The Q&A Archives: Seed Saving

Question: I have planted some Atlantic Giant pumpkin seeds and I was wondering (assuming that they come up) how to save the seeds for next year (how to dry them, store them, etc.)

Answer: Saving seed from hybrid plants is possible, but the results are not always predictable. The Atlantic Giant is a F1 Hybrid, produced by plant breeders who isolated the best traits of different pumpkins to come up with one that will grow to huge proportions. The seed contained in your mature pumpkins will have some qualities of the Atlantic Giant strain and possibly some traits of a squash or pumpkin variety that's growing nearby. If you save the seeds, be prepared for a surprise or two when you plant them next season. Take the seeds from a mature pumpkin by scraping them out, removing the flesh and other debris, spreading them out on newspapers and letting them thoroughly dry at room temperature. This may take two weeks or more. Test for dryness by crunching one between your teeth to make sure the outer covering is completely dry. Once dry, place the seeds in an airtight container and store in a cool, dark location like the bottom of a closet or cupboard. They should remain viable for about two years if properly dried and stored.

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