A good harvest begins with quality cucumber seeds. Whatever the method of growing cucumbers - greenhouse or open, pre-sowing preparation is of great importance for obtaining strong and healthy plants.
Collection of cucumber seeds for seedlings
Fruits of varietal cucumbers, designed to collect seed, kept on the bushes until full maturity. The largest cucumber is not removed until it turns yellow. Then it is cut off and placed in a warm place for 5-7 days, until it becomes completely soft. The cucumber is cut lengthwise and the pulp is scraped together with the seeds, which is placed in a glass container with warm water. Closed with gauze (so as not to get flies) and leave to "wander" for a few days.Attention! A thin film and even mold may appear on the surface; this is normal in the fermentation process.
As soon as all the seeds settle to the bottom, the film is removed and the jar is shaken. Empty cucumber seeds immediately float to the surface and can be drained with water. The remaining seeds are thrown back on a sieve or colander, washed with clean water and dried well. For this, they are laid out on a plate or cling film.
Important! Paper should not be used, as cucumber seeds stick to it during drying. It is also not recommended to accelerate the drying by heating - drying should occur naturally.
After the seeds are completely dry, they are folded into a paper envelope, on which they write the name of the variety and the date of collection. The envelope is cleaned in a dry place for two or three years. The best germination rate of seeds 2-3 years old. After this period, germination decreases, so they should not be stored longer.
It is possible to increase the quality of a more "young" seed. To do this, they need to create certain conditions. Fresh cucumber seeds are stored at a temperature of 25 degrees in a dark and dry place.Important! Seeds obtained from the fruits of hybrids labeled - fruitless. Even if they grow, there will be no harvest.
Seed preparation for sowing
Cucumber seedlings are most often grown by the greenhouse method - under the film and in a warm room. The process of preparing seed consists of four stages:
- Germination test;
- Stimulation of germination.
Pre-sowing preparation begin one month before sowing in the soil for seedlings. It is necessary to select healthy, large cucumber seeds, which will ensure a high percentage of germination. Since it’s impossible to determine this even by experienced gardeners, a weak solution of table salt will help.
Seed material is poured with a solution. After 5 minutes, those cucumber seeds that have surfaced can be removed and discarded - they will not give rise to shoots. The remaining seeds are washed, dried and sorted by size. The largest and fullest of them will give a good harvest, provided proper cultivation.
Warming up, top dressing
After drying, the seeds need to warm up. This will help them climb faster. Warming up stimulates the formation of female flowers, and therefore they will begin to bear fruit earlier. They are kept for a month at a temperature of 28-30 degrees. If you do not have time for thorough preparation, you can make an intensive warming at 50 degrees.
Heated, washed and dried seeds need to be fed so that they grow well. To do this, they are soaked in the nutrient mixture for several hours. In its composition may be wood ash, sodium humate or nitrophoska. Melt water is also considered an active growth stimulator. After that, they are again washed, wrapped in a damp cloth and left for a day in a dark place.
Seeds also need to be prepared for the fact that when they are planted in open ground, they are not only waiting for sunlight and heat. To do this, the seeds gradually "accustom" to low temperatures. For this, the room where they are waiting in the wings is periodically aired. You can put the seeds in the fridge for a day.
On the seed coat may be pathogens and some cucumber diseases. Disinfection will not only help get rid of them, but also increase plant resistance. Disinfection is carried out by immersing them in a strong solution of potassium permanganate. Boric acid solution also works well.
Treatment with ultraviolet rays will help to disinfect the seeds, as well as increase their germination and speed up germination. Irradiation is carried out for 3-5 minutes. For efficiency, it is necessary to completely isolate the seeds from any light sources until planting. After processing, they are placed in a light-tight pouch.
Seed material of cucumbers from the store with the designation on the package does not need to be pre-hardened and fertilized. To get a good harvest, it is enough to determine the germination percentage by germination just before sowing in the ground. Such seeds before going on sale have already passed all stages of preparation.
Before planting cucumbers in open or greenhouse soil, seedlings must be grown from seeds. This method takes time, but has many advantages, including:
- The rapid growth of the plant;
- Prolonged fruiting;
- Guaranteed a good harvest.
And for this, the seeds must be germinated. On how to prepare the seeds of cucumbers, whether they need to germinate, you can learn in more detail by watching the video:
Water for germination defend at room temperature for at least a day. Cotton cloth soaked with water and aloe juice unfolds on the bottom of the flatware. On it the prepared seeds are evenly distributed. Top need to close with gauze, and spray with the same water. The optimum temperature in the room for germination -20-25 degrees.
The first roots will appear in 28-30 hours after soaking. Sprouted seeds should be planted immediately in the ground, without waiting for the emergence of sprouts.
Each seed is placed in a separate glass with the ground. The soil can be prepared in advance by mixing the soil with peat, humus and sawdust, which must be scalded with boiling water to remove tar from them. These cups can be made of thick plastic film or thick paper - when disembarking into the ground by the transshipment method, it can be quickly removed without damaging the roots and leaving a whole earthen ball. Seeds are sown to a depth of 1.5-2 cm and sprinkled with water at room temperature. Glasses with future seedlings put in a box and cover with foil.
In the first three days after sowing the box with the seedlings of cucumbers put in a warm place. The temperature in the room should not fall below 25 degrees. After the emergence of seedlings, the film is removed and the seedlings are moved to a well-lit and ventilated place.Important! It is necessary to maintain the temperature regime: in the daytime - no higher than 20 degrees, and at night - no higher than 15.
Young plants need bright daylight for 10-11 hours a day. In the absence of natural sunlight (on cloudy days), additional lighting is needed.
Water the seedlings begin as soon as the first leaflets unfold. This should be done carefully so that the water does not fall on the stalks, but soaked the soil. It is convenient to make an ordinary teaspoon.
Ready for planting in open ground, seedlings have a dense, strong stem, dark green, well-developed leaves and a strong root system.
The earth by this time should warm up to 15-18 degrees, and air - up to 18-20. A few days before planting, they put the cucumbers outside in the daytime so that the plants adapt to the natural climate.
The process of growing cucumbers is long and rather time consuming. But if you follow all the rules from collecting seeds to planting seedlings, then you can be absolutely sure that the result will be more than worth the effort, and plants that have received proper care will thank for a good harvest of juicy and fragrant fruits.