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Cucumber Harvest | Know When to Pick Cucumbers

​Cucumber Harvest | When to Pick Cucumbers

One day my parents said they would visit us about lunchtime. Tim and I were excited and we started planning. They just love crunchy cucumbers and there was Tim’s garden so that was fine. 

About lunchtime we heard the car. I had a last look at the table and, Oh no, The cucumbers were not on the table! With scissors in hand I ran out, clipped four firm ripe cucumbers, sliced them and dashed to the table. Phew! That was exactly when to pick cucumbers, I told myself.

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When To Pick Your Cucumbers

Many ignore the seed packet and yet it’s the first clue that’ll help you ascertain the length of your cucumbers and when they’ll be ready to harvest after germinating.
The information will give you some idea of the growth path of your cucumbers.

Female Flowers

This is the first give away sign that tells you the cucumbers are on their way. 
The plants produce two types of flowers, male and female and it’s the female flowers that carry your cucumbers.
You will notice a swelling immediately below the flower stem. This swelling signifies the beginning of your cucumber.
when to harvest cucumbers

Length and Size are Important

From here on you will keep noticing a continual change in the length and size of your cucumbers until they reach maturity and are ready to harvest in the next 8-10 days after the female flowers bloom. 

The ideal length of your cucumbers should be between 6-8 inches long but always keep in mind that from germination, your cucumbers can be harvested at or between 50-70 days depending on the variety grown.

Different Harvesting Stages

Cucumbers can be divided into 3 basic types, standard, dill and large cucumbers.

  1. Standard - The standard type cucumbers or slicing cucumbers are usually ready for picking at 6 to 8 inches long

  2. Dill - Dills can be picked when they are only 4 inches long and pickling cucumbers can be harvested when they’re only 2 inches long.

  3. Large - The large cucumbers are usually 10 inches when they are ready for picking with other varieties growing to longer lengths and are usually without pips as they are full of meaty flesh.

​What else would you need to know before you get into your cucumber harvesting spree? #gardentips #gardening #prepping

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What to Look For When Picking Cucumbers

Now that you know what slicing cucumbers, dills and large cucumbers are and the right time for harvesting them, what else would you need to know before you get into your cucumber harvesting spree? Read on to find out.

Size

Size tells you that your cucumbers have reached their maturity for specific purposes. You already know for instance that dills are ready for picking when only 4 inches long, for pickling 2 inches and slicing 6-8 inches long and so on. 

However connoisseurs say cucumbers taste best when they are 5 – 8 inches long. We shouldn’t argue with that, after all it’s a matter of taste!

Color

The ideal color progression for cucumbers is dark green when from the “swelling” stage and they maintain that color throughout their growing life. Nevertheless, cultivars are known to develop a white or yellow color when they mature or ripen for picking. 

However, the safe color to stick to is dark green. Please note that if a dark green cucumber has turned yellow, it means it’s been on the tree too long and the taste will be bitter!

Firmness

Under a gentle squeeze, perfectly mature cucumbers will give in very slightly but still maintain their firm feel. 

This signals that the cucumber is begging to be picked and you should have no doubt but to do so and enjoy later. After examining a few more you will end up deciding they are all fit to be harvested.

Ripeness

The three characteristics mentioned above all indicate that your cucumbers are ideal for picking and you shouldn’t have any doubts whatsoever to begin harvesting the fruits of your hard work.

​How to Harvest Your Cucumbers

​Now for harvesting your cucumbers the right way so that you and your plant can continue your happy twosome relations that began from the time you started cultivating your plants.

Here are some proven methods of harvesting your cucumbers:

Morning is Best

As already said, monitoring your plants from day one is critical, especially towards the start of harvesting.

You should know by now how many cucumbers you are going to harvest and also remember, the more you harvest, the more cucumbers your plant will produce. 

