One of the greatest thrills we get in our edible garden, apart from the obvious produce, is using seeds from last seasons crop (or the seasons before) to grow more produce.
Seed saving is a great way to keep growing the fruit and vegetables that you have enjoyed most, preserve heirloom lineage and save on constantly buying new seed.
Saving seed is easy and without a whole lot of effort, you can end up with lots of free seeds for planting in seasons to come. Or to trade or give away to friends and family.
In this Seed Saving series you will get instructions on how to save all sorts of seeds to stock up your seed supply.
Saving Pumpkin Seeds
As you are enjoying your Pumpkins, don’t forget to save some of the seeds so you can plant out more Pumpkins in the Spring.
Pumpkin seeds are incredibly easy to extract and large in size so not to fiddly to save. Why buy more seed when you have as many as you could ever need readily available?
Good Quality Seed
Saving Pumpkin seed is no different than saving other seed types. You should take your seeds from the healthiest, best quality, largest and best coloured Pumpkin. This way you are more likely to get more of the same next season.
Don’t take seed from Pumpkins that have begun to rot or have any kind of obvious disease or deformity.
Preparing The Seeds
Remove the seeds from the Pumpkin as you are cutting it up to eat. Discard any seeds that get cut or damaged.
Wash the seeds in a bowl of warm (not hot) water. Do not leave the seeds to soak.
Make sure to remove all of the fibers of the Pumpkin flesh.
Pour the seeds out into a fine sieve.
There are ton of seeds inside a pumpkin, more than you will want to plant, so once you have rinsed the seeds pick out the best and biggest seeds. Choose approximately 3 x the number of seeds for the number of plants you want to plant in Spring.
Drying The Seeds
Use a screen or cover a small, flat plate with wax paper or use paper plates. I don’t recommend using paper towels as the seeds tend to stick to them.
Tap the seeds out of the sieve onto the screen and spread the seeds around so that are lying in a single layer ready to dry.
Leave the seeds somewhere that is well aired, dry and safe so they can dry. Regularly move the seeds around so that all sides of the seeds are dried and then make sure they are left in a single layer again to keep drying.
Storing The Seeds
Once the Pumpkin seeds are completely dry, scoop them up and store them in paper envelopes or small zip lock bags. Just make sure that if you are using plastic zip lock bags that the seeds to ABSOLUTELY dry as being enclosed in plastic with ANY moisture at all will cause them to rot.
Label your packets and store your seeds in a dry, cool place until they are ready to be used.