As you grow squash, treat the seeds so that you can successfully store and plant these at a later date. Along with other fruits and vegetables, squash seeds are subject to bacterial conditions that prevent the squash plant from growing up properly. Fortunately, you can perform specific processes that decrease the likelihood of this happening. By knowing what to look for when harvesting your seeds and how to treat them, you help ensure another bountiful harvest.
Obtain a squash that does not dent when you press it with your fingernail, to select a fruit that has fully mature seeds. If needed, leave the squash out for three to four weeks to reach this hard-shell stage.
Cut open the squash to gather the seeds from inside, and place these in a strainer.
Hold the strainer under warm running water to clean the seeds and remove any sticky plant debris.
Spread your seeds out on a plate and allow them to dry.
Label an envelope to identify the squash seeds, the current date and any other data that you wish to record. Place the seeds inside the envelope and seal it so that they do not fall out.
Place your envelope inside an airtight container with a lid.
Fill a cloth bag with one cup of dried milk and place this underneath the seed envelope in the container. The dried milk further treats your squash seeds as they are in storage because it absorbs the moisture in the air that can promote bacterial growth.
Place the container in the refrigerator or other cool and dry place. Do not remove your squash seeds until you are ready to sow them.