HOW TO COLLECT AND PREPARE MELON AND CUCUMBER SEEDS FOR PROPAGATION
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To harvest melon seeds you must wait until the fruit is ripe and ready for eating. To be on the safe side you can leave them indoors for day or two so that the seeds can develop further.
Once you are happy that the fruit is ready, cut it open, scoop the seeds out into a sieve and rinse them under a running tap. This will wash off most of the jelly like coating which helps to prevent their germination while they are still in the fruit. Once clear of jelly, spread the seeds out onto a china plate and allow them to dry thoroughly. Once dry, store in an air tight container and placed in a cool dark place where they can remain viable for up to five years.
Cucumbers need to be ripened well beyond the edible stage allowing them to become fatter, and generally turn a darker colour. Keep inside for a week or so after picking to allow the seeds to mature fully, then cut open and scoop the seeds and surrounding pulp out into a jam jar. Add a little water, stir well and leave on a sunny windowsill for 2-3 days allowing the seeds ferment. On the third day, fill the jar fully with water, and stir once again. The good seeds should sink to the bottom leaving the pulp, debris and any empty seeds floating on the top. Gently pour off the water and debris, refill the jar, and repeat. After a couple of rinses, you should be left with all the good seeds resting at the bottom of the jar. Drain off the water, and spread the seeds out onto a plate to dry. Like melons, once properly dry they can be stored in an airtight container and placed in a cool dark place where they can remain viable for up to five years.
For more information click onto:
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