It’s that time of the year! Pumpkin time. It is also the time of the year where your kids get like 15 of these bad boys (some are sugar ones – save those) and you don’t know what to do with them all. Well, carve them of course, display them, and roast their seeds – some of them anyway.
But save some of those seeds to plant next year. We all know, mostly because I have been talking about it non-stop, that I have plenty of room for planting this upcoming spring. And with that comes my desire to save seeds. Pumpkins are high up there on the list of seeds to save for two reasons: 1. Because I hoard sugar pumpkins like they are going out of style and I’d love to produce my own. 2. Because we have so many opportunities to save these seeds and many of those opportunities we waste. Not this year!
Big garden, small garden, or just a little plot of land, pumpkins can be super easy to grow. Save some seeds, plant them next spring!
First, make sure you get your pumpkins from a place that you know. You will want to save the seeds of heirloom pumpkins, not hybrids. Knowing where the plants you are harvesting seeds from is key. I like to make sure (especially if I will be eating them) that they were grown organically and by a farmer that I know. You don’t need to do this for all of your pumpkins (though that would be great!) just the ones you are saving seeds from.
After scooping out the pulp and seeds, transfer them to a colander so that you can wash them well.
You want to choose the largest seeds (best chance of germination). And you clearly aren’t going to plant 100 unless maybe you want to. But realize that not everyone you plant will germinate. Success rate tends to be about 30ish%.
Rinse the seeds and dry them on a towel. Make sure to spread them out so they don’t stick together.
Thoroughly dry them out in a cool spot for a week or two before transferring to an envelope.
Store them in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to use next spring. Your refrigerator is a good suggestion, all the way in the back! I store mine down in the basement.
Do you save and use pumpkin seeds from year to year?