Experts say the best time to begin picking your cucumbers is in the morning when everything is cool.

when to harvest cucumbers

Maintaining the Growth Rhythm

When you have harvested all the mature cucumbers, you are now in balancing territory. This means you should pick your cucumbers every other day (preferably the slicing cucumber group) for your own needs. 

By doing this you cucumbers won’t grow too large or have a bitter taste from being too mature.

Getting Rid of Weak Plants

Check your plants to determine their performance and you will notice that some plants don’t measure up. The cucumbers they produce are stunted and fail to reach proper maturity. Others have turned yellow betraying over maturity. All must be discarded to give the productive plants room to grow well.

Don’t Pull or Twist Vines

Pulling and wrenching will damage your vines so use sharp instruments (shears or large scissors) to cut the cucumbers about ¼ inch above the fruit while holding the fruit with the other hand to avoid dropping and bruising the cucumber. 

Yields may decline when you twist or pull the vines.

​The cucumbers they produce are stunted and fail to reach proper maturity.  Grab these tips to improve your harvest #preppers #prepper #growyourown

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Storage Tips For Cucumbers

There’s nothing better than to learn from planters who’ve not only succeeded in growing cucumbers but who’ve also successfully stored sliced cucumbers. Here are a few tips from such enterprising planters:

Preparation for Storing Cucumbers

  • Wash the whole cucumbers under the tap. Do the same for cucumbers you’ve bought from the grocery shop.
  • Dry the cucumbers prior to storing them and then wrap them in a paper towel or dishcloth to absorb the rest of the moisture to make them ready for slicing. Those with soft or moldy spots should be consumed quickly after removing the moldy spot.
  • Peel the cucumber to make it easier to store using a vegetable peeler to remove the dark green skin and reveal the light green layer beneath. Removing the skin is necessary for the next slicing stage.
  • Cut the cucumbers into small slices of about ¼ inch long with a sharp knife

Cucumber Slices in the Fridge | 6 Tips For Freshness

​Tip #1: Moisten a paper towel

Dampen a paper towel under cool tap water making sure you squeeze it to expel excess water.

Cover the exposed (skinless) parts covered with a paper towel.

​Tip #2: Totally wrap cucumber in the paper towel

​Do this by placing the pieces of cucumber in the middle of the bag and fold the ends to entirely cover the cucumber slices.

There is a minimum amount of moisture present so the slices won’t turn mushy.

​Tip #3: Store wrapped cucumber slices in an open plastic bag

A resealable bag can also be used.

Leaving the bags open permits moisture to escape and not collect around the slices and turn them mushy.

​Tip #4: Place the bag in the veggie drawer or crisper

These are ideal places being the warmest part of the fridge.

You can also put them at the front of the middle shelf away from colder air collecting at the bottom and freezer compartment.

​Tip #5: Keep the slices clear of ethylene

early frame cucumber

Early Frame Cucumbers

Cucumber is sensitive to ethylene produced by fruits.

Store your cucumber slices opposite from fruits if possible or use containers to reduce ethylene intrusion.

Fruits such as tomatoes, pears, bananas, apples, peaches and melons all exude ethylene.

​Tip #6: 2 days Limit

Plan to use the sliced cucumbers within 2 days tops.

However, if you use these tips, it’s most likely that your slices will remain good for a week.

Cucumber Slices in the Freezer | 6 Tips

​Tip #1: Use a cold resistant bowel for placing cucumber slices

Place slices in a single layer and spread out to make salting them easier.

​Tip #2: Salt the sliced cucumbers

​Use a tablespoon (14.8 ml) of salt for 7 cups of cucumber slices but for less cups, use less salt.

Use salt or spoon for evenly spreading the salt. You can also use your hands to mix the salt with the slices.

​Tip #3: Put cucumbers in the fridge overnight

orient express cucumber

Orient Express II Cucumbers

To add crisp to the slices, cover the mixing bowl with a towel and place some ice on the top.

​Tip #4: Drain the sliced cucumbers

Remove the bowel from the fridge the day after and pour out the water.

Squeeze out excess water by hand or with a kitchen tool so that the slices remain crisp.

