Cucumis melo var. retroflexus
Planting depth: 1/2”
Days to germ: 7-20
When the plant begins to grow tendrils (threadlike appendages), it is ready to begin vining. If allowed to do so on a trellis or vertical structure it will take advantage of this opportunity, guided by phototropism (seeking light.) If a trellis is not provided it will spread on the ground and will strangle nearby plants in order to ascend.
Temperature Requirements: Cucumbers will not germinate in temperatures below 50° F (10°C) and require 55-65 frost free days to mature.
When fully ripened, the seeds are at their most guaranteed germination stage as well as greater in quantity (usually.) When slicing to save seeds, be careful not to cut through the embryo, rather, cut to expose the embryo and scoop out seeds. Separate as much parent material as you can from the seeds, as this may not only temporarily inhibit growth, but increase the likelihood of bacterial or fungal infections. Place the seeds in a body of water to allow fermentation of any remaining fungi or bacteria. This will produce a smelly film at the surface of the water. This is normal, given the seeds have not shrunken in size. When water is drained from the seeds, the process is repeated once more to dilute any remaining enzymes before seeds are separated from the water and dried for storage. If firm, the seeds are good, if they compress, the seed is likely to be bad.
1. Scoop out seeds
2. Soak seeds in water
3. Drain and soak again (repeat until water appears clean)
4. Drain and dry
5. Store in a dark cool place.