How to save spaghetti squash seeds

By: Teo Spengler

09 November, 2018

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Spaghetti squash is an extremely popular winter squash variety. Many gardeners and their families love this unique veggie that, when cooked, can be scraped into pasta-like filaments, perfect with any type of sauce. Like all winter squash, these must be allowed to ripen on the vine, and this is doubly important if you are planning to harvest the seeds for future planting. But saving spaghetti squash seeds for planting isn’t always a good idea, depending on the type of squash you are growing.

How to Plant Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is called a winter squash, but if you sow the seeds in winter, you won’t see much action. Winter squash are given the name because it stores well, lasting into the winter, not because it likes a snowy garden plot. Start the seeds for spaghetti squash in spring after the last frost. You can start growing spaghetti squash indoors even earlier if you like, then transplant the seedlings to the garden when the soil is warmed to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Spaghetti squash is an extremely popular winter squash variety.
  • Many gardeners and their families love this unique veggie that, when cooked, can be scraped into pasta-like filaments, perfect with any type of sauce.

These are big, spreading vine plants, so it isn’t practical to consider growing spaghetti squash in containers unless they are large. Usually, spaghetti squash is planted in hills some 3 feet apart, or every 4 feet in rows 7 feet apart. Plant three seeds for every one plant you want, then thin to the strongest seedling. The squash will require a consistently damp soil to germinate. Once the plants have settled in, give them an inch of water a week to keep those vines growing and producing the pretty squash blossoms.

When Is Spaghetti Squash Ripe?

You can eat spaghetti squash only if it ripens on the vine. Unlike many vegetables, winter squash won’t mature after it’s been harvested. Allowing the squash to ripen fully is also important if you want to use the seeds to sow the following spring. You aren’t likely to have success planting spaghetti squash seeds if the veggies are immature when harvested. So, that makes it important to know when to harvest spaghetti squash.

  • These are big, spreading vine plants, so it isn’t practical to consider growing spaghetti squash in containers unless they are large.
  • You aren’t likely to have success planting spaghetti squash seeds if the veggies are immature when harvested.

Generally, spaghetti squash requires 100 days from planting through harvest. The variety you select may take longer or shorter, so consult the packaging. This figure will give you a rough approximation of when your squash will be ripe. Other ways to determine ripeness are color and firmness. Ripe spaghetti squash is a dull gold, so don’t pick squash that is gray or green. Another good test is to try to get a fingernail into the skin. If you can, it’s not ripe yet.

  • Generally, spaghetti squash requires 100 days from planting through harvest.
  • Ripe spaghetti squash is a dull gold, so don’t pick squash that is gray or green.

Saving Squash Seeds for Next Year

Saving seeds from your own garden makes sense, since they are free. But note that the seeds of a plant are the result of pollination and not the exact replica of the parent plant. So as long as you plant classic or heirloom spaghetti squash, and the blossoms are pollinated by another spaghetti squash blossom in the same patch, you are set. However, if you grew your squash from hybrid seeds, you cannot count on the seeds producing squash similar to the parent.

Harvesting the Seeds

Since spaghetti squash seeds grow inside the squash, they are covered with pulp and must be cleaned before you store them. Scoop out seeds from a fully ripe squash into a bucket. Add about the same amount of warm water as seeds and pulp and mix it around. Then let the mixture sit in a cool spot for up to a week, swirling it daily, until the viable seeds settle at the bottom of the bucket. Pour out the floating seeds and pulp.

  • Saving seeds from your own garden makes sense, since they are free.
  • However, if you grew your squash from hybrid seeds, you cannot count on the seeds producing squash similar to the parent.

The seeds at the bottom are viable, so rinse them well, then allow them to dry thoroughly on paper towels or a screen. Once they are dry, move them into a glass jar, then keep them in a dark, cool spot until you are ready to plant in spring.

When it comes to squash you will find them in two major types, the s paghetti squash seed, and summer squash. Spaghetti squash is also known as winter squash. Although they are more or less the same in structure and taste, saving them for the next harvest seems slightly different. Winter squash comes with hard skin, whereas summer squash has thin skin. The flesh or gel-type substance on winter squash requires longer cooking time, and they are fully developed within the season, but summer squash needs extra time for development.

Here in this guide, we will be dealing with spaghetti squash seeds and how to save them for next season planting . Let’s dive into it!

How to Save Spaghetti Squash Seeds

Saving spaghetti squash seeds is easy even if you are a beginner and haven’t done it before. Due to its size, you don’t need to waste extra calories while cleaning and removing them from the fruit. But before jumping into the process, you need to follow these instructions.

Choose a Mature Squash

It would be best to make sure that the fruit you have picked should be mature enough for saving purposes. This is because a mature seed will let the plant grow at its full capacity. If you are not satisfied with the available fruits, you can let them in the garden for a couple of weeks until they are fully grown.

If you are a beginner and don’t know which fruit is right for saving, you can follow a few tips to identify. The first step is to knock on it, and if you get a good solid sound, you are pretty much good to go. Secondly, you can scratch its surface if it seems hard or kind of woody, and then it’s good for saving. Thirdly if it comes off with a gentle touch, then it means you have got that particular squash for saving.

