Saving Cucumber Seeds

Discussion in 'Seed Starting / Propagation' started by Daniel W, Nov 18, 2022.

  1. Daniel W

    Daniel W In Flower

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    This works for me. I let a cucumber ripen until almost all of the green color is gone, and it is starting to soften a little. It was looking like frost outside, so I labeled this one to keep and stored it in the garage to let it finish ripening. This is a bush pickle variety.

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    While cleaning up, I discovered in another location that I had missed an Asian cucumber, which also ripened.

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    I cut them open. Lots of nice seeds. The flesh is watery, with a sort of pleasant, melon scent.

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    Then I scoop the seeds and watery flesh into a jar, add some water, and let them ferment a couple of days.

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    The fermentation removes a seed coating that dries on too hard for the seeds to take in water when planted.

    After these ferment 1 to 3 days, I'll wash them in a sieve and let them dry on paper towels before transferring to a paper envelope for storage.

    This works nicely for open pollinated or heirloom varieties, which grow true to type. I've saved mine for a number of years (plant generations) with no problems.
     
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  3. Logan

    Logan Hardy Maple

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    That's interesting Daniel, I think that it's the same as saving tomato seeds, thanks for sharing.
     
  4. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Oh, I like this posting…also the note to yourself. Although the note was probably not meant to be funny, I did see humour in it.
     
  5. Daniel W

    Daniel W In Flower

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    You're right, Logan. I do let tomato seeds ferment five days but cucumber two or three days. The rest is basically the same.
     
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  6. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. In Flower

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    I really appreciated this posting Daniel. I tried saving some cucumber seed this year, but I had a few problems that you just solved. I left the seeds in a jar of water for a few day, but what I had read said that the ones that floated were bad seeds. Mine floated and sunk daily it seemed...so I did not keep them. They looked plump and fine - so I was a little confused. ( should have asked the Stew....) It looks like yours float a bit too?

    By then, my season was late and keeping a cuke in the greenhouse on the vine wasn't an option. It did not even occur to me to let it ripen further indoors - I just assumed it would spoil.

    So thank you for the AH-HA moments in this post. :)

    And may I ask, for your cuke and tomato seed...you mentioned that you scoop the fleshy part as well into the jar? Does this help with the fermenting? And it all rinses off without having to seperate the seeds from it? ( I found it a bit tedious to remove the individual seeds from the cuke when I tried this)
     
  7. Daniel W

    Daniel W In Flower

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    Melody, thank you for asking that question. I think I said it incorrectly, not thinking about the meaning of "flesh ". It's actually the gelatinous, juicy part. Not the solid part. At this stage, it's quite liquidy where the seeds are. I just use a spoon. I don't pick out individual seeds.

    Today I rinsed the seeds. Here they are in the jar. I add some water, swirl around, let them settle a bit, pour off the water without pouring off the seeds, repeat a couple of times. It only takes a couple minutes, if that.

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    Then I pour them into a sieve and use the faucet sprayer thing in the sink to rinse out most of the remaining goo. It's not much.

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    Then I invert the sieve over a paper towel on a plate and tap a few times. Most of the little goo remaining stays on the sieve, while the seeds fall onto the paper towel.

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    i don't worry about any traces if goo that remain. Now I'll let them dry a few days or a week. I don't worry about seeds sticking to paper towel. If there are traces if paper towel stuck to the seeds when they are dry, they wont hurt anything.

    I decided "goo" was a more accurate word than "flesh" LOL.

    I'll see if I have images for tomato seeds. It's almost exactly the same process.

    Also if your seeds looked plump, my guess is they were fine.
     
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  8. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Daniel—Looking tip-top, those seeds.
    Good luck with them next year.
    Do you gather your seeds and plant them each successive year, or do you sometimes order them anew?
     
  9. Daniel W

    Daniel W In Flower

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    Sjoerd, thanks!
    I always buy new seeds too. That's usually things that a small gardener can't save easily (sweetcorn requires about 100 plants to avoid inbreeding suppression), or some hybrids, or I just want to try new varieties.

    For varieties that have proven themselves in my garden and are not difficult to save seeds, I just grow my own and don't buy new ones for those varieties. I have quite a few that I've grown for ten years, and a couple that I've grown from saved seeds for more than twenty years.

    This year, I saved seeds for tomatoes, hot peppers, eggplant, Chinese pole beans, green bean bush beans, cucumbers, basil, cilantro, squashes, pumpkins, rudbeckia, marigolds, and also set aside garlic and shallot bulbs to split and plant.

    Saving seeds is a way for me to continue a tradition.
     
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  10. Zigs

    Zigs In Flower

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    I've done that with Manx Marvel tomato seeds, you can't get the seeds in the shops. I've got a saucer full of them on my desk, Tetters nearly put it in the washing up :eek: I'd better not ferment them this year though, she won't like the smell :D
     
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