Saving watermelon seeds at home from watermelons you have grown in your garden will ensure you have the best seeds for the coming season.
Watermelon seeds are planted in the late spring after the threat of frosts has finished and the soil has warmed. They are grown in a variety of climates from tropical to temperate however watermelon vines prefer temperatures above 77ºF (25ºC). See this guide to Growing Watermelons for more information.
Choosing a Watermelon for Collecting Seeds
Choose a watermelon which has grown on a disease-free vine. The leaves will be a good color with no yellowing or powdery mildew.
The vine should also have had a good yield of watermelons while the watermelon itself will have a good flavor, size and texture.
It is possible to save seeds from store bought watermelons however you don’t know how healthy the plant was. It is best to start with quality seeds such as these highly rated Crimson Sweet Watermelon Seeds from Amazon (Paid link) then save the seeds from your first crop.
Saving Watermelon Seeds
Most watermelon seeds don’t need to be fermented. If you find that none of the seeds sink when you put the seeds in water to check their viability then try fermenting the seeds by leaving in a jar for a few days. Stir the seeds every day until some fall to the bottom then scoop off the top seeds and dry the rest.
Tools and Materials Needed
- Ceramic Plate
- Airtight Container
- Label – These top rated dissolvable food labels are great for labelling seed containers. Simply wash off the label then reuse the container for the next batch of seeds. (Paid link)
How to save and store watermelons seeds at home.
- Remove the Seeds
First scoop out the watermelon seeds with their membrane into a bowl.
- Place in Water
Fill a bowl or jar halfway with cold water. Remove as many of the seeds from the membrane as you can. Place the seeds in the water then leave for an hour. The good viable seeds which will germinate will sink to the bottom.
- Remove the Bad Seeds
Scoop off any floating seeds and watermelon flesh then drain off the water. Place the seeds in a single layer on a ceramic plate to dry. Leave in a room with low humidity and good air circulation such as near a window or outside door.
- Leave to Dry
The watermelon seeds will need to dry for at least 2 weeks. It may take longer in humid climates. If you see moisture in the storage container then you know they need to be left out to dry for longer.
- Store and label the Dried Watermelon Seeds
Store the seeds in an airtight container labelled with the date dried and the contents. The seeds will remain viable for up to 2 years with the germination rate going down after that time.
Saving watermelon seeds at home doesn’t need to cost you any money. If you don’t have any small jars, consider reusing condiment jars which are the perfect size for storing seeds. Simply wash out thoroughly then leave to air dry before using to store your watermelon seeds.
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