My first step was to collect a few ripe fruits free of cracks or bug holes, which can serve as entry points for disease microorganisms. Once you've saved your own, you won't ever need to buy seeds. Next, place the good seeds on a paper towel and leave them there until they are thoroughly dry, which may take one to two days. So, to make it easy on yourself, just stay away from seeds that belong to hybrid cucumbers. I know a lot of people have been asking me, When is it ripe? Only disease-free cuke seeds will produce good results. Not all open-pollinated plants are heirlooms. Keep seeds out of sunlight. Some seeds are easier to save than others. If it snaps in half, it is dry enough to move onto the next step. "Seed to Seed" by Suzanne Ashworth. The perfect time to pick a plant to eat … Step 2 – Scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Step 3 – Place the seeds in a bowl, or jar, and cover the seeds with water. You want to harvest the seeds from the over-ripened cucumber as soon as you pick it. The good seeds will sink to the bottom of the jar or bowl. Cut the cucumbers lengthwise to expose their seed. Once you learn how easy it is to save and store cucumber seeds for next year's crop, you may decide to try saving other vegetable seeds. Seed saving is a HUGE subject, and the instructions for saving seeds from one species may differ from another. Something else you need to look for is whether the original cukes were hybrids. There is also a good way to tell if the seeds are dry enough to store in a container. Once you save and replant one season, future seasons will be a lot easier to accommodate, making this activity something you can look forward to year after year. Get it as soon as Mon, Dec 14. © 2006-2020 LoveToKnow, Corp., except where otherwise noted. When stored under these conditions, cucumber seeds … Finally, you should always isolate the seeds you’re planning to save and plant. Fermenting the Seeds Cut your cuke in half lengthwise over a bowl and then scoop out the seeds. All Rights Reserved. Please help us improve. Slice your cucumber in half long ways, and scoop out the seeds. For seed-saving purposes, cucumbers must be left on the vines until they ripen, usually when they turn bright yellow or orange. "The Seed Savers Handbook" Jeremy Cherfas, (Grover Books, 1996) is also good and also talks in more detail about the reasons that you might want to save your own seeds. Spread the seeds out on a piece of paper towel or parchment paper. This precaution will ensure you harvest seeds from the parent plant only. Cucumber seeds saved from a previous growing season are called heirloom seeds, and this is a very popular thing to do, even though some of the steps mentioned above are a little easier if you’re a commercial grower. At this time, you can remove the good seeds and discard the bad seeds and the pulp. Eggplant, cucumber, and summer squash fruit are eaten when the fruits are immature and still edible, but before the seeds are actually mature. Place the seeds in a glass jar or bowl and cover with just enough warm water so the seeds float (they will eventually sink to the bottom). Cucumbers are self-pollinating. Their concern is whether cross-pollination will result in inedible fruit. Happy planting! In fact, these types of seeds are often sterile. Store cucumber seeds in a cool, dark, and dry place in an airtight container to keep out moisture and humidity. Many cucumber varieties (like the one I tried to save seed from) are parthenocarpic, which means that the female flowers with produce fruit without being fertilized by pollen from a male flower. The Practical Planter is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Add a small amount of warm water, cover the bowl and let the seeds sit for three days. After the two days are up, you can place the concoction in the refrigerator, because it always needs to be in a cool, dry place. How to Save Cucumber Seeds? Wait too late, and you leave a better chance for the seed to cross with another variety. This means removing the seeds from the cucumbers once they are fully mature. Place the bowl somewhere out of direct sunlight for 1-3 days. Saving Seed of Pumpkins, Squash, Cucumbers, Melons and Gourds New gardeners often ask whether it’s alright to plant cucumbers, squash, or gourds next to each other. A plant that is struggling or producing malformed cucumbers isn't a good candidate for seed harvesting. So it's the time of year where my mind really turns to making sure I have enough seed of everything. The mixture will essentially ferment over the three-day period, which does two things. Saving seeds from mature fruit in the