saving squash seeds

nandmsmomDecember 8, 2006

I am quite new to this, so forgive me if this is a stupid question. I am wondering if saving seeds for summer, winter and pumpkin squashes is as simple as it seems. Do I just pull them out and dry them before cooking the rest? Should the squash be a certain size before doing this?

Thanks so much

Heather

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streamy22(7)

Hello nandsmom,
We have saved seeds for summer squash and found that the bigger the squash the bigger the seeds. Picking when squash is starting to soften makes it easier to extract the seeds from the fruit. You can also pick and let it sit for a few days. After extracting the seeds let them dry, and store in a dark room for the winter.

Winter squash and pumpkins is as simple as pulling the seeds out and letting them dry. Then we store the seed in an old mason jars in a dark room or building.

Also if you have bought the fruit or grown it yourself near other gourds, squash, or pumpkins you may get a mixed up mess. Have you ever seen a gourd mixed with a butternut squash, it isn't that pretty.

Happy Holidays,
David Burton

    Bookmark   December 9, 2006 at 12:14PM
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nandmsmom

Thanks David. I'm wondering how I prevent the cross pollination? I don't have a large garden, so everything is close together. I'd really like to save seeds from anything I possibly can.

Thanks

Heather

    Bookmark   December 9, 2006 at 4:43PM
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remy_gw

Hi Heather,
If you want to save seed from squash, you need to grow only types with a different second name. Squash's latin name is Cucurbita, but all squash have a second name of who they are compatable with. Like zucchini is most always Cucurbita pepo. Butternut is Cucurbita moschata. So zucchini and butternut will not cross because their second names are different. But Acorn squash is Cucurbita pepo, so it will cross with zucchini. There are other second names like maxima and mixta.
Also, if you neighbors are growing squash close to you there could be cross pollination. The reason they is so much cross pollination between compatable varieties is squash need insect pollination to make fruit. Other veggies like tomatoes do not.
So technically if you wanted to totally make sure your seed was pure, you would need like a mile or something between varieties. For home gardening that is impossible, and as long as your not really close to the neigbors you should be fine. I have seed saved from a local farmer and the squash grew true to type even though he grows different varieties. I think it is just cautionary that you may not get 100% if something is growing in the distance: )
Remy

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 10:48AM
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nandmsmom

Remy,

Thanks so much for that explanation. It was exactly what I needed to know.

Heather

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 10:59AM
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remy_gw

You're welcome Heather: )
Remy

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 8:37AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Nandmsmom, the home gardener can easily save squash seed - even with more than one in the same species - by blossom bagging. There was a good discussion of this in the Vegetable Forum, the link to the thread is below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hand-pollinating squash

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 9:26PM
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remy_gw

Zeedman is quite right about hand pollinating and bagging blossoms. I just assumed(and I could be very wrong) that a person with "mom" in their GW name has barely enough time to garden let alone worry about pollinating and bagging : )
Remy

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 11:45AM
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nandmsmom

Remy, you are so right. I think I'll be buying, or swapping for squash seed.

Heather

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 7:44AM
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northernmich(5)

Take seeds from the best one, dry them as noted. Once they are dry, you need to shuck off the dried on coating. The seed revealed is very white and glossy. This seed is then stored dry or frozen and ready to plant for the next season.

Many like to sprout them first or plant them point down into the soil.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 11:59AM
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ljpother(3a)

Remy,

If I read your Dec 06 post correctly the seed I saved from a golden hubbard Cucurbita maxima shouldn't have crossed with the butternut Cucurbita moschata growing next to it.

It would be an interesting cross -- both are good tasting veggies.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 10:34PM
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remy_gw

Ljpother,
You are correct. It would be interesting. When squash can cross, a lot of unusual babies often occur.
Remy

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 11:23PM
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brewguy85(5b)

Crosses can be a plus sometimes. Look at Stripetti for instance, which is most likely a cross between a Delicata and Spaghetti variety.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 6:46PM
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captaindirt(6/7)

Can someone explain to me again just what I need to do to save zucchini seeds next year.
I picked an average size zucchini this year and let it set in the garden (off the vine)for a month and turn orangeish yellow before taking the seeds. The seeds seemed pretty thin compared to what I had from the seed company. Do I need to let the Zucchini stay on the vine and get huge and yellow before picking it or what, also just what do they mean when they say grow to full materity?

Thanks

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 8:28PM
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Susan6756(9)

Csptaindirt, I have the exact question you asked. Did you find an answer, and what was it? I have a large zucchini on the vine currently, and I would like to save the seeds :)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 2:46PM
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cousinfloyd

Summer squash like zucchini needs to be left on the vine until it gets hard like a winter squash if you want to save seed.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 9:00AM
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randarand97

Thanks so much for that explanation. It was exactly what I needed to know.

Here is a link that might be useful: شرÙØ© تÙظÙÙ ÙاجÙات زجاج Ùحجر باÙرÙاض

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 1:58PM
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