How to Save Acorn Squash Seeds

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Acorn squash are a favorite winter squash for baking and stewing. Easy to grow, they have the reputation of being easy to keep long into the winter months. Acorn squash usually begin arriving on grocery store shelves in late summer and early fall. For many gardeners, keeping the seed from their own harvests is much more cost efficient than purchasing new seed every year or paying the grocery store price for the squash itself.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Heavy spoon
  • Colander
  • Newspaper
  • Cut the squash in half using a sharp knife. The skin of the acorn squash is very hard, so you may have to put a bit of muscle behind the cut.

  • Use a heavy spoon to scoop the seeds from the center cavity of the acorn squash. Place the seeds in the colander. Set aside the squash to cook later.

  • Place the colander under running water and separate the seeds from the fibrous connecting tissue.

  • Spread the cleaned seed on folded newspaper and allow the water to drain.

  • Transfer the drained seeds to clean, dry newspaper and set the seeds in a cool, dark place to completely dry.

  • Store the seeds in sealed envelopes or glass jars with lids, until time to plant. Be sure and label the envelope or jar with the contents.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also use paper or cloth towels, instead of newspaper, for draining the seeds. To dry the seeds more quickly, place the drained seeds on a cookie sheet. Preheat your oven to its lowest setting and place the cookie sheet in the oven. Turn off the heat and allow the seeds to dry 8 to 10 hours, turning once during the process. Seed can be stored in the refrigerator after drying. This will inhibit any sprouting of the seeds before the growing season. When planting acorn squash, or any squash from which you plan to save the seeds, keep the various types well separated in the garden, to prevent cross-pollination. In most cases, you can save the seed from store-bought acorn squash; it will grow fine in your garden the next year. The simplest way to cook acorn squash is to bake them on a cookie sheet, cut side down, in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven until soft. Serve with butter.

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