How do I dry pumpkin seeds to plant in the spring?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello again, Nancy: Saving your seeds from your pumpkins is a great way to plan for next year’s crop. You will need to harvest the seed, separate them from the meat, dry, and store them until next spring. Remove the top of the pumpkin and scoop out all the pulp and seeds. Place in a strainer and separate the seeds from the pulp. Rinse them under room-temperate water and place on a towel or drying rack. Make sure they are not overlapping and have space between them so they will not stick together. To be certain they have completely dried out, leave them in a cool, dry space on the towel/drying rack for up to a month. You will want to turn them every couple of days. Then store them in an envelope or brown paper sack until next spring when you can directly plant them in the ground, or if you want to get a jump start on next year’s crop you can start the seeds indoors. The ideal condition in which to store your seeds is going to be a cool, dark, and dry space with good air circulation. Avoid storing any seeds in plastic because this can encourage condensation, which can cause rot. Keep in mind that each pumpkin has many seeds and these plants take up a lot of room in the garden, so you will likely not plant all the seeds from your pumpkin. The larger the seed the better chance of germination, so try to save the larger ones and more than you intend on planting, just in case some of them do not save well.