harvesting pumpkin seeds

agavegroveOctober 31, 2012

I've never grown pumpkins before but want to try. We have 4-5 varieties of pumpkins we bought this year. Right now the pumpkins are still in a fresh, ripe condition.

At what point to I need to cut them open and harvest the seeds? How do the seeds need to be treated for storage?

My understanding is that our area (Fort Worth, Texas area) won't plant the seeds until closer to summer so they'll need to keep that long.

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Well I've seen studies that indicate that the seeds of pumpkins/squash continue to mature for 20 days after harvest so I like to enjoy my pumpkins as decorations before I extract the seeds. I say leave them around until you don't want to see them anymore (around Thanksgiving works) then cut them open and take out the seeds. But if they start going bad before that then cut them open and get the seeds before they rot.

What I do is scoop out the guts then throw the guts into a sink/basin of water, the seeds a much easier to remove from the slimy mess this way. Once the seeds are separated from the rest of the insides I put them on a paper towel, spread out evenly, to dry for a day or two before storing them.

There are many ways you can store seeds but if you only need them to last until summer you can just put them in an envelope or any container and store them anywhere out of the way.

All that being said store bought varieties likely crossed with other pumpkins/squash while they were growing and there is no guarantee that you will get the same variety when you plant them next year. Still you could end up with something interesting by doing that.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 12:15PM
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Thanks. That helps a lot! I've been looking for a good seed vendor with variety but haven't found one yet. Do you recommend a place where I can buy a variety online?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 11:07AM
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Hey Agavegrove,
I grew pumpkins this year in Garland, TX, not far from you. Results were not bad for the first time, and learned A LOT too. I grew the "sugar pie pumpkins".
Next year, I am expanding my garden by cutting a tree, and will grow try and grow cindarella pumpkins, maybe hubbard squash too, and pie pumpkins again.

two things I had to deal with:
- squash vine borers - they were pretty bad in the summer, but with egg-picking, and burying vines I had some partial victory. They disappeared around late Sept.
- powdery mildew - this started late Sept. and got real bad in Oct/Nov. I think it got worse because the vines were not getting as much sun anymore, and that contributed to their decline.

Check out my blog. I have lots of into there.

Here is a link that might be useful: my blog

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 5:59PM
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