​Tip #5: Mix cucumber slices in sugar and vinegar solution

Add distilled white vinegar and white sugar in a bowl and mix them.

Let the cucumbers soak in the mixture for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved.

Adjust the taste as you see fit. Sweeten the slices by adding sugar or produce a taste of sour pickles by adding more vinegar.

​Tip #6: Back to the freezer in freezer containers

Take the bowel out again and transfer its contents to the resealable frost-resistant containers with the sugar and vinegar mixture as well.

There’s only ¼ inch space up top but the sliced cucumbers will last a whole year, fresh and crisp.

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Final Thoughts

Growing cucumbers and relishing them all year long through the four seasons with proper storage is a great accomplishment in itself. 
However nothing can compare with the delight in planting your cucumber plants, watching them grow and producing a bounty that signals when 
to pick cucumbers so you and your family can enjoy them. There’s no feeling like it anywhere, any time.  ​ 

Related Questions


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when to harvest cucumbers

When to Pick Banana Peppers | The Ripe Guide

When to Pick Banana Peppers | The Ripe Guide

Compliments galore are showered upon the humble looking banana pepper. It may indeed look humble but it packs a wallop with its tangy, zesty and vigorous flavor not to mention the abundance of nutritional and health benefits it possesses.

It’s equally crucial to know when to pick your banana peppers because their flavor depends on it. If you pick them at the wrong time, you lose that unique flavor.

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How Do Mushrooms Reproduce | Grow Them Today

How Do Mushrooms Reproduce

Mushrooms can be pretty easy to cultivate if you better understand their life-cycle.

However, without the knowledge of how they mature, it might be a bit difficult for you to grow them properly, especially in the quantity you might want.

Knowing about mushroom reproduction will invariably help you to provide them with the best growing conditions and also maintain and/or improve the quality of your strains as they grow.

So, how do mushrooms reproduce its delectable fruiting body?

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5 Gallon Bucket Garden | Simple & Cheap Way To Grow Vegetables

5 Gallon Bucket Garden | Simple & Cheap Way To Grow Vegetables

When we live in cities or urban sprawls and there’s talk of growing fruits and vegetables, we immediately visualize open spaces to build gardens for growing our fruits and vegetables. 

This is not strictly true because there are so many ways that fruits and vegetables and one of them is by developing a 5-Gallon Bucket Garden.

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Survival Garden Layout | A Must Read Epic Guide

Survival Garden Layout | A Must Read Epic Guide

The pioneering days in early America were epic times; natural calamities happened so many people had to plan ahead to survive. Many had a natural survival garden layout.

I grew up as a Boy Scout and have taken to the motto of “Be Prepared.”  This motto has become part of my normal life.  I always have a plan and prepare ahead of time.  It is a way to insure my well being for my family.

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Growing Carrots In A 5-Gallon Bucket

Growing Carrots In A 5-Gallon Bucket

You’d agree with me that there’s nothing unusual about growing carrots in containers.

Gardeners have been doing it for years to augment their supplies of whatever they fancy.

Whether it be fruits, vegetables, herbs, or just for the pleasure of enjoying gardening. 

But have you heard about growing carrots in a bucket?

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Growing a Victory Garden | The Modern Way

Growing a Victory Garden | The Modern Way

The concept of how to build a victory garden is not only interesting because of the historical circumstances from which it sprung up, but also because it can be applied in our present situation. 

I sincerely believe that victory gardens are the perfect panacea for the uncertain times as well as an ailing global economy.  Grocery stores may not always have some of the tastiest tomatoes either.

Resurgence here would boost supplies of vegetables, fruits, and herbs and bolster physical, mental and spiritual well being, wouldn’t you agree?

History of a Victory Garden | When Did Victory Gardens Start?

During the World Wars I and World Wars II era, the most important thing to everyone at the battlefront and those at the home front was the constant availability of food supplies.  

Part of the war effort was to supplement food and victory gardens fit the bill.

