Cucumbers are wonderful to grow in the garden. Discover how to save cucumber seeds easily from your own overripe garden cucumbers.
When cucumbers turn orange or dark yellow, it’s a sign they have mature, viable seeds inside for saving. You can harvest cucumber seeds in a matter of minutes, with a simple process and very basic tools.
I’m going to show you my easy steps for saving cucumber seeds using a cutting board, knife, and a paper plate.
Seed saving for this important backyard garden crop is not difficult and only takes a little time. I am excited that you want to try saving your own seeds and I’ll make it as easy as possible for you.
But first, let’s also go over a few basics on cucumber seeds in case you receive some in a seed swap!
When do you save seeds from a cucumber?
After a cucumber becomes yellow or orange while still attached the vine, you can pick it and harvest the seeds. You can also leave the cucumber on your counter for a few days if you aren’t able to harvest the seeds right away.
Can you save seeds from a green cucumber?
In most cases, cucumber seeds are not fully ripe and viable until the cucumbers mature on the vine. Cucumbers generally turn yellow or orange at this point. Green cucumbers, especially those from the grocery store, mostly tend to have softer, less firm seeds. Still, if you find a few tough or more developed cucumber seeds in a green cucumber, it hurts nothing to try saving and planting them.
What do cucumber seeds look like?
Cucumber seeds are relatively flat and oval in shape with pointed ends. The cucumber seed color is a light cream or off-white to a subtle tan. Seeds from cucumbers are fairly lightweight.
What do cucumbers look like when they sprout?
When cucumbers sprout, they look like two round green leaves on a green stem. These leaves are called the cotyledon. The next set of leaves resembles actual cucumber leaves and those are considered the true leaves.
Benefits of Saving Cucumber Seeds
Harvest cucumber seeds from your garden to enjoy quite a few benefits:
- Free Seeds for Next Year!
- Save Seeds to Regrow the Best Plants
- Save Lots of Cucumber Seeds for Sharing / Seed Swaps
- Quick and Easy Process
- Extremely Rewarding as a Garden Achievement
Gardening benefits abound, no matter what activities you’re currently enjoying in the garden.
How to Save Cucumber Seeds Quickly and Easily
Saving seeds from your garden can be a time-consuming process when you have a lot of seeds you want to save. I am happy to make seed saving as easy as possible with the tips that worked for me.
Get yourself an overripe, yellow cucumber and follow these steps on how to harvest cucumber seeds to save for next season!
- Place a yellow cucumber on a cutting board.
- Shallow-cut the cucumber, cutting longwise all the way around without pressing the knife completely through the fruit.
- Gently twist or pinch to separate the two halves of the cucumber.
- Using the edge of the knife, you can gently scrape out the seeds from inside the cucumber. (You can also use a spoon if you prefer.)
- Spread the seeds out on an uncoated paper plate or a clean, dry paper towel.
- Allow the seeds to dry for at least 24 hours and then gently mix them around, separating them from the paper plate or paper towel so they can dry fully.
- Continue to mix the seeds throughout the week, letting them air dry for a week or two before storing them.
- Be sure to write the name of the cucumber variety and the year when saving cucumber seeds. You may wish to save fully dried seeds in paper seed envelopes for best results.
Cucumber Seed Saving Tips:
Try these cucumber seed saving tips to help your seed harvest!
- Save the Best Ones: When you harvest cucumber seeds, try to let one of the best cucumbers become overripe and mature for seed saving. This helps to pass on the best traits to future generations of cucumbers in your garden!
- Label the Cucumber Type: With so many different kinds of cucumbers available to grow, be sure to write down the year and type of cucumber on the seed envelope.
- Don’t Wait Too Long: If you leave your cucumber on the counter too long, you might actually find cucumber seeds sprouting when you cut it open!
Final Thoughts: How to Save Cucumber Seeds
Growing our own cucumbers and pickling cucumbers has been a rewarding experience, and I’m excited that we were able to save cucumber seeds for next year.
The process was quick and easy enough for a busy mom like me, so I hope it will be worthwhile for you, too!
Now that you know how to save cucumber seeds for next season, I hope you can use these tips to keep enjoying your garden year after year! Cucumber seeds are also easy to share in seed swaps by mail. There are so many benefits to saving seeds!
Do you have any questions or favorite tips on harvesting cucumber seeds?