Delicata squash is moderate in size with a deep yellow flesh and a yellow to green exterior skin. When prepared, the sweet flavor of the interior flesh is as succulent as a sweet butternut. Saving squash seeds is not much different of a process than saving most other seeds. The best vegetables must be chosen; the seeds removed and thoroughly cured. The most difficult portion of the task is waiting until the next growing season to witness the results of your effort. In some cases, due to cross-pollination, there is no telling what exact species of squash may be the result.
Choose the delicata squash of the best size. The squash must be left on the vine until it reaches full maturity for the seeds. Test other squash by opening them up with a knife. Scoop the seeds from the interior with a spoon. Inspect the seeds for full plumpness and full nutmeat to the seed. Cook the squash you used as test samples. Add a little butter and enjoy.
Select the delicata squash after performing the test in step 1. The squash must be large and plump. The seeds inside will have a better chance of germination when fully matured.
Cut the squash in half with the knife. Scoop the seeds with the spoon from the interior cavity.
Separate the seeds from the pulp with your hands. Do not wash the seeds.
Lay the seeds in a single layer on a piece of paper. Allow the seeds to cure in a ventilated area away from direct sunlight. It may take up to two months for the seeds to fully cure depending on the drying conditions. The seeds are cured when they have a hard exterior shell. Keep away from rodents.
Break apart the seed if they are stuck together. Place the dried seeds in a paper envelope. This will allow the seeds to breathe and not capture moisture. Label the outside of the envelope with a marker. Identify the date of harvest and variety. You may also want to include growing conditions of the delicata squash for next year as well.
Things You Will Need
- Butter (optional)
- Ventilated area
- Paper envelope
- Squash plants in which seeds are to be saved, must be grown in areas where the plants will be least likely cross-pollinated. The plants grown from saved seeds may result in a different vegetable all together. As a gardener, that is part of the fun in saving seeds--to see what the result may be.
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