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It is customary to soak cucumber seeds before planting. This procedure helps the culture to germinate faster and to identify bad grains in the initial stage. If high-quality seeds at an air temperature from +24 to + 27aboutSince without soaking, they can still give guaranteed good shoots, then material stored in improper conditions cannot be sown without such preparation. These seeds may have been exposed to high temperatures frequently, leading to dehydration.
Attention! For some cucumber seeds, soaking can be detrimental. For preheated and pickled grains, the water will wash away the protective coating.
We start work by sorting seeds
A high-quality grain of cucumbers should be dense and large. This will help grow sturdy seedlings. Pacifiers, in general, will not give any shoots. Calibration will help to identify bad grains.
There is nothing complicated here, you just need to pour water into any container and throw the seeds there. After a couple of minutes, the pacifiers will float to the surface.
They are drained together with water, and the good grains lying at the bottom of the container are prepared for drying.
Before sowing, if the grains are fresh, they must be warmed up. And according to the rules, this procedure is best done in advance. The seeds are warmed up on a tray or in cloth bags at a temperature of +40aboutC within 7 days. At a lower temperature of about + 25aboutFrom the warm-up time increases to a month. It is optimal to perform this procedure on a home heating radiator.
Important! Warming the seeds kills many viral infections of cucumbers. This will help produce healthy seedlings with few barren flowers, which will soon bear early fruit.
Seed disinfection methods
Before the seeds are soaked, the cucumber grains must be disinfected. Dry disinfection involves the use of special powders, for example, NIUIF-2 or Granosan. Cucumber seeds are placed inside a glass jar with the preparation, and disinfection is performed by shaking for five minutes.
It is best to use a wet disinfection method before sowing seeds for seedlings. It is more popular among gardeners and involves soaking cucumber seeds in a 1% manganese solution.
Soaking seeds for disinfection with potassium permanganate before planting in the ground is as follows:
- A few crystals of manganese are gradually added to boiled warm water until a bright pink liquid is obtained. You can't overdo it. A dark solution is harmful to seeds.
- Small bags are made from a piece of gauze or thin cotton fabric, inside which cucumber seeds are poured. Now it remains to tie each bag and lower it inside the solution for 15 minutes.
After the time has elapsed, the cucumber seeds extracted from the bags are washed with clean boiled water.
Instead of potassium permanganate, cucumber seeds can be disinfected with hydrogen peroxide.
The whole process is similar, only a 10% hydrogen peroxide solution is used as a disinfecting liquid. The grains are dipped for 20 minutes, and then, after rinsing with clean water, they are smoothed to dry.
Important! Before you start soaking the seeds, they must be placed in another solution - a growth stimulant. Having received additional nutrition, the grains will sprout better, producing strong and healthy seedlings.
Soak the seeds before planting like this:
- Grains are laid out on the surface of the plate, placed under cheesecloth or thin cloth. All this is moistened with warm water.
Important! The tissue must be half moistened, otherwise the oxygen supply to the sprouts will cease from an excess of water, which will cause their death. However, complete evaporation of the water must not be allowed. From drought, the result will be similar.
- A plate with grains is placed near a heat source where they will germinate. This usually lasts about three days.
- As soon as the first roots hatch, the plate is immediately placed in the refrigerator for 12 hours to harden.
During this time, while the grains will adapt to the cold, they prepare containers with soil, where the seedlings will be sown directly.
Advice! It is better to use rainwater to soak cucumber seeds before planting seedlings. Melt water from snow or even ice taken from the refrigerator works well.
The video shows seed soaking:
Biologically active preparations for soaking
As a help to the gardener, shops offer various preparations for soaking the grains before planting seedlings. Let's take a look at some of them:
- The drug "Epin" is developed on the basis of herbal ingredients. The grains treated with it in embryos accumulate protection for the future plant from natural negative phenomena, for example, frost or cold non-sunny weather.
- The drug "Zircon", which has gained popularity for a long time, is made on the basis of the acidic juice of the echinacea plant. The drug accelerates the growth of seedlings, which is important before early planting, and also helps the development of the root system.
- The preparation "Gumat" contains a nutrient based on potassium or sodium salt. The seeds treated with the solution germinate faster.
Those who are not used to using store-bought preparations use folk recipes to soak cucumber grains.
Several folk recipes for soaking cucumber seeds
Folk recipes are passed down from generation to generation and are still relevant in many villages. Consider some of them, the most effective, according to gardeners:
- Homemade aloe flower juice is most often used to soak cucumber seeds. This is due to the property of the juice to endow the embryos with immunity to various diseases, which makes the seedlings strong. In addition, the growth of the cucumber itself is improved. To get the juice from the flower, the lower old leaves are cut off, wrapped in paper and taken out in the cold. Alternatively, you can put it in the refrigerator. After 14 days, the juice from the leaves will be squeezed out perfectly with your hands. It is bred in half with water, where cucumber grains are immersed in gauze bags for a day.
- Water with wood ash saturates the grains with minerals. You can, of course, use straw ash. Any of them in the amount of 2 tbsp. l. pour 1 liter of boiled water. After the solution has stood for two days, the cucumber grains are immersed there for 6 hours.
- For feeding seed material with microelements, a decoction of edible mushrooms is used. Dried mushrooms are poured in an arbitrary amount with boiling water, tightly covered with a lid and left to infuse until they cool completely. In a strained warm solution, soaked cucumber grains for 6 hours.
- Water with honey serves as a growth stimulant for seedlings. The solution is prepared from 250 ml of warm boiled water with the addition of 1 tsp of honey. The liquid is poured into a saucer, where the seeds are soaked for 6 hours.
- Pure potato juice is also good for soaking. To get it, raw potatoes are frozen in a freezer and then placed in a warm place until they are completely thawed. The juice can be easily squeezed out with your hands. Cucumber seeds are soaked in it for 8 hours.
- For a more complex solution, you will need to take 1 g of manganese, 5 g of soda and 0.2 g of boric acid. But first you need to brew two handfuls of onion husks in 1 liter of boiling water. After cooling down, the same amount of ash solution is added to the resulting liquid. The method of its preparation was discussed above. Now it remains to add the rest of the ingredients here and you can soak the grains for 6 hours.
Before using any of the folk remedies, it is better to immerse cucumber seeds in clean water for 2 hours, and after processing, they must be washed again. The finished grains are laid out on a plate. After acquiring flowability, the seeds are considered ready for planting.