Saving Pumpkin Seeds

Well, here is a testament to my great housekeeping. I found 2 tiny, white pumpkins hiding on my kitchen counter the other day! So I decided to go ahead and save the seeds. Now, a word on saving seeds from anything. You will only get a baby that is a copy of the parent if you save the seeds from a fruit that is not a hybrid. If you save seeds from a hybrid, you never really know what you’ll get. If you have a Forrest Gump attitude about life, this won’t bother you. If you like to know what you are getting yourself into, only save seeds from heirloom varieties. I have no idea if these little white ornamental pumpkins are hybrids or not, and I am okay with that. It’s a bit of an experiment! If you want to learn how to save your own pumpkin (or any gourd) seeds, then keep reading!

First thing you need to do is gain access to the seeds. Gourds can be difficult to cut into because of their thick skins. Use a sharp knife and keep your fingers out of the way!

Now, you’ll need to scoop the seeds out. I like to use a melon baller because it kind of cuts through the slimy, stringy bits. Just don’t dig into the sides of the gourd. You won’t need all of the seeds, especially if you are gathering seeds from a larger gourd with a lot of seeds. If you are carving pumpkins, scoop the seeds out and save a few and roast the rest to eat!

You’ll need to free the seeds from the slimy stuff. I like to place mine in a screen colander and give them a wash.
This colander is from Ikea and it has adjustable arms on it to fit a variety of size sinks. I use my sprayer and clean the seeds as well as I can. I don’t think it’s vital to get them spotless.

I spread my seeds out on a paper towel to dry out. Newspaper works too. I leave them for a few days. You want them dry so they don’t mold in storage. On the second day, I’ll move them around to break up any clumps. This helps insure they are able to completely dry out.

You’ll want to store them safely for next year. I like paper envelopes because they can breathe. Just in case I didn’t get all of the moisture out of the seeds. Make sure you label the envelope. If you don’t know the exact variety of plant, just include some identifying characteristics along with the date you collected your seeds. Be sure you put the correct year. I put these up on one of the first days of 2018 and sure enough, I labeled them 2017. In keeping things real, this won’t be the only time I put the wrong year. Anyone else do that?

Now I just have to wait for planting time! I’ll come back and update you on if the new pumpkins look just like the parents. Seed saving is a great homesteading skill to have in your toolbox. Have you saved any seeds lately?