Make Sure to Get an Open Pollinate

Open-pollinated or heirloom is a type that ensures you the same characteristics such as colour, size, and taste. Whereas cross-pollinated or hybrid seeds pick the best characteristics of plants involved in the process. To ensure a high-quality harvest, you should always choose the open-pollinated. It is not just recommended, but it allows you to have the dream harvest just like the parent seed. Winter squash is generally cross-pollinated . They contain the properties of both male and female flowers. If you want to grow an open-pollination, you should try saving the flower using a plastic cover to prevent them from cross-pollination.

Choose the Accessories

When it comes to the cutting process, you need a few accessories ready for the process. A sharp knife that makes it easier to cut the squash. The other thing you want to have is envelopes made with brown paper to store the seeds. But you can use anything to save the seeds that keeps them dry and saves them from the sunlight.

Step by Step Process to Save Squash Seeds

Get into our step-by-step guide that will help you store winter squash seeds without any expert help.

Ø Step #1: Cut Squash Carefully

Winter squash comes with hard skin, so be careful while cutting! Always begin with poles and cut them off from both ends. Once you are done with the ends, now move to the middle part. Cut the middle part from both sides and make sure to not damage the seeds with a knife.

Ø Step #2 Remove Seeds from Open Cavity

After dividing them into parts, you can see the open cavity area where seeds are joined inside. You can use a spoon to remove seeds from their fruit part. Scrape all of them on any tray or cutting board.

Ø Step #3 Separate Seeds from the Pulp

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

The third step that is also very important to uphold is separating seeds from their pulp. If the seeds have so much pulp, you can put them inside the water bowl for a quick separation process, and if the pulp is pretty much dry, you can also separate them using your hands. Squash seeds are quite easy to work with due to their bigger size.

Ø Step #4 Spread Seeds on Paper

Once you have done removing all the pulp attached to the seeds, the next step is spreading seeds on paper. Hence, you can also use a paper towel and tray, but paper can be economic if you don’t have any suitable option. Using paper will soak the remaining moisture in the seeds. Scatter seeds all over the paper and let them dry out for 7 to 10 days. Keep them where there is no direct sunlight.

Ø Step #5 Store Them in Envelopes

Keep observing seeds once they are soaked. Now you can store those using envelopes. You can store them in small envelopes. When it comes to storing, always choose a dry but cool place. When it comes to winter squash, you can store it for up to six years.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to preserve squash seed for planting?

After squeezing seeds from squash soak them on paper. Once they are dry enough to store in a jar or envelope store them precisely. Label your container or jar with a variety and date. You can keep the container in a freezer for up to two days as it will kill all the residual pets. Now you can store them in any cool and dry space.

How do we get seeds out of spaghetti squash?

However, it demands precise work in order to get seeds perfectly. We have broken down the process into the following steps.

  • Cut squash carefully into two pieces.
  • Remove seeds from the open cavity with the help of a spoon.
  • Separate seeds from the pulp.
  • Spread seeds on paper and store them once they are dry enough.

How to save squash seed for replanting?

First of all, you need to eliminate tissue and strings from seeds. Fix the seeds by spreading them out in solitary on a paper towel to dry. Store them this way in a spot that is dry and out of direct daylight. When completely dried, in 3 to 7 days, store them in an envelope in a cool dry spot with the remainder of your seed supply.

Can I plant store squash?

Yes, there are two types of seeds and one can be easily bought from any store near your house. But preparing seeds at home will allow you to uphold the healthy fruits of your choice.

Wrap Up

Spaghetti squash is plentiful in Vitamin A, iron, niacin, potassium and is an incredible wellspring of fiber. It tends to be heated or bubbled, making it an extraordinary side dish or even primary entrée for dinner. What makes it perfect is that you can develop it yourself to acquire a chemical-free food supply, liberated from destructive synthetic substances and more flavorful. We hope that our quick and easy spaghetti squash seed storing guide will help you grow winter squash independently.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Have you ever grown a blue-ribbon Hubbard squash or another variety, but the next year the crop was less than stellar? Perhaps you have wondered if by collecting seeds from the prized squash, you might get another crop just as amazing. What is the best method then for squash seed collection and saving those premium squash seeds?

Squash Seed Harvesting

More and more often of late, plants and seeds available at the local home and garden center are comprised of hybrid varieties that have been engineered to retain selected characteristics. This hybridization, unfortunately, breeds out the plants’ innate ability to adapt to inhospitable or challenging conditions. Luckily, there is a resurgence to save some of our heirloom fruit and vegetable varietals.

Saving squash seeds for future propagation can be a bit of a challenge since some squash will cross pollinate, resulting in something less than appetizing. There are four families of squash, and the families don’t cross pollinate, but members within the family will. Hence, it is necessary to recognize what family the squash belongs to and then only plant members of one of the remaining three nearby. Otherwise, you will have to hand pollinate squash to maintain a “true” squash for squash seed collection.

