Yeah. That's not appetizing.
The process of saving seeds, particularly those that benefit from fermentation first (tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, tomatillos, generally any fruit with a gel around their seed), is just a bit nast.
I mean, firstly, you let that shit sit on the plant for evAR until it's all bulbousy (that's right, I'm bringing this Finny Original back) and sickly colored and attracting birds to peck at its grody soft spots.
|FYI: *NOT* a lemon cucumber. Yeah. Wrong.|
|He was not amused. Or appetized.|
|Not too bad...|
|Sun Gold, tomatillo and Solly Beiler cucumber vomit, respectively.|
And then you think about you know it's way easier when the seeds start themselves as volunteers in the garden and you don't have to go through the vomit making process in the first place if only they'd just grow where you told them to grow jerks.
Which is when you decide to try another experiment because one's not enough when it comes to trying on a new hobby.
|Just go with me on this, seeds.|
Not that that's ever happened.
And I'd just do it by planting the old fruits in the same soil in small pots and then planting that most of the way into the garden to get them to do what they do naturally except with the super fun benefit of me not having to grow barf in jars on my countertop.
And - hey - I wouldn't have to go through the soul-crushing process of destroying their tender shoots in the spring time trying to get them hardened off in the garden.
|Nigh-night old fruits.|
So, the seed saving experiment is now two-fold.
1. We save seeds the normal way and then try starting them directly sown into the garden because I suck at hardening them off.
2. We save seeds the abnormal way by just letting them *think* they're volunteers and leave them in the garden in safe little pots to start themselves and then WOO I move them wherever I want them to be in the spring garden as fully formed not-crushed seedlings TAH DAH.
For now, if you're trying the normal way of seed saving (which, probably a good plan given my not-knowing-dick-ness about the abnormal way), and you want to save some of these wet seeds, as they're called (nasty), here's your process:
1. Let the fruit ripen forevAR on the plant - until it's way past its prime.
2. Pick it, scoop out its innards into a jar with a few inches of tepid water and stir it up.
3. Let it sit around until it grows a very not-good looking layer of white mold and/or delightfully grotesque bubbles. (This is so that the germination-inhibiting protective gel will be removed before planting.)
4. Spoon the floaters off the top (these are the bummer seeds that won't germinate) along with the mold and other garbage and pour the seeds that settled on the bottom (winners!) into a fine sieve.
5. Rinse the seeds in the sieve until they're all clean and not gross and then lay them out on a paper towel or plate to dry for a few days.
6. When they're nice and dry (larger seeds, like cucumbers, should snap in half when you bend them), tuck them into a jar, tin, paper envelope or whathaveyou and set them in a cool, dry, dark-type place until spring.
Bonus: If you use a jar, like I have, you want to make sure that condensation and moisture don't develop and mold your seeds because that would completely fuck them up, so, if you insist on doing this because you have these super cute jars that are super extra perfect for this project and otherwise would be sitting around just begging to be used in a similarly perfect cute way, leave them somewhere that will let you keep an eye on them.
I have them on my craft bookshelf in the office so that every time I pass it to go lay down a beating on the printer or get some yarn to knit a thing, I will be able to check the seeds' status and crack the jar if anything suspect is going on.
Because putting them in paper envelopes is less cute. I know. I realize I'm ridiculous. Just go with me on this, people.
Then we just wait until spring and watch to see if any of the experimental pseudo-volunteers grow into viable seedlings and whether any of these seeds will direct sow into something viable.
And in case there's all around disaster, we also sit down with the Baker Creek catalog sometime in December and order up reinforcements.
Yay for seed saving.