Collecting and Preserving Cantaloupe Seeds
You can collect and store cantaloupe seeds easily. As a result, growing your own cantaloupes is also an easy activity to do. This article will show you how to select the right cantaloupe, collect the seeds inside and preserve them for later use.
Choosing the Right Homegrown Cantaloupe
If you have already been growing your own cantaloupes, you are already ahead of the game. Out of the crop you have, you can select the best cantaloupes in order to harvest the seeds.
Select one of the cantaloupes from your garden and look at where the stem connects to the cantaloupe. You should only harvest the cantaloupe when it is in "full slip." You will be able to tell when the cantaloupe is at this stage when a crack forms all around the area where the vine attaches to the melon. When you pull on the melon, the vine should come off the cantaloupe easily.
In order to get the best possible seeds, you should harvest the seeds as soon as possible. Waiting too long will cause the cantaloupe to ripen and cause the seeds to absorb too much water.
Choosing a Cantaloupe in the Grocery Store
Finding the right cantaloupe in the grocery store is a process many agonize over. Smell the cantaloupe and look for an aromatic odor. Find the stem scar and look for it to be fully round and smooth. Press on the stem scar, and it should yield slightly. Turn the melon over to other end and look for a yellow background under a well-defined raised netting. Select a cantaloupe that is free of visible bruises, cuts and indentations.
Collecting Cantaloupe Seeds
If you do not like a lot of mess, place a newspaper on your work surface and wear a pair of latex gloves. Gather up a glass bowl, a tablespoon and a sharp knife. Set the cantaloupe so the stem scar is on the side. Use the knife to slice the cantaloupe down the center in one smooth motion. The two halves will wobble over and settle on the natural ends.
Use the the tablespoon to remove the seeds along with the membranes and place them in the glass bowl. Remove as much of the membrane from the bowl as you can. You only want to have the seeds.
Determining Viable Seeds
Place your collected seeds in another glass bowl. Turn on the faucet until the water gets slightly warm to the touch. Fill the bowl with warm water. The seeds that float to the top are the ones least likely to produce a cantaloupe.
Preserving the Cantaloupe Seeds
Rinse the seeds off with warm water to remove any pulp and sugar. Dry the seeds and place them in a freezer bag. Push out as much of the air as possible and store it in the freezer until planting time.