The first of the four major families of squash is Cucurbit maxima which include:

  • Buttercup
  • Banana
  • Golden Delicious
  • Atlantic Giant
  • Hubbard
  • Turban

Cucurbita mixta counts amongst its members:

  • Crooknecks
  • Cushaws
  • Tennessee Sweet Potato squash

Butternut and Butterbush fall into the Cucurbita moshata family. Lastly, are all members of Cucurbita pepo and include:

Again, back to hybrid varieties, often the seed is sterile or doesn’t reproduce true to the parent plant, so don’t try squash seed harvesting from these plants. Don’t attempt to save any seeds from plants that are afflicted with disease, as this will likely pass to the next year’s generation. Select the healthiest, most bountiful, flavorful fruit to harvest seeds from. Harvest seeds for saving from mature fruit towards the end of the growing season.

Storing Squash Seeds

When seeds are ripe, they generally change color from white to cream or light brown, darkening to a dark brown. Since squash is a fleshy fruit, the seeds need to be separated from the pulp. Scoop the seed mass out of the fruit and place it in a bucket with a bit of water. Allow this mix to ferment for two to four days, which will kill off any viruses and separate the good seeds from the bad.

Good seeds will sink to the bottom of the mix, while bad seeds and pulp float. After the fermentation period has completed, simply pour off the bad seeds and pulp. Spread the good seeds on a screen or paper towel to dry. Allow them to dry completely or they will mildew.

Once the seeds are absolutely dry, store them in a glass jar or envelope. Clearly label the container with the variety of squash and the date. Place the container in the freezer for two days to kill off any residual pests and then store in a cool, dry area; the refrigerator is ideal. Be aware that seed viability decreases as time passes, so use the seed within three years.

Winter squash has harder skin than summer squash does; its flesh is firmer too and so needs to cook longer. The seeds are fully developed when the squash is ready to eat, whereas summer squash needs to be left on the vine well past the eating stage to complete the development of its seed.

Understanding Pollination

Before you try to save seeds from your winter squash, it’s important to understand the way they become pollinated.

Winter squashes, along with all cucurbits, are cross-pollinated. This means that they have both distinct male and distinct female flowers. They rely on insects to pollinate them. Because of this, it is easy for two varieties of winter squash to cross-pollinate and produce seeds that will not grow out true to their parent. Winter squash may cross-pollinate with summer squash, zucchini, and pumpkins as they are all the same species. However, don’t worry about this if you are just interested in getting winter squash for eating. Any crossing will not affect that year’s fruit, only the seeds.

If you want to save your own winter squash seeds, only grow one type of squash in the garden. Another possibility is to hand-pollinate your flowers to prevent cross-pollination but this can be quite complicated. In order to do this, growers put small bags over the flowers and manually do the work of pollinating to keep the seeds pure. We recommend that only advanced seed savers take on this complex project.

Saving The Seeds

Harvest the winter squash as you would normally for winter storage. Allow the squash to sit for after-ripening for at least 3-6 weeks up to several months.

Wash the seeds to remove any flesh and strings. Cure the seeds by laying them out in a single layer on a paper towel to dry. Store them this way in a place that is dry and out of direct sunlight. Once thoroughly dried, in 3 to 7 days, store them in an envelope in a cool dry place with the rest of your seed supply. Dried winter squash seeds will store up to 6 years if kept in cool, dry conditions.

Pumpkin seeds in particular are delicious as a snack. Check out this recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Seeds.

Related Articles

Few garden projects are simpler than saving squash seeds. Squash (Cucurbita spp.) includes winter varieties that store well and have firm flesh and summer varieties that are very tender and must be eaten soon after harvest. All are grown as annuals and need to be started from seed each year. The seeds are simple to extract from both winter and summer squash varieties, and they will stay viable for at least three to four years, according to South Dakota State University Extension. However, they must be stored under the right conditions to preserve their viability long term.

Gathering Squash Seeds

Both winter and summer squash varieties form and ripen during the summer months, although they are harvested at different times. Summer squash is typically picked throughout the summer months as it reaches a mature size but before the rinds harden. Winter squash is harvested at the end of the season when it is fully ripened and no hint of green remains on the skin. Avoid squash with obvious defects or signs of disease or rot because the seeds may not sprout.

To save seeds from a summer squash, leave one or two fruits on the vine until the rind hardens and then pick them. A winter squash should be picked when ripe and stored until it softens. Remove the seeds by cutting open the squash with a sharp knife and using a spoon to scoop out the pulp, which will contain the oblong seeds. Squash seeds all look the same, so be sure to work with only one type of squash at a time so the seeds aren’t accidentally mixed together.

Cleaning and Saving Squash Seeds

Squash seeds need a brief period of fermentation to remove the slippery, slimy coating on the outside of the seeds. Place the seeds in a bowl and cover them with water. Soak the seeds in water for two to four days, stirring them occasionally. All the dead or nonviable seeds will float to the top of the water. Scoop them out and discard them. Repeat the fermentation process until the seeds are clean and they don’t feel slippery when handled.

Spread the seeds on newspaper, paper towels or coffee filters to dry. Leave them in a cool, dry and airy place until they dry out completely. According to South Dakota State University Extension, the seeds will snap cleanly in half when they are fully dried. Store the seeds in paper envelopes or plastic bags inside the refrigerator. Be sure to label the seeds with the cultivated varieties, types of squash and the year they were harvested.

