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How to Save Cucumber Seeds

If you would like to save your own cucumber seeds, this article will walk you through each step so that you can successfully save seeds to plant in next year’s garden.

Cucumber seeds saved from the garden

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Saving seeds from plants in your own garden is such a fun and rewarding process. Plus it allows you to save money on seeds and get the most use out of your plants.

But there are a few important steps that need to happen to make sure you get viable seeds.

So let’s get into how to save cucumber seeds.

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How to Save Cucumber Seeds Step by Step

If you have cucumbers growing in your garden then you should definitely consider saving your own seeds.

However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to make sure you save viable seeds.

If you’d like to watch my YouTube video below, I explain each step and show the entire process or you can continue reading through this article.

How to Save Cucumber Seeds

Step 1 – Save Seeds from a Hybrid Variety

The first step to saving cucumber seeds as well as all other vegetable seeds is to make sure that you are saving seeds from an heirloom variety.

You should not save seeds from hybrid varieties because they are a cross between multiple varieties which means their seeds will not be true to the plant you are saving seeds from.

The next consideration is keeping plants in the same family isolated if you plan on saving seeds.

If you have multiple cucumber varieties growing in your garden the plants can cross-pollinate and then the seeds you save could be a cross between multiple varieties. 

So in order to get seeds of the exact variety you are saving from, the plant needs to be an heirloom and it should be isolated from other plants in that same family.

Step 2 – Let Cucumbers Fully Mature

The next step is to let the cucumbers fully mature on the vine.

The cucumber in the photo below is an Armenian cucumber which is technically a melon, but the seed-saving process is exactly the same for any type of cucumber that you grow.

A mature Armenian cucumber on the vine

The best cucumbers to eat are not fully mature. Cucumbers taste best when they are harvested small which means the seeds inside still need to fully develop if you plan to save seeds.

So in order to save seeds you need to let the cucumber fully mature. When cucumbers are fully mature they easily pull off of the vine and they will usually turn from green to a yellow or orange color. 

Step 3 – Harvest the Seeds

After you pick the fully mature cucumber, cut it in half lengthwise to extract the seeds. 

An Armenian cucumber sliced in half so that the seeds can be collected

Then scoop out the seeds and any pulp.

Place the pulp and seeds into a container full of warm water and gently stir around the mixture. A bunch of the pulp and some seeds might float to the top and you can scoop it out. Those seeds aren’t viable. 

Then let the mixture set with the container open for 2-3 days to ferment which helps to remove the pulp from around the seeds.

After a few days, the rest of the pulp and lightweight seeds should be floating at the top and the viable seeds will be settled at the bottom. 

Cucumber seeds in a container of water during the seed saving process

Scoop off the pulp along with any floating seeds and then rinse off the viable seeds that were settled at the bottom of the container.

After rinsing, spread the seeds out on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels and pat them dry to absorb all of the moisture.

Step 4 – Dry the Seeds

After you dry off the seeds shake them onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and let them be until they are fully dry.

The drying process usually takes a few days up to a week, but you will know they are fully dry when the seeds easily snap in half and do not have any bend to them.

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Step 5 – Properly Store

After the seeds have completely dried out store them in an airtight container in a cool dry and dark place. If the seeds are stored under the right conditions they should be viable for up to 5 years. 

If you’d like to save seeds from other summer vegetables, be sure to check out the following post, How to Save Okra Seeds.

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Dried cucumber seeds

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