Harvesting pumpkin seeds is a simple process that can help you create a crop of pumpkins for the following year. It involves removing them from the pumpkin, cleaning them and scraping off any mold residue before drying them out to store them. It is important to remove the mold thoroughly from the seeds and to stop the rotting process if you are planning to plant them. Fortunately, a little mold is good for seeds since they thrive in a decomposing environment. You just want to make sure you stop the process before the mold goes too far.
Things You'll Need
- Pumpkin seeds
- Clean rags
- Antibacterial soap
- Butter knife
- Warm water
- Three bowls
Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and clean off pumpkin flesh and debris. Place the pumpkin debris into one bowl and the seeds in the other.
Sift through the bowl of pumpkin seeds. When you find a seed that has mold growth on it, use a butter knife to carefully and slowly scrape it off the seed's shell. Rinse off the knife in the sink to dispose of the mold particles. Also, use the butter knife to scrape off stringy pieces of pumpkin flesh that you couldn't get off with your fingers.
Separate the pile of pumpkin seeds between two other bowls, placing the ones with mold in one bowl and the seeds without into the other one.
Make sure to scrape off the mold from each of the pumpkin seeds in the first bowl. Follow the curve of the seed's shell with a knife to get rid of even the smallest particles. Sift through the bowl to double check the seeds once you are done.
Turn on the sink and wait until the water is lukewarm. Fill the bowls with the lukewarm water and mix in a couple drops of antibacterial soap. Sift the seeds through the water to clean them thoroughly. Pour them through a strainer.
Lay the seeds onto a clean, dry dish rag and pat them dry. Let them dry out for a couple of hours. Store them in a dry place until ready to plant. If you see any mold growing back on the seeds, repeat this process one more time. If the mold has overtaken a seed or a group of seeds, it may be necessary to throw them out.