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How Do I Save Pumpkin Seeds to Plant Next Year?

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How Do I Save Pumpkin Seeds to Plant Next Year?

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Overview

Saving your own garden seed is an inexpensive way to plant your favorite varieties of vegetables each year. Saving pumpkin seeds is a simple endeavor, as the seeds are large and the fruit is usually picked once the seeds are fully mature for eating anyway, leading to no waste of fruit when harvesting for seed stock. Properly preparing the seeds for storage as well as proper storage procedures ensures the pumpkin seeds survive until it is time to replant them in spring.

Step 1

Harvest pumpkins when the rind has reached its mature color and the fruit is firm. Leave pumpkins to further ripen in a cool, dry place for up to four weeks after harvest, if desired.

Step 2

Cut the top of the pumpkin off with a sharp knife. Cut small pie pumpkin varieties in half.

Step 3

Scoop the pulp and seeds out of the shell with a spoon or your hands. Separate the seeds from the pulp by hand.

Step 4

Place the seeds in a colander. Rinse off remaining pulp under running water.

Step 5

Spread the pumpkin seeds out in a single layer on a sheet of newspaper. Set in a warm, dry room for two weeks or until the pumpkin seeds are completely dry.

Step 6

Label a jar or envelope with the pumpkin variety and the year harvested. Place the saved seeds in the jar and store in a cool, dry place until you are ready to plant in spring.

Tips and Warnings

  • Pumpkin easily cross pollinates, so only grow one variety in the home garden if you plan to save the seeds. Save seeds only from heirloom or non-hybrid pumpkin varieties. Hybrid types do not produce viable seed.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Spoon
  • Colander
  • Newspaper
  • Jar or envelope

References

  • International Seed Saving Institute: Squash/Pumpkinsa
Keywords: saving pumpkin seeds, seed saving, harvesting and storing seeds

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.