Collecting and storing pumpkin seeds is a great way to complete the growing cycle and save money on buying seeds for the next season. Pumpkin seeds are the easiest seeds to collect. Even seeds from store bought pumpkins can be saved.
First choose a pumpkin from a healthy disease-free vine that produced the highest yield.
Then decide if it is size or taste that matters more. Choose a pumpkin that best fits the qualities you are looking for. These traits will be passed on through their seeds.
By selectively choosing the pumpkin each season you can continue to improve the health and taste of your favourite pumpkins.
Drying the Pumpkin Seed
Collecting, Drying and Storing Pumpkin Seeds for Next Season
- Cutting the Pumpkin
First, cut your pumpkin into wedges. The seeds are in the middle held together by membrane.
- Remove the Seeds
Cut the membrane from the flesh then pop out the seeds.
- Separating the Seeds
Place the plump seeds on a ceramic plate to dry. Thin or flat seeds won’t germinate. Discard any seeds that have been cut by the knife.
- Drying the Seeds
It isn’t necessary to wash the seeds just remove any chunks of flesh then leave to dry in an area with good ventilation and low humidity.
- Drying Time
Drying time will be from two weeks to a month depending on your climate. The seeds will look dry with any remaining membrane flaking off. If in doubt cut a seed in half. It should be dry right the way through. Otherwise leave for a few more days.
- Storing the Pumpkin Seeds
First rub the flaking membrane off the seeds then place in an airtight container or plastic bag. Label with today’s date and the contents. Store in a cool dark area out of direct sunlight with low humidity. The seeds will be viable for up to two years but may last longer. The older the seeds are the less will germinate.
These spice jars make attractive seed storage containers. You can find them at Amazon. (Paid link)
Too Many Seeds?
Pumpkins produce a lot of seeds, more than you will need for planting. The rest can be boiled then sliced in half to remove the pepitas from the centre. These pepitas can then be roasted in the oven. They store well and make a healthy snack. Try this guide to removing Pepitas.
Do you need a sharp knife for cutting your pumpkins? Large ceramic knives work best. Try this top rated set from Amazon. (Paid link)
To Print or Save this guide to collecting and storing pumpkin seeds, click the button below for the PDF File.
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