Seed saving is back in vogue and with good reason. Saving seeds saves money and also allows the grower to replicate the previous year’s successes. What about saving seeds from say, grocery store squash? Planting seeds from store-bought squash sounds like a good, cost-effective way to obtain seeds, but can you really grow squash from the store? Read on to find out if you can plant store squash and if so, whether grocery store squash seeds will produce.
Can You Plant Store Squash?
The answer to “Can you plant store squash?” is all in the semantics. You can plant any type of seed your little heart desires, but the real question is, “Can you grow squash from the store?” Planting seeds from grocery bought squash is one thing, growing them is quite another.
Can You Grow Squash from the Store?
Seeds from grocery store squash can indeed be planted but will they germinate and produce? It depends on the type of squash you want to plant.
The first major problem would be cross-pollinating. This is less of a problem with winter squashes, such as butternuts, than with summer squash and gourds. Seeds from butternut, Hubbard, Turks Turban, and the like are all members of C. maxima family and, although they may interbreed, the resulting squash would still be a good winter squash.
Another problem with growing grocery store squash seeds is that they are likely to be hybrids. Hybrids are created out of two different varieties of the same species, in this case, squash. They are bred to get the best qualities from the two different varieties, then they’re married together to create a super squash with superior characteristics.
If you try planting seeds from grocery store squash, the end result may be a crop that doesn’t in the least resemble the original squash. Combine that with some rampant cross polluting and who knows what you will get.
Should you Grow Grocery Store Squash Seeds?
Perhaps the better question is phrased above: should you grow squash from store-bought squash? It all really comes down to how adventurous you are and how much space you have for potential failure.
If you have plenty of space for an experiment and don’t mind if the resulting plant produces fruit that is subpar, then go for it! Gardening is often as much about experimenting as anything else and each garden tests whether success or failure teaches us something.
Before planting, allow the squash to ripen until it’s almost but not quite rotting. Then be sure to separate the flesh from the seeds and then allow them to dry before planting. Select the largest, most mature seeds to plant.