Starting Squash Seeds

Start winter and summer squash seeds outdoors directly in the garden once all frost danger has passed, and the soil has warmed to at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Sow the seeds in a well-tilled bed at a depth of 1/2 to 1 inch. Space summer squash seeds 4 inches apart in rows 4 to 5 feet apart and winter squash seeds 6 to 12 inches apart in rows spaced 4 to 8 feet apart, per Cornell University. Keep the soil moist while the seeds germinate. Squash seedlings will emerge in five to 10 days but usually take less than a week at 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the seedlings produce a mature set of leaves, thin winter squash seeds to one every 18 to 36 inches. Cornell University recommends thinning summer squash seedlings to one every 12 to 24 inches since they are considerably smaller plants than winter squash. Keep the seedlings well watered during the growing season and watch for the first fruits in midsummer.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Spaghetti squash (Cucurbita pepo) produces large seeds that store for up to six years, provided they’re properly collected and prepared. Named for its cooked flesh, which resembles spaghetti, spaghetti squash is also called spaghetti gourd, vegetable spaghetti, Manchurian squash and squaghetti. The fruits are smooth-skinned, about 10 inches long, 5 inches in diameter and weigh about 2 pounds.
How to save spaghetti squash seeds
Harvesting Fruit
Spaghetti squash fruits are ready for harvest about 70 to 80 days after sowing. Only seeds from ripe fruit are likely to sprout when sown later. Harvest spaghetti squash when the vine stem withers and the fruit skin is tough.

If you aren’t sure whether a spaghetti squash fruit is ripe, push a thumbnail into the skin. If the fruit is ready for harvesting, your nail won’t pierce the skin.

Separating Seed
Seed from spaghetti squash fruits must be separated from the pulp and soaked in water. Healthy seeds sink to the bottom in a few days.

Cut a spaghetti squash in half lengthways with a sharp knife.

Scoop the seeds from the center with a spoon.

Put the seeds in a jar or bucket with an equal amount of water.

Stir the seed and water mixture once a day for two to four days. A mold may form, but this is harmless.

When some seeds sink to the bottom and some float, pour off the water, pulp, floating seeds and mold.

Spread the remaining seeds on a paper towel or screen to dry.
How to save spaghetti squash seeds
Storing Seed
Drying and freezing spaghetti squash seeds helps keep them fresh and free of pests and diseases. When the seeds are completely dry, place them in paper envelopes or glass jars. Write the name of the seed type and the date on the envelopes or jar labels, and put them in a freezer. After two days, transfer the seeds in their storage containers to a refrigerator. Plant the seeds within three years.

When purchasing organic vegetables from the grocery store, try saving seeds from your favorite winter squash varieties for next year’s harvest.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Fall is the time of year when the winter squash varieties come into their own. Delicata, Butternut, Hubbard, Acorn, and Spaghetti squash all make a terrific addition to your nightly soup and winter storage pantry.

Fewer people grow winter squash than summer squash, which is a shame because they are rich in vitamins and have a fuller taste than summer squash. For those that like to produce their own food, they also keep a long time in storage. Once you open them up for cooking, take the time to save seeds for the next planting. You’ll have fresh squash return every year.

Note: While any squash seed can be saved, you have the best luck using organic fruit. This will ensure that the seeds are not hybrid and will come back true to the parent plant.

What is an open-pollinated variety? An open-pollinated variety is produced using the traditional method of crossing and then selection of offspring in several generations. After a few years (usually after 5 – 6 generations) of systematic selection the variety becomes stable and the characteristics hardly ever segregate out again. This means that all the offspring are virtually the same, which is why the term ‘open-pollinated’ is used.

So plants that come from the seeds of open-pollinated varieties with virtually the same characteristics as the variety purchased. [source]

How to save winter squash seed

1. Halve the fruit and remove the seed pulp. Choose a fully ripe specimen that has thick skin and is in good shape.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

2. Squeeze the pulp, including the seeds, into a glass jar or plastic container. I used a canning jar for my seeds.

3. Add enough water to cover the seeds and pulp and cap the jar tightly. Shake well, allowing the pulp to break up.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

4. Set the jar on the counter and let the mixture ferment several days at room temperature, shaking occasionally. Don’t forget to loosen the cap to allow air to escape during the fermenting process and tighten it again before shaking (experience speaking!). Just to warn you, this mixture will smell very bad.

After a few days, you’ll see that some of the seeds float and some of them sink. This is good. The seeds that are viable for planting will settle out to the bottom of the jar and the seeds that did not mature properly will float at the top of the water.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

5. After 4 days, spoon out the pulp and seeds that are floating on the top (these are the non-viable seeds)

6. Pour the remaining seeds into a small strainer and rinse them well with cool water. Spread these good, viable seeds in a single layer on a paper towel to dry.

Save Winter Squash Seed

Store your dry winter squash seed in a paper envelope in a cool, dry place until you are ready to plant in late spring. This technique works well for saving any seed that is surrounded by a fleshy pulp – melons, pumpkins, cucumber, tomato, and squash.

If are not able to plant the seeds in the next year or two, you may be unsure that the seeds are going to take. It’s frustrating to put effort into planting seeds that don’t sprout. Use one of these 3 reliable seed germination tests to make sure they will sprout.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Filed Under: garden Tagged With: seed saving

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

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Saving the seeds from the fruits of your yellow summer squash (Cucurbita pepo) enables you to plant them and enjoy the taste of the fruits year after year. It also removes one excuse to spend money at a garden supply store. Not every vegetable lends itself to simple seed-saving, but saving squash seeds doesn’t take much effort. You might be surprised occasionally, however, because squash can cross-pollinate with its closely related plants and create seeds for plants you didn’t expect.

