How to store seeds at home

In recent years, more and more often watermelon “leaves” the list of exotic plants and becomes a traditional culture for southern and temperate climatic zones. This contributes to the abundance of all kinds of hybrids, as well as the hard work of breeders to develop more resistant to weather changes and productive varieties. Next, the main subtleties of harvesting watermelon seeds will be examined in detail, and also described how to properly store them.

How to collect watermelon seeds for planting at home?

Buying seeds is like a lottery - even expensive seed from famous brands is not always distinguished by the quality and friendliness of seedlings. Therefore, farmers are increasingly resorting to self-harvesting for the next season. However, not for everyone such a procedure is understandable and feasible, because it requires not only special skills, but also certain knowledge.

Did you know? The most ancient seeds that have been successfully germinated are about 30 thousand years old. These are narrow-leaved sunflower seeds that were successfully removed from the soil layer of the permafrost of the Magadan Territory and “resuscitated” by scientists from the Institute of Physical, Chemical and Biological Problems of Soil Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Experienced farmers have long known that growing home-grown seeds is not only possible, but also quite profitable. The material obtained during the procedure is not only characterized by increased germination, but also allows you to get the most productive plants. In this case, fruit growing becomes the most profitable area of ​​activity.

The cultivation of seed begins even during the formation of the fruit, at this time you need to outline some of the largest watermelons, differing in their ideal shape. Such fruits should not have any pathologies and differ in the average parameters for the variety.

This is one of the most important requirements, because otherwise, with each new generation, the variety will gradually lose its features and advantages . The seeds are harvested only from fully ripened fruits. Therefore, from melons such specimens should be selected last, and only after the appearance of characteristic signs of watermelon maturity. These include: a sharp cessation of fetal growth, the appearance of a characteristic luster of the peel, drying of the stem and the first antennae from the fetus, as well as the appearance of a dull sound when tapped.

If you are not able to determine ripeness by such parameters, you can use the average calendar dates for ripening watermelon. For early varieties, they are 30 days, for medium and late varieties are within 45–55 days after the first germination.

Important! Seeds of exclusively self-pollinated varieties of watermelon are suitable for harvesting. First-order hybrids (F1), obtained by crossing two mother plants, during subsequent reproduction often degenerate and lose all their varietal characters.

In the temperate and northern regions, farmers often do not have the opportunity to procure sufficiently ripe seed material. A cold climate and high humidity can cause withering of watermelons before they reach full maturity, which greatly complicates the collection of seeds.

Therefore, in regions with a short summer, seed watermelons are removed together with the rest of the fruits, and then they stand for about 20 days in a dry, warm and well-lit place. This gives them the opportunity to achieve full maturity.

There is a misconception that watermelon seeds are best collected from overripe fruits with soft flesh. But in fact, in this case, there is a high probability of germination of seeds even inside the fruit. Overripe flesh instantly releases moisture with the nutrients dissolved in it. This best contributes to the growth of seeds, which makes the seed completely unsuitable for storage.

Learn how to plant watermelon seeds.

In addition, seeds from overripe watermelons are often characterized by low germination, and the sprouts grown from them do not have enough energy for further growth and subsequent fruiting. After a high-quality seed fruit has been selected and harvested, it is possible to proceed with the removal of seeds. To do this, you must:

  • gently cut the fetus;
  • remove the flesh with the seeds;
  • separate the pulp from the seeds.

Basic rules for seed preparation before storage

Before prolonged storage, the seeds should be thoroughly rinsed under running water and calibrated. Only dense seeds, black or dark brown in shade, of uniform size are suitable for sowing (white seeds are unsuitable for this).

In addition, they should not contain the remains of juice or pulp of watermelon, otherwise this will create favorable conditions for the development of dangerous bacteria and fungi. Therefore, if possible, the seeds are washed at least 2-3 times.

Did you know? The greatest growth activity is characterized by bamboo seeds. Under optimal conditions, per day, individual Bamboo species can grow to a full-fledged tree 100-120 cm long, while the average family growth rate is about 40 cm / day.

The cleaned seed before storage should be checked for viability. To do this, it must be filled with water in a deep container for several minutes. Seeds that have surfaced on the surface should be discarded - they do not contain a viable germ, therefore, are unsuitable for sowing.

Also, the seeds need to be dried - they are laid out on a dry towel and paper, and then, for several weeks, placed in a dry and well-ventilated place. After such preparation, the seed becomes completely suitable for saving for several years.

Optimal conditions for storing watermelon seeds

In addition to skilled harvesting, watermelon seeds for long-term storage require special conditions. In this case, they will be able to maintain their viability up to 4-5 years without losing germination and growth energy. Store seeds in a well-ventilated, dry and protected from direct sunlight, at a temperature of +18 ... + 22 ° С.

Important! The most productive and active plants are formed from seeds aged after harvesting for about 2-3 years. One-year seed not only grows worse, but also contributes to the growth of low-yielding watermelons.

Important for safety and packaging. It should protect the seeds from damage, but at the same time be distinguished by high breathability. Plastic bags and other artificial packaging are unsuitable for this, they will provoke the accumulation of moisture, which will create better conditions for the development of mold and other fungi.

Cloth bags or paper bags are best suited for this, you can replace them with a bundle of natural material, or with an old postal envelope Harvesting watermelon seeds is not only entertaining, but also quite profitable. It makes it possible to obtain the highest quality seed, characterized by increased productivity. However, for this it should be not only skillfully and expertly selected, but also created for the seeds optimal storage conditions.

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