly;
- cucumbers will bear fruit for a long time, until the first frost;
- there will be a good harvest.
Before planting seeds, they must be germinated. A cotton cloth soaked in water and aloe juice is placed in a bowl or tray, and the seeds are spread on it. Cover with gauze and sprinkle with the same water.
The first roots will appear within 1.5 days from the moment of soaking. After that, the planting material is immediately placed in the soil, even before the first shoots. Each seed must be planted separately.
It is better if the soil is prepared. This can be done by combining peat, humus and sawdust. The mixture is scalded with boiling water. Seeds are sown to a depth not exceeding 1.5 - 2 cm, irrigated with warm water and covered.
For the first three days, containers with seedlings should be warm. Immediately after the appearance of the first sprouts, the film must be removed, and the seedlings must be placed in a well-lit place. Particular attention should be paid to the temperature - during the day the indicator should not be higher than 20 degrees, and at night - 15.
For better growth and development of seedlings, it is necessary to provide lighting for 10 - 11 hours a day. You can use a fluorescent lamp.
As for watering, it should be done after the first leaves appear. You need to be very careful not to let the water fall on the stems, but only wet the soil. Reviews say that watering is more convenient with a teaspoon.
The readiness of greenhouse seedlings for planting in open ground will be indicated by a strong stem with green leaves and a powerful root.
The soil should be warmed up to 15 degrees, and the air temperature should be below 18 degrees. Before planting seedlings, you can take the bushes outside for several days so that the plants adapt to the environment.
It is necessary to focus on the fact that preparing cucumber seeds for sowing is not so simple. This is a time consuming activity that requires a lot of time, effort and patience. If you follow all the recommendations for collecting, staying in a greenhouse and planting seedlings in the soil, the result will be impressive. The high level of productivity will delight the gardener for a long time and will be a kind of gratitude to the cucumbers.
A lot of positive emotions appear when you get excellent results of your work and understand that your efforts were not wasted in vain. In addition, cucumbers can be enjoyed not only during their fruiting period, but also in winter. Of course, if you take care of this in advance.