How to Scoop Out Pumpkin Seeds for Growing

Overview

Pumpkin seeds are buried within the stringy pulp of the pumpkin fruit. Scooping out the pumpkin seeds and cleaning the pulp from them is required prior to storage. The pulp retains moisture which can cause the seeds to mold or rot before you are able to plant them. Pulp on the seeds can also attract pests, such as rodents, that then eat your saved seeds. Proper scooping, cleaning and storage allows you to save your seeds, helping you save money and ensuring you have your favorite pumpkin varieties available to plant each year.

Step 1

Cut open a fully ripened pumpkin. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from inside the shell with a large spoon and place them in a large bowl. Metal spoons work best as their edges cut through the pulp easier than wooden or plastic spoons.

Step 2

Fill the bowl with enough lukewarm water to cover the seeds. Remove as much of the pulp and strings from the seeds as possible, placing the cleaned seeds in a colander.

Step 3

Rinse the seeds in the colander to remove most of the remaining pulp. Spread the seeds out on a sheet of newspaper and place them in a warm, dry room to dry.

Step 4

Turn the seeds over after three days and replace the newspaper if it is damp. Allow the seeds to finish drying, which takes approximately one to two weeks.

Step 5

Brush off any remaining dried pulp on the seeds. Place them in an envelope labeled with the pumpkin variety and year harvested then store them in a cool, 40-degree F place where they will remain dry until spring planting.

Tips and Warnings

  • Pumpkins readily crossbreed which can render seeds useless for planting. While 250 feet between pumpkin varieties is usually sufficient, a half-mile distance is preferable when possible. Alternately, you can pollinate the flowers yourself then paper clip them closed so no further insect pollination occurs.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Metal spoon
  • Bowl
  • Colander
  • Newspaper
  • Envelope

References

  • West Virginia University Extension: Seed Saving Tips
Keywords: seed saving, harvesting pumpkin seeds, heirloom 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.