I had a rough year with squash. I planted four kinds: Delicata, Pie Pumpkin, Butternut, and Spaghetti squash. I find all of these types of squash to be delicious. Squash Vine Borers agree. They decimated my squash vines. I yielded a total of 1 Delicata, 2 Pie Pumpkins, 7 Butternut Squashes and 1 Spaghetti Squash. The Borers’ yield was much higher.
The squashes that survived, survived the plight of the borers. They also fruited in the soil, the pollinators, and the climate specific to my area. These squash were open pollinated, which means that the bees were responsible for pollination. I could have pollinated them myself so that I would have a more reliant seed result, but I did not. Perhaps next year.
I am saving the seeds from my squashes as these seeds come from plants that are well adapted to the growing conditions in my garden. That way, as time progresses, the plant that evolves from these seeds will be custom made for my garden. Here’s how I saved the seeds (and this method will work for any squash):
When I was ready to eat one of my squashes, I started to prepare it as usual, cutting down the middle of the squash.
I scooped the seeds out, and put them in a glass mason jar.
Then I filled the jar with enough water to cover the seeds.
And then I let the seeds sit fore a few days. I think I left this one sit for almost two weeks. That’s a bit of a long time, but It works. After this time the top of your water may get some growth:
Drain your seeds. I drained my seeds directly outside, as there was a definite odor to them.
Run them through a sieve to clean your seeds. Use cold water here.
Don’t be afraid to use your hands.
Lay the seeds out on paper towels and allow to dry.
Make sure the seeds are completely dry, and I mean SUPER DUPER COMPLETELY DRY, if there is any moisture, your seeds will mold. Once dry the seeds are ready for storage. I put mine in an old glass container, labeled it, and now I’m ready to plant my butternut squash next year.
I will do the same with the rest of my squashes, so that I have squashes that are hand selected by me for the characteristics I want.