Saving cucumber seeds is a great way to get a jump on the next growing season. By harvesting and storing your own cucumber seeds, you can ensure that you have a healthy crop of cucumbers the following year.
When to harvest cucumber seeds?
Cucumber seeds should be harvested when the cucumbers are mature and no longer palatable. They will be firm, hard, and yellowish-brown in color. The best time to harvest cucumber seeds is usually in late summer or early autumn when the weather has been dry for several days.
What You’ll Need for Harvesting Cucumber Seeds?
- Gardening gloves
- Pruners or scissors
- A container for collecting the seeds
- Marker for labeling containers (optional)
- Newspaper, paper towels, or cheesecloth to dry cucumbers on (optional)
How to harvest cucumber seeds?
- Fruits intended for seed collection are laid out and cut across. Two to four cm are cut off from both ends. If there are seeds in the cut pieces, they are thrown away. Since the fruits obtained with the help of these seeds are usually bitter.
- How to take seeds from a cucumber? Using a tablespoon, take out the seeds along with the inner pulp. Cut or damaged seeds are removed.
- The resulting seeds are placed in a container. Then you need to pour water (2/3 of the total volume). Cover with gauze. Leave for 24-48 hours in a warm and dark place. If the gruel from the seeds is dry, then add a little water and then stir. By the end of fermentation, a layer of mold and smell may appear, but it is not scary.
- After the end of the fermentation period, add water to the container, close the lid and shake well. As soon as the contents of the container settle, empty specimens will pop up, which are immediately collected and thrown away. The amniotic membrane is also washed off, because of which germination slows down. The procedure is repeated several times to accurately get rid of weak seeds.
- The remaining specimens are washed with water, and One fruit produces from ten to fifteen grams of seeds.
- After they are dry, place them in an airtight container for storage.
How to save cucumber seeds?
When storing cucumber seeds, it’s important to keep them in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight. The ideal temperature for storing cucumber seeds is between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit (4-10 degrees Celsius). Additionally, the humidity level of your storage area should be kept at about 60%. The higher the temperature and humidity, the lower will be the germination of seeds.
Terms of seed storage
Cucumber seeds will usually last up to eight years when properly stored. However, this can vary depending on conditions; if temperatures are too warm or cold, the seed’s lifespan may decrease significantly. To ensure that your cucumber seeds stay viable and healthy for as long as possible, be sure to check regularly on their moisture content and overall condition.
It should be borne in mind that the longer the shelf life of seeds, the lower their germination. Data on the percentage ratio of germination to storage time are given below.
- 1 year – 95%
- 2 years – 95%
- 3 years – 95%
- 4 years – 72%
- 5 years – 60%
- 6 years – 40%
- 7 years – 13%
How to choose a seed cucumber?
It is important to ensure that the cucumber you are using for seed harvesting has good quality characteristics. Good quality cucumber seeds should be harvested from healthy fruits with no signs of disease and should have a uniform shape and size. The fruit should also show consistent ripeness; immature cucumbers will produce immature or nonviable seeds, while overly ripe cucumbers will produce weak, low-yielding plants.