Friday, September 17, 2010
Germinating Cantaloupe Seeds
We bought a cantaloupe from a local farmer's market a few weeks ago, and I saved the seeds. I put the slimy gooey seeds into a bowl, filled it with water, discarded all the ones that floated to the top and just kept the ones that stayed at the bottom of the bowl. Then I dried them on some newspaper. Even after discarding the floaty seeds, I probably still have well over a hundred seeds. I'm definitely not going to plant all of them and I'm sure they will go "bad" in a few years, long before I get around to ever using them all up, either personally or through seed trading. But before I considered allocating garden space to these seeds and/or trading them away, I wanted to make sure that these seeds were good.
So I placed about a dozen seeds on a sheet of wet paper towel, loosely wrapped them up and put the whole thing in a ziploc bag. I left the ziploc part open for ventilation, and placed the bag in my grow box. About five days later, this is what they looked like:
Every single one of the seeds germinated! Not only that, the roots were really starting to develop, with some of them growing through the double-ply paper towel and coming out on the bottom. Since I don't know the variety of the parent cantaloupe, I probably won't plant very many of them. But it's good to know that these seeds are good!
Before you ask, no, I did not save these seedlings, because our indoor grow box is definitely not big enough to grow melons in over the winter. It's always difficult throwing perfectly good seedlings away, but they served their experimental purpose, and went to go rest (permanently) in the compost pile.