Planting Location

Plan ahead by planting your yellow squash far from all other members of the Cucurbita pepo species, including zucchini and certain pumpkins. Doing so will prevent your yellow squashes from cross-pollinating with non-yellow squashes and producing seeds that result in plants that have fruits exhibiting traits of both parent plants’ fruits. In open areas, Cucurbita pepo species’ plants pollinate other such plants up to 1/2 mile away. Trees, fences and buildings reduce the problem. So plant your yellow squash in a protected location separate from similar vegetables. Also, plant only one non-hybrid variety; varieties don’t always cross-pollinate well, and seeds from hybrids don’t produce plants true to the parent plants.

Harvest Time

Saving seeds from yellow squash fruits requires letting a few of the fruits ripen and remain on the plants. They should stay on the plants until their outer skins, or rinds, become so hard that you can’t make a dent in it with a fingernail. The fruits won’t be edible anymore. They are only good for seed harvesting when their rinds become that hard.

Collection and Preparation

Slicing open the hardened fruits reveals the seeds inside. Scoop out the seeds with as little of the fruits’ flesh as possible. Wash the seeds thoroughly with clean water, separating them from all attached flesh. Laying them in a single layer on paper towels or newspaper helps them dry, although drying completely may take a few days. When you squeeze a dry seed, it should feel hard and brittle. If it feels slightly spongy, it needs to dry a bit longer.

Lifespan and Storage

Squash seeds remain viable for up to six years when stored properly. They need a cool, dry storage place. Pour the seeds into airtight containers, such as jars to which you then secure their lids, and place the containers in a refrigerator or basement storage room. Using small containers is best; when you open a container of seeds, plant all the seeds that year because they might not remain viable until the following year.

Last updated: 03/23/21

A variety of squash types are available all year in most places, including the grocery store and weekend farmer’s markets. Since almost all the squash parts are edible, you can prepare various delicious recipes for your family and friends.

Winter squashes like acorn, butternut squash, and delicata squash have brightly colored flesh that is great as a salad or soup. Summer squash varieties such as crookneck and zucchini have white flesh and yellow or green skin.

They taste fantastic when roasted, grilled, or sauteed with olive oil and garlic, and other stir fry recipes.

Even the bright orange flowers from summer squashes are often served fried, oven-baked, added into a squash blossom soup, or other recipe inspirations. There is really a lot you can do with the different types of squash varieties.

The squash’s usefulness makes it more important to save squash seeds for storage for the next planting season.

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Squash Plant Growth Period

Growing squash plant in your garden is easier than you think. Summer and winter squashes usually grow during the summer months when the temperature reaches around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Much Time Does it Take to Grow Squash?

Summer squash grows about 60 days after its seeds are planted. The most common variety is Zucchini which has thin and tender skin and is very productive.

Winter squash, on the other hand, grows longer from 60 to 110 days. They have thicker and more protective skin, making them more ideal for long-term storage than summer squash.

A pumpkin is an example of winter squash.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

How to Plant Squash

The soil needs to be at least 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit before you can sow the squash seeds or set out seedlings. Squash seeds need a well-drained location, so they need to plant on elevated 12 inches mounds.

You must plant the summer or winter squash seeds at least 1/2 to 1 inch deep, 12 to inches apart, and in rows spaced 36 inches apart. Water the seeds regularly to keep the soil moist.

After a few weeks, male blossoms will appear and open, followed by female flowers.

Only female flowers can bear fruit but only after it’s properly pollinated. You can do hand pollination to pollinate squash flowers, especially if there are no pollinating insects in the garden.

You can do this by using a brush or cotton swab to get pollen from the male squash flower to the female flowers.

It would be best if you also watched for any signs of disease such as puckering of leaves, yellowing, and rotting of fruits. Remove the bad seeds and infected plants away from your garden. Do not place them in your compost pile.

Harvesting Squash Seeds

Since there are several species of Squash, harvesting time may vary from different summer and winter varieties.

Common varieties from Zucchini to Pumpkins will differ in development from when you pollinate the squash flowers until harvest time when they reach mature size.

Harvesting Summer Squash Varieties

Like the Zucchini and Yellow Squash, summer varieties should be harvested using a sharp knife or pruner, leaving at least one inch of stalk. It would be best if you harvested 2-3 times a week.

Tender summer squash has immature seeds and is suitable for eating. However, for seed harvesting, you can wait until you have a mature fruit with fully developed summer squash seeds before picking.

Harvesting Winter Squash Varieties

Winter varieties like pumpkins, acorn, butternut, and other winter squash species should be allowed to fully mature until their skin becomes extremely hard. But it is important to harvest them before the first frost even if the seed maturity is not complete.

You should expose the Squash to the sun for 5 to 7 days or in a cool, dry place for 5 to 6 months to dry and toughen their skins.

Its fleshy fruit pulp should be good for cooking, while its viable seeds can be kept for planting.

