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Saving Seeds

The Martha Stewart Show, November 2008

Seed collecting saves money, and it's the most economical way to produce new plants for your garden year after year. Late autumn is the time of year to save seeds from pumpkins, squashes, and gourds.

Many gardeners also enjoy sharing their favorite seeds with friends, and a great way to do this is to package your seeds. After collecting seeds, place them in glassine envelopes and attach a photo of the variety to make them easy to identify.

If you have photo software, simply download this seed label template to make your own tags. (Note: This template was designed to be personalized with an Adobe program. It may or may not work with another program.)

Tools and Materials
Fruits and vegetables such as pumpkins, squashes, and gourds
Paper towels
Paper plates
Glassine envelope
Seed label template
Double-sided tape

Seed Saving How-To
1. Cut the fruit or vegetable open and extract the seeds.

2. Place the seeds in a colander and rinse with warm water. Blot the seeds with a paper towel. Lay the seeds out on a paper plate labeled with the variety name.

3. Allow the seeds to dry at room temperature in a well-ventilated place, keeping them out of direct sunlight for up to three weeks.

4. Once the seeds have dried, place them in a glassine envelope. Download and print the seed label template with a photo label of your fruit or vegetable before it was cut up, and attach to glassine envelope with double-sided tape. If kept in an air-tight container and placed in the refrigerator, these seeds will be good for at least six years.

Special Thanks
Special thanks to Pam Peterson for providing the original samples for this segment. The seed-saving method featured in this segment is from "The Compleat Squash," by Amy Goldman. For more information on Amy Goldman, visit

Martha used glassine bags from

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