Public food supplies were stretched to their limits and front line troops were in dire difficulties.

It was a dilemma because the front line soldiers were bereft of food supplies.  

The home front also suffered from similar deprivations.

It became clear that a sustained supply of foodstuff had to flow from other sources.

how to build a victory garden

Governments had reached their limit and it was now the private sector to the rescue. The ordinary people had a major role to play in the rescue of their countries. 

During the battles, national governments of both foe and allied armies alike acted independently to address the food shortages as part of the war effort. 

It was from all this and of chronic food shortage that the almost miraculous idea of victory gardens also known as food vegetable gardens for defense sprang into existence. 

It all began during World War I, when victory gardens sprung into existence in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, and Australia, and was to resurface later again in World War II.

The concept of victory gardens also known as food gardens for defense started in Canada in 1917. 

It was here that all residents of every city, town, and village were urged to make space available in their backyard for the planting of vegetables for their own use and during times of conflict.  Grocery stores now included your backyard & garden centers.

Similar measures were adopted in the United States which suffered from lack of farm laborers due to enlistments in the army. The national effort focused on training in agriculture & growing food, gardening to help with food shortages.

Food rationing in Australia and the UK plagued the two countries and were forced to adopt similar austerity measures. 

Growing a victory garden full of vegetables, fruits and herbs were solidified by world war II.  It is estimated that 420 million victory gardens were grow during this period.

Victory Garden Planning

No matter what project you may have in mind, proper planning and designing of your venture is one way to ultimate success. 

You can plan to accommodate a victory garden using a combination of these types:

  1. Traditional Garden Bed
  2. Raised Garden Bed
  3. Container Garden & Potting Soil


Check out our guide on container gardening here


We will focus on a traditional or raised bed approach for our victory garden, but don't let that stop you even if you only have window boxes.

Keep in mind that a raised bed will require soil from a garden center or local garden hardware store.

Planning always involves numbers and the magic number this time is a family of 5 and the ideal area that will accommodate the needs of a 5 member family is a 40'x 61’ foot garden. 

This is your garden area which needs to be cleaned and made level before tilling or building your raised bed.

Follow these basic steps to get started: 

  1. Identify the area that would agree to these dimensions
  2. Mark the area by either some stakes and twine
  3. Determine how to effectively use the area for your planting or to layout your local garden. 


The easiest and most suitable layout for your garden should follow traditional gardening where rows are the norm. They are easy to configure and easier to manage given the variety of veggies, fruits, and herbs you’ll be growing.  

Mark out the rows keeping in mind the size of plants.  Note that the row method can be varied with the use of other techniques such as using pots and containers positioned at strategic places in your garden have also been successful.

Nevertheless, it is not enough just to have the rows all marked out because it’s also important to know how to space your plants in their rows so that they have sufficient space for inducing comfortable growth. 

This can be difficult for a new beginner at gardening so you should use the distances applied between the seedling plants as shown in the gardening plan.

If you need help with when to plant, consult the planting times of the same plan and you’ll know when to plant

grow a victory garden


Designing a Victory Garden

Designing your own victory garden can be a very rewarding task.  Yet it is vital that you should give considerable thought during the planning stage. 

Limitless Design of Victory Gardens 

There are limitless possibilities and gardens that can be designed. They are formed with precision, beauty, and charm.  

You can build them anywhere such as on the rooftop, backyard, front yard, patio or open ground. 

These victory gardens are built not only for a steady supply of vegetables, fruits, and herbs but are also meant to beautify your spatially restricted surroundings. 

You will be provided with a garden packed with food-producing plants and an extremely attractive ecological landscape that will mesmerize your friends and neighbors with their productivity and elegance.

You can feast your eyes on the front yard of your home where the landscape has been transformed from a dull, ordinary and unexciting view to a robust, dynamic and absolutely exciting. 

Whether you want a facelift to your backyard space, this can also be personalized to suit your taste and to produce abundance. 

