Today I want to give you an update on my post about saving cucamelon seeds. I have been growing cucamelons for the last few years and they are fun to add to the vegetable garden. Kids love them as they are an easy snack food. I am an avid seed saver and since cucamelons don’t cross with other plants it’s easy to save them and have the plants come back just like they did the year before.
Now, when I save cucamelon seeds I usually harvest them and bring them inside for a few days before I get around to saving the seeds. I choose the best fruit and ones that seem to be the optimum size. I think that when they are about 1″ in size they are ready to pick. They should be about the size of a grape, no smaller and no larger. Why does size matter? You want not only the fruit to be ripe but the seeds to be mature as well.
Let’s look at this seasons seeds. I have two saucers and am going to see which way germinates best. On one saucer I squeezed out the seeds and placed them on a saucer to dry. You can see by the green gelatinous substance that they are not fermented. Once they were dry it was hard to pry the seeds apart.
On this saucer the seeds had been fermented for about five days. To ferment them I squeezed the seeds into a clean mason jar and added about an inch of water. After about five days mold quickly formed on the water surface and it was time to rinse the seeds. Its obvious here that the seeds look much cleaner than those that were not fermented.
I am doing this experiment to see how long each of types of seeds takes to germinate. Will the unfermented seeds take longer? Will the gelatinous substance hinder germination and for how long?
I can also see by looking at the seeds closely that some seeds look full and plump and others look flat, like they have no substance to them. I had a lot of seeds look like this last year and many did not germinate. My theory is that some seeds within each cucamelon are not fully ripe and will not germinate. The flat seeds will be tested separately for germination percentage.
If you have grown cucamelons before you know they can take up to two weeks to germinate. I plant them in seed starter mix in the greenhouse and give them bottom heat. They love the heat mats as they provide a consistent temperature for germination. So I will let you know how the germination tests go over the next month as it will be interesting to see the results.
To learn how I grow and save cucamelon seeds you can read the posts below.