Steps to Save Squash Seeds

Common heirloom varieties are the best source of seeds since most plants and seeds available in stores are hybrid varieties that are not adapted to challenging situations and do not grow.

The fruits are usually left for at least 20 days past their maturity before their seeds are harvested. The waiting time will ensure seed viability.

Squash also cross-pollinate, so you have to grow only one type of Squash in your garden. Cross-pollination will affect the quality of your seeds, making them nonviable seeds to plant.

To keep the seed of Squash pure, you can place a bag over the flowers and do hand pollination.

Harvesting Squash Seeds

Make sure you choose mature heirloom variety fruits. Using a sharp knife, cut both ends of the Squash and cut the remaining part in half. Be careful not to cut the squash seeds.

Using your spoon or hand, scoop the seeds from the seed cavity and placed them on a paper towel or coffee filter.

You should be able to collect lots of seeds from the Squash. Select seeds and gently remove the extra flesh or pulp attached to the seeds. Remove underdeveloped seeds and retain the good ones that have a hard rind.

You can wash the seeds and just let them sit out on the paper towels for 7 to 10 days in a dry area and away from moisture.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Cleaning Squash Seeds

You can also directly put your harvested seed in a glass jar with a bit of water and leave them to ferment. The fermentation process will breakdown and remove the thick lining of the seed.

Drain and wash the seeds in water. Then remove the seeds for drying using a paper towel. Drying times may vary from 7 to 10 days.

Storing Squash Seeds

Ensure that the seeds are completely dry before storing them in a dry, cool, and dark location. You can place batches of seeds in small envelopes or a small mason jar container.

Make sure you label each container with the type of seeds and the date it was first stored.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Use these tips on how to grow spaghetti squash in your vegetable garden this summer. Gardening tips include everything from starting seeds to harvesting squash.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

How to Grow Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash is a vegetable that even those that say they don’t like squash can usually get behind. It has a different texture than the others in the winter squash category. It can lend itself to everything from bakes to pasta dishes. Growing spaghetti squash is easy and fun to do in a home garden. Here are some tips for growing spaghetti squash.

How to Grow Spaghetti Squash from Seeds

Since the growing season of spaghetti squash is about 100 days, you may opt to grow them indoors. You can start seeds by doing so in 3-inch pots. This is best because it makes transplanting later, easier. Start by placing seeds about 1 inch deep and watering. Keep them in a sunny spot for best results in germination. You will want to keep the soil warm, too, so a heating pad may be a great tool to use.

If you want to start them outdoors, you will need to make sure your soil is prepared and you have a good sunny spot to do so. Plant seeds about 24 inches apart from each other and about 1 inch deep.

For more information on starting spaghetti squash seeds, check out this post.

How to Transplant Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash should be transplanted when it is warm enough outside that the soil is at least 75 degrees.

A good way to grow spaghetti squash is with mound planting. This can be done when you prepare your soil.

Add some compost to your soil and make sure to take your seedlings through a hardening off process before transplanting.

For detailed information on transplanting spaghetti squash, including hardening off and mound planting, see this post.

Spaghetti Squash Pests and Care

One of the biggest pests you may deal with on your spaghetti squash is the squash beetle. They are large enough to see. They are flat and lay their eggs on the leaves of your plants. You can save yourself some trouble later if you look for these eggs and scrape them off gently with a butter knife.

Aphids are also a concern. You can rid your plants of these with a quick spritz from the hose. Additionally, one can intentionally cultivate a ladybug population in order to keep the aphids under control.

Additional pests can include cucumber beetles, which will leave behind wilted leaves, spider mites, which will pale the leaves, whiteflies, which will leave behind mold or yellow leaves, and melon aphids, which can leave behind twisted, curly leaves. These are best dealt with by means of spraying or hand-picking.

How to Harvest Spaghetti Squash

Harvesting spaghetti squash is all about timing. You want to pick them off when they are bright yellow in color. If they are still pale, they are not ready.

To harvest, and not hurt the plant,(should you have more on it waiting to ripen) you should use very sharp pruning shears to cut it off the vine. Do not twist or try to pull off.

If it is getting late in the season and you worry about frost, you can pick less than ripe squash and ripen it in a nice warm sunny spot off the vine.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Seed saving is back in vogue and with good reason. Saving seeds saves money and also allows the grower to replicate the previous year’s successes. What about saving seeds from say, grocery store squash? Planting seeds from store bought squash sounds like a good, cost effective way to obtain seeds, but can you really grow squash from the store? Read on to find out if you can plant store squash and if so, whether grocery store squash seeds will produce.

Can You Plant Store Squash?

The answer to “can you plant store squash?” is all in the semantics. You can plant any type of seed your little heart desires, but the real question is, “can you grow squash from the store?” Planting seeds from grocery bought squash is one thing, growing them is quite another.

Can You Grow Squash from the Store?

Seeds from grocery store squash can indeed be planted but will they germinate and produce? It depends on the type of squash you want to plant.

The first major problem would be cross pollinating. This is less of a problem with winter squash, such as butternuts, than with summer squash and gourds. Seeds from butternut, Hubbard, Turks Turban and the like are all members of C. maxima family and, although they may interbreed, the resulting squash would still be a good winter squash.

