Monday, July 19, 2010

saving seed-cucumber

I found  a cucumber that got away the other day and upon picking decided that it would make a perfect candidate for saving seed.
Many people find saving seed to be a difficult thing  when it should not be. It is really a simple thing to do and it saves money over the years because the seeds come more than 30 to a cucumber. This one cuke will be enough seed for several years. When selecting any veggie for seed saving  I try to keep seed from my healthiest and better producing plants. Letting the fruit get too large and over ripe is part of the process. While this bad boy in the picture  is just starting to yellow, it's sister that I found  was much riper and became my sacrificial lamb.Unfortunately I forgot to take pics with her  so junior here agreed to be my model, he was actually used for some cuke sorbet.

To get the seed I simply slice the cuke in half length wise and scoop out the pulp and seeds. I then pull out the large chunks of pulp  and give the seeds  a rinse.They will still have a lot of pulp around them but no worries as the next step will take care of this for you.Put the seeds in a bowl or container and cover in water. Allow them to sit for three to five days. They will look nasty and gross  and may even grow some mold on the top of the water. Again don't worry as this is supposed to happen. 
When the  water looks sufficiently disgusting and you decide you have had enough of looking at it drain off the top portion of water and any floater seeds. Give the seeds  a good rinse off and all the pulp and slime  that was surrounding the seeds should wash right off. Drain the seeds, pat dry and place on a paper towel to dry. Allow to dry for 2-3 weeks, they should snap in half when  dried properly. Package, label  and store in a cool dry place.  It really is that easy. Cucumbers, most melons and tomatoes are all done using this  same method.

3 comments:

  1. I am far too lazy to do all that! Tomato seeds I generally just scrape the seed on to paper - spread them out fairly thinly - leave to dry in the sun - and when dry - fold and store. When it comes time to plant - I plant newspaper and all. Mind you I have not used the method to plant huge beds either.

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  2. ooooh Fri I had completely forgotten you said you do that.. I really must try this sometime and see how it goes because for somethings it could be really good to use the "Friday method"

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  3. Good post! I've always saved flower seed-and we save our field corn from year to year-but this is the first year I'm going to try to save my tomatoes-cukes-and pepper seeds.

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