Enter the email address associated with your account and we will email you a link to reset your password.
Harvest fruit: Allow cucumber to grow well past normal market stage, until fruits turn yellow and the plant has stopped growing (This will usually happen in September or October). Harvest fruit and allow to ripen further inside, out of direct sunlight. Cucumber should be soft before seeds are extracted (approximately 20 days once removed from the vine)
Extract seeds: Cut cucumber in half and scoop seeds into a bowl using a spoon.
Fermentation: To prepare seeds for fermenting, simply squeeze or scoop out the pulp with the seeds into a jar with a little water (about half as much water as seeds and pulp). There is no need to include more pulp than naturally comes with the seeds. Store this seed/pulp mixture in a warm place (75 to 85 degrees F) for 5 days Fermentation will be evidenced by bubbling and/or by the formation of a white mold on the surface of the mixture. As soon as the bubbling or mold have been evident for a day or so, pour the mix into a bowl and clean. Watch closely, as seeds left fermenting too long (especially above 80 degrees F or so) may begin to germinate (evidenced by swelling and emerging roots) ruining their chances for storage. However, sprouted seeds can be planted immediately and grown out (depending on season), but they will die if they are dried out for storage once they have begun to germinate. If fermenting cucumber seeds seems like too much trouble, they will still germinate if the slippery gel surrounding the seeds is carefully rubbed off while you're cleaning them. However, they will not have had the protection of the fermentation process killing disease organisms. If you noticed any problems with your plants (leaves spotting or dying, inexplicable wilting, etc.), the extra trouble of fermentation will be well worth the effort.
Clean Seeds: To clean wet seeds, scoop the seeds from the fruit, pulp and all. Pour the seeds and pulp into a large, sloping bowl and add water. Healthy seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl, while dead seeds and most of the pulp will float. Use your fingers to gently separate all the seeds from the pulp.
Dry and Store: Dry seeds on a glass plate or shiny surface (seeds will stick to paper) in the shade until completely dry. Note: Dry seeds will snap in half rather than just bending. This is a good way to check if seeds are truly dry. Once seeds are dry, place in an airtight container and label with the date. Properly prepared cucumber seeds can last 10 years.
Plant cucumbers two weeks after last spring frost. Cucumbers do well in a sunny location in soil with a pH between 6.0-6.5. Using a trellis, like a wire tomato cage, can help increase the leaf-to-fruit ratio of your cucumbers. (Mother Earth News)
Cucumber flowers are insect-pollinated and can be crossed easily within species. Therefore, when planning to save seed, it is important to take measures to preserve seed integrity. We recommend either ensuring at least 1/2 mile between varieties, or using a hand pollination technique to preserve the integrity of your cucumber seeds. See below for instructions on hand pollination. (Kohala Center)
1) Cap or bag female and male flower buds on the same plant and nearby plants of the same variety.
2) When male flowers bloom, turn over their petals to expose anthers and gently roll the anthers over the stigma of the bloomed female flowers. You should see a layer of pollen on the stigma.
3) Cap or bag female flowers again to keep out insects. Mark female flowers using a piece of string or similar marker.
Sources: Kohala Center - Saving Your Own Vegetable Seeds; Hoyle, Julian - Seed programs international - Vegetable Seed Resource
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This material is protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No text may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without express written permission or proper citation. Please credit any and all use of our work product to: Center for Food Safety, www.centerforfoodsafety.org.
© CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY
SITE BUILT BY 1STWAVE