Image by michael kooiman
By Heather Rhoades
Perhaps this year you found the perfect pumpkin to make a jack-o-lantern from or perhaps you grew an unusual heirloom pumpkin this year and wish to try growing it again next year. Saving pumpkin seeds is easy. Planting pumpkin seeds from pumpkins you have enjoyed also ensures that you can enjoy them again next year.
Saving pumpkin seeds
- Remove the pulp and seeds from inside the pumpkin. Place this in a colander.
- Place the colander under running water. As the water runs over the pulp, start picking out the seeds from the pulp. Rinse them in the running water as you do. Do not let the pumpkin pulp sit in non-running water.
- There will be more seeds inside the pumpkin than you will ever be able to plant, so once you have a good amount of seeds rinsed, look over them and choose the biggest seeds. Plan on saving 3 times more pumpkin seeds than the number of plants you will be growing next year. Larger seeds will have a better chance of germinating.
- Place the rinsed seeds on a dry paper towel. Make sure they are spaced out otherwise the seeds will stick to one another.
- Place in a cool dry spot for 1 week.
- Once the seeds are dry, store pumpkin seed for planting in an envelope.
Properly store pumpkin seed for planting
When saving pumpkin seeds, you also need to store them so that they will be ready to plant for next year. Any seeds, pumpkin or otherwise, will store best if you keep them somewhere cold and dry.
One of the best places to store pumpkin seed for planting next year is in your refrigerator. Put your pumpkin seed envelope in a plastic container. Place several holes in he lid of the container to ensure that condensation does not build up on the inside. Place the container with the seeds inside at the very back of the fridge.
Next year, when it comes time for planting pumpkin seeds, your pumpkin seeds will be ready to go. Saving pumpkin seeds is a fun activity for the whole family as even the smallest hand can help. And, after you properly store pumpkin seed for planting, children can also help plant the seeds in your garden.