middle of the season is your best bet for collecting high-quality seed. Some people store their seeds in a refrigerator. Below is a rundown of gathering, treating, and storing the most commonly-saved garden vegetable seeds. You can store them in a drawer, cabinet, or plastic container. Allow it to turn yellow or orange and soft and then harvest the seeds the same way you would if left on the vine to mature. I have read many versions of saving cuke seeds. Immediately after storing them, place them in the freezer for two days to kill off anything that is harmful to them, such as pests. If you have a lot of space--like a farm--plant one variety per half-mile. Leave undisturbed for four days or longer if needed. The second purpose is to kill any diseases or viruses the seeds might harbor. Why? The fermentation process of the seeds serves two purposes. Basically used same procedure I used successfully with tomatoes. You never know what you'll end up growing. Just allow the cucumber to remain on the vine and fall to the ground. Remove the seeds from the freezer and store in a cool dry, dark place. You can use this same process to save seeds from tomatoes and cucumbers as well. The important thing to remember is to ferment them so the good seeds are at the bottom, dry them thoroughly, and place them in airtight containers in a cool, dry place. Saving seeds from cucumbers uses a similiar technique to saving seeds from … Step 4 – Set the bowl aside and leave it in a warm space – to allow fermentation to begin. Heirloom seeds are handed down from one generation to another and must be open-pollinated to ensure the modern seed is nearly identical to the original parent plant. It is best to ferment the seeds before drying to find the seeds which will germinate. At one time, people saved nearly everything, and this included seeds from vegetables grown in their gardens. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Instead, look for the plant excelling in production and quality of cucumbers. When properly saved and stored, cucumber seeds can last between five to ten years. The first is to get rid of the gel sack so the seeds can dry out. Scoop out the cucumber seed with a spoon and deposit the seed into a jar of water. And if you harvest and save your own cucumber’s seed, be aware of the fruit’s parentage. Since its my first year saving these seeds I will test the unfermented seed to see how it compares with the cleaned seed. Saving Cucumber Seeds Once you have chosen the plant let one of the cucumbers grow until it begins to turn yellow. If you’ve decided to save your cucumber seeds so you can replant them at a later time, you can easily choose types that are known not to pollinate. These can be discarded. Why did they do this? You want to select the healthiest cucumber plant for harvesting seeds. This is "saving cucumber seed" by Petra Page-Mann on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them. Place the seed envelope sleeve or jar in the freezer for a couple of days to ensure any possible pests or disease that resisted the fermentation process are removed. First of all, since cucumber seeds can carry and transmit certain diseases, you have to make certain the seeds have none of these diseases before you plant them in the ground. If you love cucumbers, you can definitely save and replant these, but not until you learn a few of the basics first. Sow Right Seeds - Cucumber Seed Collection for Planting - Armenian, Pickling, Lemon, Beit Alpha Variety Pack, Non-GMO Heirloom Seeds to Plant and Grow a Home Vegetable Garden, Great Gardening Gift. This means that the male and female flowers grow on the same vine and don't require other plants for pollination. Therefore, it needs to be at the end of the growing season and past the eating stage before you harvest the seeds. I picked a few overripe ones just for the purpose of saving the seed. When you go to remove the seeds from your cucumbers, you need to remove them at the right time. Strain the good seeds through a mesh sieve and gently rinse them to ensure all the gel sac is gone. The good seeds sink and the bad ones float (being full of air). Before saving cucumber seeds, you'll first need to make sure you are dealing with an open-pollinated or non-hybrid variety, otherwise known as an heirloom. Cucumber seeds take a little more effort. If you select too early, the plants may have not matured enough to produce good seed. When the seeds are completely dry, you can store them away until you’re ready to use them. For vertical vines, plant seeds one foot apart. This means that seed savers need to leave a few fruits to fully mature in the garden when they