Another problem with growing grocery store squash seeds is that they are likely to be hybrids. Hybrids are created out of two different varieties of the same species, in this case, squash. They are bred to get the best qualities from the two separate varieties, then they’re married together to create a super squash with superior characteristics.

If you try planting seeds from grocery store squash, the end result may be a crop that doesn’t in the last resemble the original squash. Combine that with some rampant cross polluting and who knows what you will get.

Should you Grow Grocery Store Squash Seeds?

Perhaps the better question is phrased above: should you grow squash from store bought squash? It all really comes down to how adventurous you are and how much space you have for potential failure.

If you have plenty of space for an experiment and don’t mind if the resulting plant produces fruit that is subpar, then go for it! Gardening is often as much about experimenting as anything else and each garden test whether success or failure teaches us something.

Before planting, allow the squash to ripen until it’s almost but not quite rotting. Then be sure to separate the flesh from the seeds and then allow them to dry before planting. Select the largest, most mature seeds to plant.

Last year I challenged myself to try a new vegetable every week. It was a fun way to motivate myself to eat more vegetables and to add variety to my diet.

Peas and carrots can get boring very quickly, especially when I try to practice what I preach as a naturopath and eat 5 handfuls of vegetables every day.

One of the new vegetables I tried during this challenge was spaghetti squash and it’s now a favourite in our home.

It’s easy to cook, adds an element of fun, brightens up any meal and tastes delicious!

What is Spaghetti Squash?

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Spaghetti squash is a winter vegetable related to pumpkin, squash and zucchini. There are a few different varieties but what we see most commonly here at the famers markets in Adelaide is a bright yellow pumpkin looking fruit.

After a spaghetti squash is cooked and fluffed with a fork, the flesh becomes spaghetti like, hence the name.


Is Spaghetti Squash Good For You?

Spaghetti squash is packed with vitamins and minerals, high in fibre and low calories.

The nutrients include vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6 and antioxidants. These are important for immune health, preventing cell damage, energy production and hormone health.

Fibre is vital for our gut health, as it feeds the cells of our colon as well as the beneficial gut bacteria that make up our microbiome. It also helps to bulk up our stools and keep our guts moving which is beneficial for constipation, diarrhoea and IBS. You can read more about why fibre is so important for health here.

Low calories means spaghetti squash can be beneficial in weight loss and used as an alternative to heavier carbohydrates like grains and pastas. It’s also gluten free which makes it a great option for those with food intolerances, allergies or sensitivities.

How Do You Cook Spaghetti Squash?

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Pre heat oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Cut spaghetti squash in half. Scoop out seeds (keep aside so you can grow in your garden). Drizzle flesh of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the squash flesh side down onto prepare baking sheet. Poke holes in skin of spaghetti squash with a fork. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Flip the squash flesh side up and allow to cool.

Scrap out the flesh with a fork. As you scrap the fresh will turn into spaghetti like strands.

How Do You Save Spaghetti Squash Seeds?

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Scoop out spaghetti squash seeds.

Add seeds to a jar of water, mix around and allow to sit for 2-3 days.
Scoop off the seeds and pulp floating on top – these won’t germinate

Collect the seeds sitting on the bottom of the jar, place on paper towel and allow to completely dry. This might take a few days on a windowsill.

Store in a envelope or glass jar and plant out in full sun in spring.

I’ve had success growing spaghetti squash in my small raised garden bed. I got my seeds from The Diggers Club and have saved seeds to try next spring.

Meatless Monday Spaghetti Squash Lentil Bolognese – Vegan & Gluten free.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Ingredients:
1 Spaghetti squash
1 Onion diced
1 Garlic clover diced
1 celery stalks diced
1 Cup lentils soaked over night and rinsed (or a tin of lentils for faster cooking)
1 Carrot grated
1 Tin tomatoes
1 Cup vegetable stock or water
1 Handful of baby spinach
Salt
Pepper
Olive oil

Method:
Pre heat oven to 200 C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Cut spaghetti squash in half. Scoop out seeds (keep aside so you can grow in your garden). Drizzle flesh of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash flesh side down onto prepare baking sheet. Poke holes in skin of spaghetti squash with a fork. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile make the lentil bolognese.

Heat olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until start to go translucent. Add garlics and celery and cook until fragrant. About 2 mins. Add carrots and cook for 1 minute. Mix in lentils and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and vegetable stock or water. Make sure lentils are covered. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer and allow lentils to cook until soft. about 20 minutes. Add baby spinach right at the end and allow to wilt down.

Once the spaghetti squash is done flip the squash flesh side up and allow to cool. Scrap out the flesh with a fork. As you scrap the fresh will turn into spaghetti like strands.

To serve you can either leave the spaghetti squash in the skin and add lentils to the top or use squash as an alternative to pasta by adding it to a bowl and top with lentil mix.

On This Page

  • Planting
  • Soil
  • Watering
  • Harvesting
  • Maintenance

If you love growing vegetables in your home garden, then you might want to consider planting spaghetti squash this year. “Not only is spaghetti squash low in starch, its flesh peels apart in strings like spaghetti, making it a healthy alternative to traditional pasta when cooked,” says Matt Mattus, author of Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening ($25.99, amazon.com).

