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Harvesting Seed Extraction and Storage of Cucurbits


Harvesting Seed Extraction and Storage of Cucurbits

Cucumber: Fully mature fruit with ripe rind colour are harvested. Mature seeds easily separate from the interior. For seed extraction by hand the fruits are cut in half length wise and the seeds are scrapped into a container where the seeds and juice mixture are allowed to ferment for a day in water. Seeds are washed in water and dried under sun. Drying is continued unit seed moisture reaches to about 10%

Muskmelon: mature fruits of muskmelon tend to separate from the stem at the base of the fruit by formation of an abscission layer. This is usually referred to as "full slip" stage. For large scale see production melons are harvested at full-slip stage, fermentation is not required. The seeds are washed in water and dried as in cucumber.

Watermelon: full ripe watermelons are kept for 3-4 days in cool and dry place before extraction and washing them clean water. Immediately after seed extraction and cleaning, seeds are dried as in cucumber.

Pumpkins and squashes: pumpkin and squashes usually take 4 months from anthesis to seed maturity. At this stage the rind is hardened and there is change in colour. The immature green fruit turn to a yellow orange colour and yellow golden types change to a straw colour. After extraction the seeds are washed in water without fermentation as fermentation tends to discolour the seed and may reduce germination.

Gourds: bottle gourd fruits are harvested when the rind has hardend and attachment of seeds becomes loose. The fruits are cut open and seeds washed in water and dried. No fermentation is required. Ridge gourd fruits are fully dried and seeds come out after cutting the dried fruits. Seeds are dried in sun for 2 days and subsequently 2-4 days under shade Bitter gourd fruit are harvested when they are ripe and fruit colour at this stage is yellow. Fruits are crushed in water and seed are washed, dried and stored.

Storage: seed should be stored at 2-50 C and 40% relative humidity condition for prolonged viability. For vapour proof storage moisture content of water melon and bitter gourd seeds should be 6 percent.




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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.