how to harvest cucumber seeds
To speed up germination, soak your cucumber seeds in water overnight before planting. Cucumbers need temperatures of at least 68ºF (20ºC) to germinate, so either place pots in a propagator for speedier germination, or simply wait until late spring to get started. Outdoor cucumbers, also called ‘ridge cucumbers’, will tolerate cooler climates and are often spiny or rough to the touch. Watch for the first female flowers to open—they're the ones with the miniature cucumber right beneath the flower—and expect ripe fruit in 8 to 10 days. This fermentation process kills viruses and separates the good seeds from the pulp and the bad seeds. Next, cut it lengthwise revealing the inner seeds and fruit. Fruit will be orange or yellow when fully ripe, and ready to pluck mature seeds from. A cucumber is ready when it is the size and color of a ripe cucumber of its variety. Scoop the contents into a bowl and then add water to cover. There are cucumber varieties suitable for growing outdoors or in the greenhouse. As a general rule of thumb, mix in two to three cups in the soil around each seed area. Grow only one variety, or separate by one half mile (805 m.) to eliminate the possibility of cross pollination. Stir this concoction daily. Pick often to encourage more fruits and, if you can, harvest in the morning while it’s still cool. If the cucumbers have a lot of spines, remove them by rubbing a cloth or vegetable brush along the length of the fruit. Stir this concoction daily. Lay them gently in a container as you gather the ripe fruit. Remove the good seed and spread them on a screen or on paper towels to dry thoroughly. The easiest way to do this, and the least stressful for the plant, is to cut the cucumber off the vine with a sharp knife or pruners. The burpless varieties of cucumbers are susceptible to bruising. Thus, you may end up with an odd mix of cucumber crosses when collecting cucumber seeds. When planting new seeds, be sure to charge the soil with plenty of compost to power plants. If you’re growing your cucumbers upwards using supports such as trellis, set plants at about 18 inches (45cm) apart. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Unless you are growing an all-female variety, remove all male flowers from greenhouse cucumbers. Well, yes and no. Watch for the first female flowers to open—they're the ones with the miniature cucumber right beneath the flower—and expect ripe fruit in 8 to 10 days. Pour off the pulp, water, mold and bad seeds carefully after your three days have passed. Prop the frame up onto an A-frame made of bamboo canes. Cucumbers require a long growing season, and most are ready for harvest in 50 to 70 days from planting. To make one, stretch chicken wire or netting over a wooden frame and secure it into place with staples or U-shaped nails. In order to harvest seeds from fleshy fruits such as cukes or tomatoes, the wet method of removal should be applied. Seed must be harvested when the fruit is mature, so allow the cucumber to languish on the vine past its eating stage – near the end of the growing season. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. The beauty of this type of support is that leafy salads like lettuce may be grown underneath to take advantage of the shade cast by the cucumbers – a clever solution for growing cool season crops in hot climates. Some varieties will happily grow inside or out, in a sunny, sheltered spot in the garden. Check the vines daily after they start to produce. Cucumbers thrive on rich, fertile, well-drained soil. Cut them off plants using a sharp knife or pruners. Most slicing cucumbers for fresh eating should be harvested when they are seven to nine inches long and have a bright dark green color. If you twist or pull on the vine, the plant can be damaged. Cucumbers grow quickly. Sow two seeds about an inch (3cm) deep, then water well. This prevents bitter-tasting fruits. Secondly, since cucumbers require either insect pollinators, wind, or people to transfer their pollen from plant to plant, they are left open to cross pollinate with other members within the family.
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