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Save Your Seeds: Cucumber


Photos by Steve and Kerryn Martin from The Lost Seed


Words and photos by Steve and Kerryn Martin from The Lost Seed In most of Australia cucumber is a warm season crop; sow after frost. It likes well-drained soil, but don’t let it dry out. Can be sown indoors, then transplanted out when first leaves appear. Germination requires minimum soil temperature of at least 15 °C. Avoid overhead watering to prevent disease.


ANNUAL: Will produce seed in the first year

POLLINATION: Cross Pollinating. Insect pollinated. Will cross with other cucumber varieties; to ensure purity, grow varieties at least 500m apart


Select only the best fruit and leave to mature on the vine. Cut fruit in half, scoop out seeds and place into a glass jar. Leave pulp to ferment for a few days until the gel surrounding the seeds has dissolved. This is important not only to aid in the cleaning of the seed but also to destroy any seed-borne diseases. Place seeds into a sieve and wash well under running water. Leave to dry on a plate or fine mesh in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. After 1-2 days use hands to separate and break up seeds. Continue to dry.


Store dried seed in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. The seed will remain viable for up to four years.


Keep any silica gel bags usually found in tablet bottles to add to your seed jars, then use tape to completely seal around the lid of the jar. This will prevent any potentially hazardous moisture from affecting your seeds.

The Lost Seed

The Lost Seed is an Australian-owned family business, established in 2002, driven by a passion to support the ongoing availability of a wide variety of reliable old, rare heirloom vegetables and herbs, in the most natural way possible. All their seed is non-genetically modified, non-hybrid, open-pollinated and, most importantly, germination- tested. The business began on a tiny island near the bottom of Tasmania, but moved to the lush Bega Valley, on the south coast of NSW, nearly five years ago, where the great climate, growing season, soil and energy of the place provide a thriving environment: their first child was conceived two weeks after moving there! A love for their customers means they constantly strive to honour their trust with the highest quality seed they can provide; and they’re always looking for something new (or very old!) to create fresh excitement for gardeners. Through seed saving in their own backyards, customers play an important role in helping The Lost Seed to keep old varieties alive, so that their children’s children can enjoy the colours, flavours and health benefits of these wonderful old varieties.

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