How to Save Pumpkin Seeds

By: Victoria Carter

How to Save Pumpkin Seeds

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This article is shared with you, compliments of Victoria Carter, Broker, Century 21 Percy Fulton Ltd., Brokerage in Brighton, Ontario

Victoria Carter, GUARANTEES the you will LOVE your home, or she will buy it back! Call 647-697-7709, or visit her website at www.TwoMoveYou.com

Written By Erin Huffstetler

When you're carving this year's Halloween Jack-o'-lantern, you can save the seeds to grow for next year. Pumpkin seeds are easy to save in part because they are large and easy to harvest.

First, determine whether your pumpkin is a hybrid or not. If it is, it won't breed true from seeds. That big, orange pumpkin bought at a store this year may produce seeds that give smaller, less colorful progeny.
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If you planted heirloom or open-pollinated seeds, they are more likely to give you dependable results. If you are buying a pumpkin at a farm or farmers market, ask the grower whether or not the pumpkins are hybrids.

Even with seeds from your homegrown heirloom pumpkins, you may see cross-pollination between pumpkins and squash, such as zucchini. To enhance your chances of getting true-breeding seeds, save seeds from three or more of your best pumpkins. 


What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools

    -Knife
    -Spoon
    -Colander
    -Cookie sheet or screen

Materials

    -Pumpkin
    -Water
    -Paper towels or waxed paper
    -Envelope

Instructions

1. Scoop out Seeds. Cut your pumpkin open, and scoop all of the seeds into a colander. 

2. Rinse Pulp From Seeds. Run the colander under cold water to separate the pulp from the seeds.
 
3. Thoroughly Clean Seeds. Clean any clinging pulp from the seeds. You don't want any pulp remaining as it will prevent drying and can lead to mold growth, rotting the seeds. 

4. Prepare the Cookie Sheet. Line a cookie sheet with paper towels or waxed paper. Some people prefer waxed paper, so the sticky seeds don't end up stuck to the paper towel.

5. Place Seeds on Sheet. Once all of the pumpkin seeds are clean, place them on the lined cookie sheet in a single layer. Separate the seeds from each other, taking care not to let them clump or touch. This will help them dry thoroughly on all sides.  

6. Allow the Seeds to Dry. Place the sheet in a cool, dry place. 

7. Stir and Turn Over. For the first couple of days, stir them often and turn them over, so they dry on each side. 

8. Continue to Monitor as Seeds Dry. Continue to allow them to dry for three to four weeks. If you see any mold, discard the ones that are moldy. But this is also a sign that your cool, dry place isn't cool and dry enough. 

9. Put Dry Seeds in Envelope. Once your seeds are thoroughly dry, place them in an envelope or brown paper bag. Label it with the date and details about the pumpkin.

10. Store in a Cool, Dry Place. Store your seed envelope in a cool, dry place until planting time. Some people keep them in the refrigerator if they don't have another suitable place.  

Kirk Rickman and Victoria Carter
TwoMoveYou Real Estate Century 21 Brighton
6 Ironwood Cres, Brighton, ON K0K 1H0
Phone: 647-697-7709