Melon seeds are known for their extraordinary health benefits. Next time you buy a melon, you can save its seeds to eat or preserve them to grow your melons in the next season. In this article, we will teach you everything you need to know on how to save melon seeds.
Instead of buying expensive seeds, you can be thrifty and creative and save your seeds from growing new plants. It is surely more rewarding to eat the fruit of your hard work and care.
You can extract and save melon seeds from the melons growing in your garden or the store-bought melons. Saving your melon seeds can be a fun little project, and we are here to teach you how to save melon seeds. Keep reading to learn everything from extracting the seeds to drying and storing them properly so they won’t go bad.
Choose the Right Melons
Before you begin saving the melon seeds, you must choose the right type of melon. Ensure that the type of melons you are using are open-pollinated and non-hybrid. In other words, this variety is also known as an heirloom.
If you use a hybrid variety of melons and plant their seeds, they won’t bear fruits. Such seeds may grow some healthy melon plants, but the plants will grow misshapen and distasteful fruits; they won’t bear any fruit, and your hard work will go to waste.
The melons found in the supermarkets are mostly hybrid, which means they cross between two varieties. Such melons have sterile seeds and will not grow new fruits.
The heirloom variety of plants are naturally and openly pollinated, and they produce viable seeds that grow healthy fruits. It is quite difficult to tell whether the melon you bought is hybrid, so if you cannot find non-hybrid melons, you can grow them.
2 Methods on How to Save Melon Seeds
Keep reading our helpful guide to learn everything on how to save melon seeds and how to store and preserve them properly.
Items You Will Need
- Bowl or Container
- Wire mesh strainer
- Baking trays or large plates
- Paper towels
- Airtight containers
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Gathering the Seeds
Once you get your hand on heirloom melons, it is time to extract their seeds. To gather the seeds, you need to let the melons overripe. The table-ready melons are not the best ones to save the seeds from. It is best to let your melon ripe until it gives a very strong smell of melons.
Important Tip: Do not let the melons so overripe that they start rotting. The consistency of a ripe melon should be pasty rather than crispy, and it must give a poignant melon scent. The smell should be sweet and not rotten.
- Take a sharp knife and cut your melon in half, either vertically or horizontally. The seeds are all concentrated at the center of the melon, suspended in melon flesh. You can easily scoop it out.
- Take a tablespoon, start scooping out the seeds, and place them in a container. Try to remove as much excess flesh from the seeds as you can.
- Discard the flesh and detangle the seeds with your hands in the bowl.
- In the case of watermelons, you will have to work much harder to extract the seeds. You will need to collect the seeds in a bowl individually. Only pick the dark seeds; the white seeds are immature and nonviable.
Now you can follow either of the following two methods to process and prepare your seeds for storage.
- Take the seeds out from the bowl and put them in a mesh strainer.
- Place this strainer under cold water and rinse them off thoroughly. Get rid of as much pulp as possible.
- Gently rub the seeds with your fingers to loosen the flesh and clean the seeds.
- After rinsing the seeds, let the filter sit for a while to drain the excess water. Try agitating the strainer to drain water and move around the seeds.
- After sitting for a few hours, remove the seeds and spread them on paper towels after the filter has been sitting.
- Gently pat down the seeds between the folds of paper towels to absorb the moisture.
- Scoop out the seeds and place them in a jar filled with water at room temperature while the flesh is still clinging to the seeds. Make sure to fill up your jar to the mouth.
- Now let your jar rest for 3 to 4 days. During this time, the healthy, viable seeds will settle at the bottom of the jar while the useless seeds will float.
- Take a spoon and remove the floating layer of seeds and discard them.
- After discarding bad seeds, collect good seeds from the bottom, rinse them off properly, and dry them with paper towels.
Remove the Excess Sugar
Melons have high sugar content. If you are storing your seeds to be eaten, you don’t have to remove excess sugar. However, to store your seeds for gardening, you need to get rid of excess sugar.
The sugars in the seeds will encourage bacterial activity and mold and fungus growth when stored for the long term. The best method to remove excess sugar is by the use of detergent.
- Place your seeds in a bowl and add a small amount of liquid detergent, preferably an eco-friendly detergent.
- Thoroughly wash the seeds with your hands and then rinse them.
- Please give them a good rinse to ensure no traces of detergent remains.
Storing the Seeds
Once the seeds are rinsed, and all detergent has been removed, it is time to dry them for storage. If your seeds are wet or have any moisture left, they will most likely go bad.
- Place your seeds on paper towels and spread them around on a baking tray.
- Let the tray sit in a well-aerated place with low humidity for a few days.
- Toss around the seeds every once in a while, during this period. Ensure that the seeds are not exposed to any moisture.
- After few days, store them in airtight jars or Ziploc bags. If you notice any condensation or humidity inside your jar, then it means that your seeds have not dried properly. It will cause your seeds to grow mold or mildew.
- Please take out your seeds and let them dry for a few more days to prevent that. You can also put bags of silica gel in your jar. Silica gel is very good at absorbing moisture.
If you store your seeds properly, they can stay good for as long as 3 years. But the viability drops exponentially as the time passes.
Melon seeds have gained popularity as a superfood and are widely used in acai bowls and trail mix as they are packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Along with eating, you can also store your melon seeds to grow new melon plants without buying new seeds every time.
We have put together some excellent methods and tips to help you learn how to save melon seeds and store them for a long time. Please share how your melon seeds turned out in the comments below!