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How To Save Cucumber Seeds From Your Garden (Easy Tips)

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Do you have a cucumber variety you love to grow? Learning how to save your own cucumber seeds is a great way to save money on seeds and make sure you always have your favorite available next year when you want to grow it.

I love growing cucumbers for fresh eating, pickling, and making relish. Over the years I’ve found a few varieties that grow really well in our garden.

Not all of these varieties can be found easily in seed catalogs, but saving your own cucumber seeds helps to make sure you can always grow your favorite types of cucumbers.

Wet cucumber seeds drying on a coffee filter. Text overlay says How To Save Cucumber Seeds The Easy Way.

Why Save Cucumber Seeds

Free Seeds – Saving your own seeds takes a little time but gives you tons of free seeds to use in your vegetable garden.

Encourages Strong Plants – When you save your own seeds you pick what plants you are keeping seeds from. By selecting the strongest cucumber plants, that also produce the best you are creating a variety that thrives in your local conditions.

Lots Of Seeds To Share – When you save your own seeds you’ll have lots to join in seed swaps and share with others.

What Cucumbers Can You Save Seeds From?

You can save seeds from any open pollinated or heirloom varieties. These are types of cucumbers that breed true, meaning the seeds saved will give you the same type of cucumber plant as the parent plant.

You shouldn’t save seeds from hybrid cucumber varieties as they don’t breed true. You might be able to grow them but you won’t know for sure what type of cucumbers you will end up with because hybrid plants don’t breed true.

The seeds could take after either of the varieties used to develop the hybrid or something totally different.

What Plants Should You Save Cucumber Seeds From?

You should save cucumber seeds from your best plants. The first step is to look for plants in your garden that are the healthiest and producing the most fruits.

To save your own cucumber seeds you’ll need a fully mature cucumber. This means it has fully grown and matured, turning white or yellow depending on the variety.

Its skin will start to harden and it won’t be good for eating anymore, these are the ones you want to harvest seeds from.


  • Ripe cucumbers
  • Knife
  • Spoon
  • Cutting board
  • Strainer
  • Plate or tray
  • Coffee filters, paper towels, or a small towel

How To Save Cucumber Seeds

Step 1: Cut The Cucumbers

An over mature cucumber being cut in half on a wooden cutting board.

Place your cucumber onto a cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise with a sharp knife.

Step 2: Scoop Out The Seeds

Scooping seeds out of the cucumbers with a spoon.

Using a spoon scoop out the seeds and pulp, then place it into a bowl.

Step 3: Clean The Seeds

Place the seeds into a bowl of warm water and swish them around a bit to help remove the gel.

The seeds that float to the top need to be removed they are usually non-viable seeds. They either won’t germinate or will produce weaker plants, while the good seeds will sink to the bottom of the container.

Washed cucumber seeds in a fine meshed strainer.

Drain off the water from the cucumbers and place them into a fine mesh strainer and rinse under warm water again.

Step 4: Dry

Home saved cucumber seeds drying on a coffee filter.

Then drain off the water and spread them onto a plate lined with a coffee filter, towel, or paper towel.

Set the plate in a warm, dry area for 24 hours then gently turn the seeds over. Sometimes the seeds will stick to the towel or coffee filter, stirring them up and flipping them over will help the seeds to dry fully.

Let the seeds air dry for 1 to 2 weeks, stirring them up occasionally.

Cucumber seeds finished drying on a coffee filter and ready to store.

How To Store Cucumber Seeds

Home saved cucumber seeds in a mason jar.

Once your cucumber seeds are fully dry, place them into a glass mason jar, airtight container, or paper envelope. Label them with the name of the cucumber variety and date you saved them. Store seeds in a cool, dry area out of direct sunlight.

With good storage conditions cucumber seeds can last up to 5 years.

Do You Need To Ferment Cucumber Seeds?

Cucumber seeds are coated in a gel coating that helps to stop them from germinating inside the cucumbers. Because this gel is very sticky it’s normally recommended that you ferment the seeds to remove the coating.

The fermentation process can help to improve germination and kill off diseases that can harm your plants.

But honestly, I’ve never found it necessary and save the seeds the same way I do other melons, zucchini, and squash seeds.

If you want to ferment cucumber seeds simply place the cucumber seeds into a glass jar and add a little water to it. Place a coffee filter over the top and hold it down with an elastic band.

Let it sit for 3 to 7 days the warmer the area the faster it will ferment, then skim off the mold on top and remove any floating seeds. Pour the remainder into a fine mesh strainer and rinse. Then spread the seeds out to dry as shown above.

For a visual of how to ferment seeds see how we save tomato seeds, it’s the same process.

Preventing Cucumber Cross Pollination Tips

If you want to save seeds from your own cucumbers it’s important to know that different varieties will cross pollinate with each other.

Cucumber flowers are pollinated by insects, to keep your variety pure you’ll want to cover some flowers with a fine mesh, nylon stockings work well, before the flowers open.

Then pollinate them by hand using a paint brush going between the male flower and the female flowers.

After hand pollinating place the mesh back over the female flower until the blossom falls off.

This will help to keep your cucumbers from crossing between varieties in your garden or your neighbours gardens.

Can You Save Seeds From Store Bought Cucumbers?

No, saving cucumber seeds from the ones you buy in the store isn’t a good idea. Many cucumbers you see in the grocery store are hybrids so they won’t breed true.

But most importantly they are not mature cucumbers. Cucumbers are picked when they are young and tender for eating. These won’t have mature seeds inside them. To save seeds you need a fully mature cucumber that has turned yellow.

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