Last year someone kindly put me on to the the float technique to separate good (sinkers) from infertile (floaters) cucumber seed. Works a treat. But I've just tried this with some good, mature Uncle Daves Dakota Dessert squash, and they all float. The squash are a bit small, but properly mature. Are all my seeds infertile, or are floaters still viable? I've never really tried seed saving with squash before
Last Edit: Apr 3, 2013 2:14:03 GMT -5 by templeton
The seed I saved from a Galeau d'Eyesines pumpkin and a Juan Canary melon last fall did the same thing. 100% floaters. I cracked open a few, and most seemed to be perfectly formed seeds that just had an air bubble inside the seed coat. I can't say for sure as I haven't replanted yet, but I'm guessing that if that an open cavity forms before the seed coats harden they can trap a gas bubble, making them float. Anyone with more knowledge and experience, please feel free to correct me.
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Post by Joseph Lofthouse on Apr 3, 2013 10:56:55 GMT -5
The float technique works on Pepo and Moschata squash, but it doesn't work reliably on Maxima squash because the seed coat tends to be corky-like. Uncle Dave's Dakota Dessert squash is a Maxima squash.
You might get some separation if you try winnowing the dry seeds.
Post by YoungAllotmenteer on Apr 8, 2013 15:13:05 GMT -5
I did the sink swim test last year on a Buttercup squash' seed if I remember correctly. It seemed to work well, the ones that floated were hollow, sure may have lost the odd fertile seed but seemed a very good indicator for that seed.
Also known as 'rowan57'.
Growing on Fen Peat, next to no pests, one or two key diseases.
Would the sink or float method work with evaluating melon seed? I have quite a lot of fairly old seed, and as I'm still waiting for some of it to germinate I wonder if it is still viable. If anyone has used this for melons, I'd be interested to know.
I use it on freshly harvested melon seeds and keep only the sinkers. Lots float and I'm sure there are viable seeds in among the floaters but I usually get some sinkers so I go with those. I haven't tried it on old seed to test for viability. A trick I have used on old melon seed is to (very) carefully crack open the outer shell and try to peel away what I can. Sometimes old embryos are very weak and they have a hard time forcing open their protective casing.
Ray Silty loam over clay, pH 5.5, altitude 1000m, latitude 30deg south, 150 frost free days.