With the many uses of gourds from crafting purposes such birdhouses and bowls, knowing how to save gourd seeds can be a money saver and ensure you have a good amount of gourds grown year after year. Luckily, the process of saving gourd seeds can be done easily and the saved seeds are viable for three to four years after collection. Once the seeds are removed you can create whatever you’d like from gourd itself.
Check your gourd vines and make note of when the gourds are looking dry and starting to change color from green to tan. The stem of the gourd should also start to turn tan as it dries.
Cut or pull the gourd from the vine only after the stem is tan. The stem should and may come off easily with just a gentle pull, but if frost is coming cutting it may be the best option to save the gourd.
Bring the gourd into your basement, garage or protected garden shed so it will be in a warm, dry environment. Spread a few sheets of newspaper out to put the gourds on, or place the gourds in a cardboard box.
Keep the gourds away from moisture and outdoor elements as they dry out for two weeks. Shaking the dry gourds should produce a hollow, rattling sound as the seeds become loose inside the gourd.
Cut open the gourd as you prefer for the project you plan to use it for. Cut off the top to make a vase, across the middle to form a bowl, or cut a simple hole to create a birdhouse. Shake or pour out the seeds onto a paper plate. Pick away any gourd flesh or chaff from the seeds until only seeds remain on the plate.
Let the seeds fully dry for two more weeks on the plate in a cool, dry place away from temperature or humidity fluctuations. Store your dry gourd seeds in an envelope or seed packet in a cool, dry place.
Things You Will Need
- Sharp knife
- Newspaper or cardboard
- Jigsaw or exacto-knife
- Paper plate
- Envelope or blank seed packet
- Write the name of the seed variety, the date, and any planting instructions if you aren't sure you'll remember it on the envelope so when spring comes around you'll be ready for planting.