Your own patio can be turned into a miniature resting and relaxing place that exudes myriad colors around you. 

Importance of Soil Health in Your Design

Designing a garden should also include optimizing your soil health. This could mean having structures such as compost piles or worm composting bins close by.

You also need to know what amendments that you may need to procure to build up your soil. Some of the common amendments include:

  • Compost
  • Cow Manure
  • Chicken Manure
  • Mushroom Compost
  • Leaf Mulch
  • Peat Moss
  • Sand

This list is not exhaustive, but it is what some new gardens patches may need to get started on a smaller scale. Keep in mind the access to water as well when you are designing your victory garden.

Best Vegetables to Grow For a Victory Garden

This list was put together with finding vegetables that are both easy to grow and have the maximum calories in the space needed to grow them.

These types of vegetables are also easy to store in your food pantries and save seeds for each year.

We included some notes on why these are good picks.

Grab your seed packets to start planting.

how to build a victory garden
  • Lettuce - Loads of vitamins and can be cut over and over again.
  • Butternut Squash - long storage & loads of vitamins
  • Green Beans - rich in vitamins and able to be canned
  • Yukon Potatoes - rich in starch and long storage
  • Carrots - preferably a mix of smaller and larger types. Rich in vitamins & flavor
  • Tomatoes – pick a cherry variety and a Roma type for canning
  • Detroit Red Beets - vitamins and calorie-rich. Great to plant in both spring and fall gardens
  • Swiss Chard - rich in vitamins
  • Kale - rich in vitamins
  • Spinach - loaded with vitamins and good spring and fall crop
  • Bush Beans - best for storage (black beans)
  • Sugar Snap Peas - cold weather crop, so can be grown in both spring and fall
  • Yellow Squash - packed with vitamins and starches.
  • Zucchini squash - flavorful and rich in vitamins
  • Onions - medicinal and flavor
  • Garlic - Adds flavor & medicinal
  • Radishes - grows quickly and full of vitamins
  • Berries - loads of vitamins and flavor


9 Tips for Planting a Victory Garden With Further Resources

This is also a critical time for your success and you need to be tuned in with your surroundings before you can actually dive in a do your planting.  

Check out our resource guide below for more help on specific topics.

  1. Know that the soil before you have already built a soil ecosystem of its own which is thriving. You can only add your boosting touch.

    Test the soil, prepare it by softening it up to a depth of about 6 to 8 inches adding compost and other nutrients to invigorate the soil as you go.
  2. In our gardening plan model you are set to plant a total of 23 vegetables, fruits and herbs in your prepared rows and you’ve already taken note of the sizes of your plants
  3. If you are planting in raised beds, this is the best time to build them before planting.
  4. Carefully transfer your plants from your seedling bed making sure no damage occurs to the plants.
  5. Know your seasons well and the right time to plant each of the plants following the “Planting Times” schedules for planting seedlings indoors, planting outdoors and harvesting, shown.
  6. You will definitely use the compost heap you already generated from your composting activities, so you’ll need to do your own composting to replace what you have used for your new plants.
  7. A lot of nutrients are extracted from the soil by your growing plants causing poor soil making plants susceptible to diseases and decay that attract pests. Crop rotation becomes critical during this stage to disrupt the lives of pests and diseases and for invigorating the soil.
  8. The life of a plentiful supply of vegetables, fruits from your garden can be extended in the form of canned or frozen treats. These preservation methods will enable you to enjoy the taste of the summer harvest season to linger on through subsequent seasons of autumn and fall.
  9. One of the environmental benefits of gardening is the planting of pollen-rich flowers which are favorite fare to butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds and enable them to do nature’s many wondrous works.

Final Thoughts

As can be seen, success in gardening depends on a cluster of interacting factors.  You can quickly grow a garden should the need arise.

These factors exist in nature itself, in the atmosphere, the soil and in man himself.  In order to satisfy his culinary appetite, he searched for and discovered how to grow a victory garden for growing vegetables, fruits and herbs.

