We shared two blog posts about how to cultivate seedlings, and trimming and fertilization before. Coming to our third blog of this series, let's look at how to harvest gourds.
瓜類的收成時機 When to Harvest Gourds
You can normally find information about day of maturity from sow, and sometimes the size or weight of the fruit, on the package of the seeds you purchased. Just like our pages for gourds or solanceae. But it is worth noting that, there are many external factors that may affect this date. For example
- Sunlight is the key factor to blooming of gourd flowers
- Continuous rain, lack of pollinators
- Gourds mature before they grow to the right size due to the above factors or else. Smaller fruit requires shorter maturing time
In practice, you may need to count the days after pollination, or check the fruits with some experience as your final goal. Here are some of our experience that you may find useful!
Approx. 35 days after pollination for early varieties. Lightly slap on your melon. If you feel that there are a lot of water inside the fruit, the vacuolum are too small. If you feel that it is firm, it is highly possible that carbohydrate and organic matter are formed. Now is your harvesting time!
Approx. 50-60 days after pollination. White dust will appear, skin turns from green to orange-yellow, stem turns woody. Shelf life can last more than 6 months if the fruit is not cut open
Approx. 38 days after pollination. Like pumpkin, wax gourd also has white dust on its surface. Clover Seed's wax gourd has early maturity, which makes them suitable for sowing twice a year. And just like pumpkin, they have extensive shelf life
Approx. 10-14 days. Harvest when their hair is thorny
Approx. 7-14 days after pollination. When pattern and colour turn light. Note that they will continue to mature even on shelf
Approx. 7 days after pollincation. Unlike Bitter Gourd, cucumber should be harvested when their colour turn darker
Approx. 7-14 days. When colour turn darker, touch should be bouncy
Can I save seed from my gourds?
我們網店上的瓜類品種都是F1雜交種子(Filial 1 Hybrid)。以前在另一篇文章就提到，F1雜交種子不能留種是一個謬誤。事實上，很多被子植物在歷史上都是透過雜交演化而發展至今。種植上，F1雜交種子經過多年重複的篩選、培育、篩選、生產的過程，持續集合父母本的優勢，維持農作物的一致性，目的為省卻農夫在種植準備上的時間和空間。
All the gourds seeds on our online store are Filial 1 Hybrid (F1). It is a misunderstanding that F1 seeds cannot be saved. In fact, many angiospermae today are developed in hybrid processes. In agriculture, F1 is produced through year-long cyclical processes of selection, cultivation, selection, production, in order to maintain benefits from their parental line, so that crops can be uniform. This can save the preparation time for farmers in terms of time and space.
Just like how we differ from our parents, the next generation of F1 (F2, F3...) can be very different from F1. Characteristics from recessive gene may emerge, and this can be a bother for farmers who are aiming for harvest.
So, if harvesting what you've planned is the ultimate goal, we suggest you to buy seeds.
當然，以往農民祖先自家留種的「農家品種」（Heirloom Seed）對於農業的發展也非常重要。農家品種多為天然傳粉（Open Polliated, OP)，這些品種不追求一致，基因多樣，隨環境演化，潛藏著父母本的候選者。沒有父母本，將來也許就沒有辦法生產F1種子。
Of course, heirloom seeds are very important. Heirloom seeds are open pollinated, produced without opting for uniformity. They change with the environment, and they are genetically diversified. They are potential parental line for F1 production too. If there is no parental material, there might as well be no F1 seed at all.
Stay with us in our next blog this Summer - we will share about gourds' seed saving on our SEED BLOG again!