How to save pumpkin seeds

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The kids and I carved several pumpkins this year but we waited carve the three pumpkins we grew in our backyard until Halloween since these were the seeds I wanted to save for planting next year.  First, I know exactly how these pumpkins were grow, organically and free of any pesticides.  Second, I was able to let these pumpkins grow undisturbed until the day I picked the seeds, so the seeds should definitely be mature.

The process is very simple, while getting the “goo” as my 5-year-old would say out of the pumpkin set the seeds aside and add to a colander.  Give them a good rinse and remove any orange “goo” that may have snuck in.  Pat dry with a towel and let the seeds dry on wax or parchment paper for a couple days.  Once they are dry to touch put them layered on a paper sack and let them dry for a few weeks until putting them in homemade seed packets until the are ready for next year.

If you have way too many seeds than you need (I know I do) you can also use the great recipe to roast some of you extra seeds as a snack:

CVG’s Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • Extra pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp of Worchester sauce
  • 1/4 tsp of seasoning salt

Directions: Add ingredients to bowl and mix well.  Lay on a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 325 for about 25 minutes being sure to flip the seeds after about 10 minutes.  Eat as soon as you can without burning your mouth.

16 Responses to “How to save pumpkin seeds”

  1. Cassandra Says:

    Worcestershire sauce?? Why didn't I ever think of that? I have a pumpkin full of seeds to take care of this afternoon, and I'll definitely try your recipe for roasting them.


  2. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Yeah adds a unique flavor. Makes regualr salted pumpkin seeds seem pretty boring :)


  3. SWEETHEARTS MOM Says:

    Try drying them on paper towels first…then give them a wash in salt water and put them back on the paper towels to drain…then put them on the dehydrator trays for about 24 hours. Very yummy


  4. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    SHM, sounds good. Does the slow drying give them a different flavor? I really need to add a dehydrator to my want list, but definitely one of those items I could use for drying herbs, although no place to store.


  5. Rocky Says:

    Very nice article. Thanks for sharing >>
    Vegetable Fruit Carvings


  6. Evan Says:

    You should mention that pumpkin seeds need to be frozen before they will germinate. If you live in a climate which does not frost, put your harvested pumpkin seeds in the freezer for a while to “trick” the plant into thinking that there’s a frost.


  7. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Evan, never heard that one before. Though I normally put my seeds in the refridgerator which might be why they have always worked for me.


  8. Diane Says:

    FREEZE the seeds before planting? Don’t understand. I thought you soaked them.
    I thought freezing any seeds KILLS the seeds.


  9. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    For most seeds freezing can significantly extend their life, for example take a look at the svalbard global seed vault which stores seeds at 23 degrees F. Though soaking in water then freezing, sounds like a good death sentence


  10. Making a homemade pumpkin pie (not canned) Says:

    […] Step 3: Scoop out seeds and innards.  I decided to save a few seeds with hopes to grow my own sugar pumpkins next year using the seed saving techniques I have wrote about in the past. […]


  11. How to Freeze pumpkin puree Says:

    […] Step 3: Scoop out seeds and innards. Using an ice cream scoop scrape out the seeds and the stringy innards, you don’t have to get this completely clean as you can see below. I also decided to save a few seeds with hopes to grow my own sugar pumpkins next year using the seed saving techniques I have wrote about last year. […]


  12. How to make pumpkin puree Says:

    […] Step 3: Scoop out seeds and innards.  Using an ice cream scoop. scrape out the seeds and the stringy innards, you don’t have to get this completely clean as you can see below.  I also decided to save a few seeds with hopes to grow my own sugar pumpkins next year using the seed saving techniques I have wrote about last year. […]


  13. Bill R Says:

    I harvest a lot of pumpkins for the seeds. Yesterday I had a unique experience. I opened the pumpkin and saw something green. It took a second to realize that several of the seeds had germinated in the pumpkin. Any idea why that happened this time and doesn’t usually?


  14. Giveaway: $1354.83 worth of fresh produce - The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    […] Pumpkin […]


  15. Terri Says:

    I agree with the posts above on freezing your seeds. I freeze my seeds for next year’s crop. The temperature keeps them dormant and in good condition. Do not soak first. Just dry very well; put in a seed packet; put the packets in an air-tight zip-lock bag; then freeze. You just saved a money! Also, yes–there is an enormous seed vault, I believe in the Artic in case of a catastrophe on Mother Earth. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard_Global_Seed_Vault


  16. DCB Says:

    What in the world makes you think pumpkin seeds neee to be frozen before they will germinate?
    This is false.


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