This gardening revolution survived two World Wars and became an indelible legacy that will survive well into the future.

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how to build a victory garden

Best Types of Beets To Plant In Your Garden

Best 19 Types of Beets To Plant In Your Garden

All the types of beets originally came from the Middle East where they came under the plough in the 8th century BC mainly for medicinal purposes. 

French chefs subsequently saw its cuisine potential and used them as a side dish. From that time the beet gained a permanent place on the menu.

This list of the best beets to grow will get you some ideas of the different ones to plant in your garden.

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How Long Do Strawberries Last | Expert Storage Tips

How Long Do Strawberries Last | Best Storage Tips

When you hear the name of strawberries,you think ​of the roundish fruit that you ​drop in your mouth and savor its delicious ​taste. We get so engrossed in eating it we usually don’t bother to ask how long do strawberries last.

Strawberries are a delicate fruit that does not ​have a long shelf life.

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How Long Do Blueberries Last | Best Preserving Tips

How Long Do Blueberries Last | Best Storage Tips

Blueberries are touted as being one of the wonder fruits of our times, packed with vitamins C and K and antioxidants for vibrant health, blueberries are so vital we should really be asking ourselves, “How Long Do Blueberries Last”.

Blueberries shelf life has many factors that come into play. 

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How Long Do Pickles Last | Best Storage Tips

How Long Do Pickles Last | Best Storage Tips

Pickles are a favorite snack that we love to have in our homes. You might be curious as ask just how long do pickles last.

Our ancestors did not have the luxury of having a refrigerator or freezer to store all of their harvest. 

If you garden and grow cucumbers..you might know that cucumbers come out like gangbusters once they start growing.

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How Long Do Tomatoes Last | Best Storage Tips

How Long Do Tomatoes Last | Best Storage Tips

Tomatoes are technically a fruit, one that does not have an indefinite shelf life.  You might be wondering just how long do tomatoes last.

We answer all those questions, plus give you some of the best tips to store & prepare them to last longer.  Proper techniques will really help when you are trying to preserve tomatoes.

Tomato’s shelf life is really dependant on your careful preparation and shelf storage practices.  

Oxygen, moisture, temperature and light are typically the 4 common spoilers with any food.  Keep all of these limited and you will make them last longer.

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How Long Do Lemons Last | Extend Shelf Life

How Long Do Lemons Last | Extend Shelf Life

Lemons are a fruit that is best serve chilled in a glass if you ask me.  You might be asking question of how long do lemons last, so you can best store them.

We have all the details, plus a way to preserve them Morroccan style. Lemons shelf life is contingent on the many ways & methods that you choose to store it. 

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How Long Do Avocados Last | Tips to Avoid Spoilage

How Long Do Avocados Last | Tips to Avoid Spoilage

To engage in an avocado spending spree and buy as many as you want is not an issue, it’s the task of preserving them that poses challenges and we need to ask the question, How long do avocados last?

Avocados shelf life is contingent on the many ways & methods that you choose to store it.

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How Long Do Oranges Last | Top Storage Tips

How Long Do Oranges Last | Top Storage Tips

Oranges are a fruit that you don’t need to eat right away after harvesting.  Many still question of how long do oranges last because you don’t want them to go to waste.

Oranges shelf life is dependant on the many ways & methods that you choose to store it. 

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Can You Grow Corn in a Pot?

Can You Grow Corn In A Pot?

At first glance, the question of, "Can you grow corn in a pot" raises a challenge to people like me.

You see I never grew up in the bread basket section of the US.  My experience as a city dweller limited some of my capabilities to plant corn.

This gave me a unique outlook, so I embarked on experimenting with this myself

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Do Carrots Need Full Sun?

Do Carrots Need Full Sun?

Do carrots need full sun is a question that many seem to ponder. 

Yes, they do because they are a winter crop, and they need as much sun as they can get.

Growing a few may seem difficult, but with just a little huff and puff, you can grow plenty for months of storage.

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