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Question about saved squash seeds...

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Andora, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. Andora

    Andora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    I saved seeds from my acorn squash, yellow squash, flying saucers, etc. Do you think they are good to plant? I just read about how they can cross pollinate up to 500 feet...they were all planted near each other.

    I'm trying to decide if I should bother planting them or if I should just add them to my ordering list.
  2. warmfuzzies

    warmfuzzies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boondocks, Colorado
    There are several different species of squash plants, they will cross in the species, but not out of it. Your acorn squash and your summer squash should not cross with each other.

    First off, I am assuming that your plants were not hybrids, and that you let your summer sqush mature before you got the seeds? (You have to let them get as hard and mature as the winter squash types, and then sabe the large hard seeds.) Secondly, you will have a problem if any of the different species were blooming at the same time as any of the other members of that species. They are bee pollinated, so I think the 300 yards you mentions is not nearly far enough. They are one of the harder seeds to save, unless you grow only one kind or cage them, since they cross so readily.

    Here is a chart lising different seed saving info.


    There are four or so main kinds of squash and pumpkin, and you can generally say that winter squash and summer squash are two different species, but not always.

    Summer squash are generally C. Pepo, and winter squash are normally C. Maxima, C. Moschata, or C. Mixta. But there are always exceptions, so it is best to look up your individual variety. this site has tons of individual varieties with their species listed:


    this helps!
  3. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 28, 2008
    Acorns are also C. pepo, so they may have crossed with the summer squashes.
  4. warmfuzzies

    warmfuzzies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boondocks, Colorado
    I did not know that, thank you! [​IMG]
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Last year I planted saved seeds (on purpose since I had some extra room) and it was a cross between Lakota and Acorn winter squashes. The result was a large squash that was OK but not a great taste. The main disappointment was that there were extremely few squash on the vine. I got two squashes out of three hills, two vines in each hill.

    If you want and have room, you can plant some of them and see what develops, but to assure a crop, I'd get new seeds.
  6. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    I'd reorder fresh seed (if you have the room to grow out some of the saved seeds, do so.

    For seeds you want to save, you'll want to bag the blossom and hand pollenate yourself. It's easy. For squashes and melons (same proceedure) you'll want to use organza bags...


    Any craft store, walmart or wedding reception has hundreds of these things.

    Pick your female flower (I go for ones in a convient space to monitor), slip the bag on while it's still a bud.

    Check daily till it opens. When it opens, using tweezers pull the stamens off of the male flowers (I use 4 males to make sure i've plenty of pollen).

    Now rebag your freshly pollentated melon/squash, and keep an eye on to make sure the fruit develops. Once the fruit starts forming you can slip off the bag and loosely tie some twine on the stem to mark it for seed production.

    Used bags need washing (to get off stray pollen and not pollute your next grow out) I toss them in a mesh lingere bag and put them in the delicate cycle.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  7. warmfuzzies

    warmfuzzies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boondocks, Colorado
    GREAT idea Sadinna! I used pieces of row cover last year, and I had a hard time getting them to stay on the plant. [​IMG] Now I am excited to try again!
  8. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    I'm working with a few strains of heirloom melons, and seed purity is utmost here.
  9. warmfuzzies

    warmfuzzies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boondocks, Colorado
    What kinds are you growing? I love melons and winter squash.... I always tell hubby I need a bigger garden for all my vines! [​IMG]
  10. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Quote:Currently Piel De Sappo, Evans' Sweet, Early Frame Prescott, an unstable Moon and Stars (Throws both the red and yellow fruits) Ali Baba, My gardens are tiny, so I trellis and sling my melons.

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