Storing seeds for later years is a good way to conserve time and money while keeping your favorite fruits or vegetables on hand each year. Watermelon seeds can be stored like any other seeds. To store watermelon seeds, you need a little preparation and planning so the seeds can be stored long term. Watermelon seeds can be stored using the methods below for up to four years when done properly.
Choose your storage jar. Make sure the jar has a good airtight seal with the lid before using it. Wash the jar out with hot soapy water to kill bacteria or dirt. Allow the jar to dry completely before you store the seeds.
Pick out the seeds from a slice of watermelon. Enjoy the melon as you place the seeds in a bowl. Fill the bowl with water ¼ full. Wash the seeds by hand, getting pulp or rind off, then strain in a small strainer.
Place the seeds on a sheet of paper towel. Fold over the paper towel and pat the seeds dry. Do not completely dry the seeds because they need moisture to maintain the ability to sprout when you want to start them.
Place the seeds into the glass jar and seal the lid as tightly as possible. You need to keep the air out of the jar to avoid letting too much moisture get out or get in. Watch the humidity in the jar over the next 24 hours. If you notice condensation inside the jar, unscrew the lid and dry the seeds again. Reseal the seeds in the jar and watch them again for another 24 hours until you don't notice condensation inside the jar.
Locate a good storage area for your seed jars. Temperature, humidity and light must be considered when considering a location. Cellar corners, set away from heat sources or windows are good ideas because the temperature can maintain a range of 40 to 45 degrees. Use the floor space to get this temp range. Root cellars, created out of enclosed, insulated crawl spaces under the house are another good idea. This maintains the humidity and temperature levels as well.
Store your seed jars away from windows or other light sources. Sudden changes in light can cause seeds to deteriorate and become useless. Locate your storage or root cellar in a very dark area.