The seeds will need to ferment to remove the outer coating on the seeds. Why did I save them without fermentation? If you’re dealing with plants that have tiny seed-producing flowers such as basil, snip the entire stalk to let the seeds fall naturally into an envelope or container. This post may contain affiliate links. 4. Saving melon seeds from this year’s crop to plant in next year’s garden requires planning and attention to detail. Remove the good seed and spread them on a screen or on paper towels to dry thoroughly. But you won't know this from the seed package. Similar to saving tomato seeds, you'll want to set the container aside (uncovered) in a warm spot that ideally maintains a temperature between 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the seeds and pulp to mold for a few days, and then wash off and dry the seeds like above. For example: arugula, cilantro, and lettuce seeds are easy to save because you just let the plant form flowers and go to seed, wait until the seed heads dry, and then harvest the seeds. After the coating is removed, rinse seeds and spread them out on wax paper. This is a good indication that fermentation is occurring, which further rids the seeds of their gel coating and separates poor seeds (the floating seeds) from the viable ones (the sunken seeds). A dark closet in a cooler part of the house or a dry, cool basement are both good spaces to store seeds for a year or two. Read More. The hard brown seeds should be obvious. To save seed is to participate in the process of natural selection. You have to wait out the year to see, and even save from year to year, and not many people have the time or space to do this. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Professional seed savers recommend separating cucumber varieties by at least half a mile when planting in order to prevent crossing. Seeds are happiest when they are stored in a cool, dark, and dry place. 7. The reason you’ll do this is to remove the gel coating that surrounds these types of seeds. This means that cross pollination can be an issue in a smaller garden, and definitely within an allotment or community garden. If you save seeds from a hybrid, the next generation reverts to the various parents. To save cucumber seeds, the fruits must be allowed to mature far past the stage they're usually eaten – until they're ripe and have turned orange or yellow. Step 4 – Set the bowl aside and leave it in a warm space – to allow fermentation to begin. It’s actually a pretty cool idea. Copyright © 2020 Rural Sprout on the Seasoned Pro Theme, 10 Attention Grabbing Heirloom Vegetables to Grow This Year, How To Hand Pollinate Tomato Flowers To Triple Fruit Production, Here’s our tutorial for saving tomato seeds. Read on for tips about collecting seeds from melons. Once you've identified the female blossoms, you can bag them individually in spun polyester or cotton bags, which will prevent insects from pollinating—and therefore crossing—them. Re-bag the female blossom until it ripens into a fruit—not only is that a great reward for all your hard work, but the presence of a cucumber assures that your hand-pollination methods worked. The first step to saving cucumber seeds is to isolate your plant before it fruits. Place the container in the freezer for two days to kill any residual pests and then store in a cool, dry place such as the refrigerator. Step 2 – Scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Label and store your saved cucumber seeds in an envelope, breathable cotton bag or a glass jar in a cool, dry place. Once you have mastered the act of saving your cucumber seeds, why not move onto tomatoes. If stored properly, your cucumber seeds will remain viable for 10 years. They should stay on the vines until the vines are dead. As the seeds ferment, the pulp separates from the viable seeds. Squashes and cucumbers cannot cross pollinate. Melons are members of the cucumber family, and they are open Larger populations will increase the chance that a variety will maintain a higher level of genetic diversity, which is more important for long term seed saving and/or when growers regenerate their seeds often (say every 1-3 years). Strain the seeds, helping to remove any remaining viscous seed cover. It would be nice if it was as simple as scooping them out, washing and drying them off. It may sound like extra work but the results can be extremely rewarding and save you money in the process. Seeds from biennial crops such as carrots or beets are harder to save since the plants need two growing seasons to set seed. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. Place a tiny bit of warm water in a bucket, then place all of the seeds in there as well. Many viruses, including the prevalent mosaic virus, can be seed borne. She is an avid organic gardener who can often be found eating nourishing “weeds” and making herbal infusions, just as she can be seen planting native trees to help others around the world to lower their carbon footprints. At this point you can safely remove the bags from all your cucumber plants—just make sure you keep the female fruit tagged so you remember to harvest it for seed and it doesn't end up in a salad by mistake. Though squashes and squashes can. Any cucumbers being cultivated for seed must be grown to full maturity and remain on the vine past the point where they're no longer edible. Colleen Vanderlinden is a freelance writer and the author of Edible Gardening for the Midwest. Put the quarters into a bowl of tepid water, and rub the seeds out with your fingers. You can use this same process to save seeds from tomatoes and cucumbers as well. How to collect and save vegetable seeds: Beans, peas and corn: remove husks and allow seeds to dry out – this may take a couple of weeks, then remove casings and store. Add enough water to equal the volume of the seed mass, and put the container in a warm spot out of direct sunlight. In order to save seeds from cucumbers, you must let them thoroughly ripen on the vine. And again: ... Leave some to develop for next year’s seed supply. This can take anywhere from 1 to 3 days, and will smell like a gently fermenting cucumber salad. 5. 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