I used up the last of my 'Double Yield' cucumber seeds this season so I decided to save my own seed instead of purchasing more. Like tomato seeds, cucumbers have a jell around the seed that inhibits germination and needs to be removed for seed saving. To start the process you need to leave a few cucumbers on the vines to mature. Once they turn a yellow/orange colour the seeds are fully matured like the ones below. Once picked it is also beneficial to allow the cucumbers to further ripen by leaving them out in the kitchen for a couple weeks.
Now cut your cucumbers in half and scope out the seeds into a bowl and add water until it is 50% seed and 50% water. Once this is done cover the bowl with plastic wrap, punch a few small holes in it and allow to fermented for 2-3 days.
After 2-3 days your seeds will look similar to the photo below. A little moldy and pretty smelly as well. This process mimics what happens to the seeds in nature, it will remove the seed jell and is reported to sterilize the seed coat as well.
With the seed fermented, pour the bowls contents through a sieve and rinse well.
With the seed rinsed, dump them out onto a plate and sort out the bad seeds, goo and any moldy bits that remain. I found a fork works best to sort them out. Basically you want plump, evenly coloured seeds and everything else is compost.
Now all that is left to do is dry the seed out. Spread them in an even layer in a coffee filter and place them in a warm/dry place. In a few days they will be fully dried and ready for their envelope.
If you are looking for a good source of seed saving information your best option is 'Seed to Seed' by Suzanne Ashworth. It is the book that I have gained all my seed saving knowledge from. It covers every seed you can think of and is laid out in a very user friendly manner.
I will wrap this post up with a photo of the 'Double Yield' cucumbers from this past summers garden. Their name is fitting as they quite often produce cucumbers in doubles.
23 hours ago