Saving seeds is one of the most rewarding things about fall; you’ve enjoyed the best of what your summer garden has to offer, and now things are winding down for winter.
Saving Seeds from Squash
By saving your seeds, you have ensured that you will be able to have a great garden next year – at minimal expense! It’s really not a hard job, it just involves selecting the very nicest fruit for your garden to preserve seeds from and then taking a few moments to harvest them, clean and dry them.
Unlike tomatoes, which can be harvested at the regular time and then the outer saved for eating, squash need to be left beyond the point that they would be good to eat, in order for the seeds to be mature.
I like to select a few nice-looking squash, and mark them with a piece of twine around the vine near the fruit. That way people picking in my garden know not to pick them for food, and they continue to grow and mature.
When the skin of the squash is too hard to be broken by pressing on it with a fingernail, it is ready to be picked.
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Carefully cut the squash in half – you will lose a few seeds to slicing, but this is so much easier than trying to pare the flesh away from the center seed portion.
Scoop the seeds out and place in a sieve.
Pick as much of the flesh out of the seeds as you can, and remove any seeds you nicked while slicing the fruit.
Wash the seeds under cool running water, rubbing them between your fingers to get them as clean as possible.
Lay the seeds out in a single layer on a paper plate, or a ceramic plate lined with a paper towel. The seeds will stick slightly, so every day, go in and turn and ‘stir’ the seeds gently. The idea is to wick away the moisture from the seeds and allow them to dry in a cool environment. Never use heat to dry your seeds! Depending on your room temperature and humidity the seeds may take a couple of days to dry.
That’s all, fellow homesteaders! Did you enjoy learning how to save seeds? Let us know in the comments section below what troubles you had or what you did differently when saving your squash seeds. Do you have a seed saving method that’s a staple on your homestead? Share it with us and we’ll give it a shot. We love doing DIY homesteading projects and becoming more self-reliant by learning more about how everything works around the homestead. That’s why Homesteading was created. We want all folks looking to lead a self-sufficient life, either on a homestead or in an urban environment, to come together and learn from each other! Of course, we welcome your help in creating a community of homesteaders. Come and share your homesteading tips and ideas, recipes and expect the best advice on self-reliance and homesteading trials from our team of long-time homesteaders, self-reliant wilderness, and preparedness experts. Want to write for Homesteading? Shoot us an e mail and make sure to stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!
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