want to save seeds. The seeds are enclosed in a slippery jelly like sack to keep them from sprouting inside the moist fruit. They should stay on the … Hybrid cucumber seeds rarely produce tasty, healthy cukes. Once the seeds are thoroughly dry, transfer them into a seed envelope/sleeve or a small glass jar. Of course, if you’re going to save your cucumber seeds, you have to keep a few things in mind if you want to be successful. Ideally, you’ll plant just one of these varieties at a time, but if you do choose to plant more than one variety, make sure they are planted a minimum of one-half mile apart. The seeds will need to ferment to remove the outer coating on the seeds. When purchasing heirloom plants or seeds, the description will state it is an heirloom. If you're going to save seeds, you'll want only seeds from the original plant. However, seed saving requires a little planning if you want to make sure that your open-pollinated seeds remain pure, since zinnias can be cross-pollinated by insects from different varieties. To replant the seeds so that more vegetables can grow. Don't save seeds from vegetables or flowers labeled "hybrid." Because tomatoes and cucumbers have seeds that are coated with a gel, the first step is to remove it … Step 1 – Harvest the overgrown cucumber and cut it in half lengthwise. Lastly, seeds can transmit some diseases, so be sure that when cucumber seed saving, no disease has infected the crop that you are trying to harvest. Commonly Saved Vegetable Seeds. Don't wait until the end of the season when plants are at their lowest energy production. Simply take one of the seeds out and bend it in half. This means that to replant successful cucumbers, you have to make sure that the seeds are isolated because if they’re not, you could end up with some very interesting and not-so-great combinations once the veggies start to grow. If you pick a nice healthy ripe cucumber to eat but later decide you wish to save its seeds, set the cucumber in a cool dry place to continue ripening. 25 Creative Ways of Remembering Loved Ones at Christmas, Pictures of Different Types of Palm Trees. Leave the seeds soaking for three to four days. Slice the cucumber lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. As a general rule, you should keep the seeds in the freezer for two days, although an extra day or two won’t hurt them; ferment them in the water mixture for a minimum of three days, although you can leave them there for five days if you like; and dry them out for several days or even a few weeks. To soak up any moisture, place a silica gel packet in your glass jar and replace it every six months. My name is Lisa, and I’m on a mission to expand my plant knowledge. The seed might not be pure, as there were pickling cukes in the same field, but I think its worth a try to save the seed. Press Esc to cancel. Discard the flesh, which has become bitter. To make sure the seeds are removed properly and are healthy enough to plant successfully, here are the steps you should take: The reason you’ll do this is to remove the gel coating that surrounds these types of seeds. It should release from the vine very easily. Saving Cucumber Seed: Here is Josie, aged 2, saving cucumber seed. You'll notice that the seeds are encased in a gel-like substance. Once the fruit is done, melon and watermelon seeds simply need to be washed, dried and stored for next year. This spring, I used the last seeds of our favorite early tomato, open-pollinated Stupice, so I needed to collect and save a fresh supply of seeds. Label with the cucumber variety and date stored. It's really simple. Ground vines should be planted about three feet apart. Cucumber seeds are relatively easy to save for planting next year. Saving cucumber seeds ensures you have the same plant for next season. Why wasn't this page useful? Skim the bad seeds and pulp from the surface and discard. They will enlarge and turn yellow. Hi! Of course, all of these things can be difficult for the casual home gardener to do, but it isn’t impossible if you get a little outside help. Choose the cucumber that is the healthiest and let it remain on the vine long past the harvesting time. Last Spring the cuke seeds failed to germinate. If you're going to save cucumber seeds, you need to plant an open-pollinated (bred pure) variety. Many varieties could be hybrids but may not be designated as such. Saving cucumber seeds isn’t complicated; you just have to be aware of a few tips that make the task more successful. Allow the cucumber to turn yellow (some varieties turn orange) and the peel to become soft. 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