Unlike summer squashes, such as zucchini, which are harvested when the seeds are still immature and the skin is tender, horticulturist Amy Enfield of Bonnie Plants says spaghetti squash is a winter squash that should be harvested when the seeds are fully mature (and the skin has hardened). “Spaghetti squash has a long grow time, often needing 90 to 100 days after planting to mature,” she says. “The fruit should be pale, golden yellow when harvested.”

To ensure your crop has the best chance at growing to maturity, we asked a few gardening experts to share their top tips on when to plant spaghetti squash, grow the fruit, and harvest it.

When and Where to Plant Spaghetti Squash Plants

According to Enfield, spaghetti squash should be planted in the spring and grown in a spot that receives full sun, or at least six hours of sunlight a day. “Make sure you give it plenty of room to grow, or alternatively, add a sturdy trellis and encourage the vines to grow up rather than out,” she says.

Venelin Dimitrov, a product manager at Burpee, suggests planting your spaghetti squash at the edge of your garden. “Because the vines are aggressive, this will allow the vines to grow outwards,” he says.

The Best Soil for Growing Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash requires well-drained, nutrient-rich soil, which is why Enfield recommends working at least 3 inches of organic matter, like compost, into the soil before planting. “If you have heavy or poorly draining soil, it’s a good idea to grow spaghetti squash in a raised bed,” she says.

When it comes time to plant the seeds, Christopher Landercasper, the director of farming operations for Sonoma’s Best Hospitality Group, suggests making small mounds of dirt and planting the seeds about 1 inch deep into the top of each mound. “Having the mound makes it easier to find the plant for watering later in the season when the vines become a jungle,” he says.

How to Water Spaghetti Squash Plants

Since moisture is key when growing spaghetti squash, Enfield recommends providing them with an inch or two of water every week. “Whether from rain or watering, the soil should be kept consistently moist throughout the growing season,” she says. “To help reduce evaporation from the soil while the plants are young, lightly mulch around the plant.” To avoid any mildew problems, Mattus suggests watering your spaghetti squash in the morning, or with an automated drip system, so the foliage can dry off before the sun sets.

When and How to Harvest Spaghetti Squash

If you’re harvesting your spaghetti squash before the seeds are mature and before the skin is hard, Enfield says you’re doing it wrong. “Spaghetti squash fruit will change from white to pale yellow, to golden yellow when it is ready to harvest, and are normally 8 to 9 inches long and 4 to 5 inches in diameter,” she explains. “They should be allowed to ripen as fully as possible on the vine, but must be harvested before the first fall frost, because ‘frost-kissed’ winter squash does not store well.”

How to Maintain and Prune Your Spaghetti Squash Plant

As long as your spaghetti squash is given plenty of room to vine, Enfield says pruning shouldn’t be necessary. “However, after the peak of summer, once fruit is present, you can remove any remaining blossoms from the vines,” she says. “This will encourage the plant to direct all of its energy into the growing fruit.”

We all have a favorite squash recipe, but spaghetti squash is unique with its stringy pasta-like texture. This versatile squash makes the perfect low carb, gluten-free spaghetti dish. It has a fairly long shelf life, and canning spaghetti squash keeps your pantry well-stocked for years.

This winter squash is like vegetable spaghetti in a bowl, and it is packed full of nutrients, including beta-carotene, fiber, and folate.

Its fun texture and mild, neutral flavor make it the perfect side dish for just about any entree. Top it with your favorite marinara sauce, and you have a healthier version of pasta.

Safe food preservation is vital to storing fruits and veggies long term, especially if you are homesteading. While there are countless canning recipes, not all foods are safe for the process.

Can you can spaghetti squash? While the answer is yes, it’s not common practice, and there is a right and wrong way to do it.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds(belchonock/123rf.com)

  1. Preparing and Canning Spaghetti Squash
    • Things to Know about Canned Spaghetti Squash
    • Preparing Spaghetti Squash for Canning
    • How to Can Spaghetti Squash in a Pressure Canner
    • Making Puree after Canning Spaghetti Squash
    • Can You Pickle Spaghetti Squash?
    • Using Canned Spaghetti Squash to Make Cheesy Bread
    • Making Spaghetti with Leftover Spaghetti Squash

Preparing and Canning Spaghetti Squash

Home canning is a rewarding experience, but it’s vital to know which foods are safe for preserving in a water bath canner or pressure cooker to prevent food spoilage and botulism.

Here is how to prepare your spaghetti squash for canning and ways to make canned squash, whether you grow spaghetti squash plants yourself or find a great deal at the supermarket.

Things to Know about Canned Spaghetti Squash

While you can keep spaghetti squash fresh in the fridge for a few days, you may want to consider longer preservation options for a lot of squash.

Most winter and summer squash types are suitable for canning as a form of food storage. How long does cooked butternut squash last after canning? Canned food often lasts several years.

However, there are a few things to understand about canned spaghetti squash before going through the canning process.

Canned Squash

While you may store fresh spaghetti squash in the fridge for a couple of days, the best way to preserve squash by canning is to use a pressure canner or pressure cooker. Water bath canning spaghetti squash is not advisable since this is a low-acid food.

While it’s common to can yellow squash and butternut squash, spaghetti squash is usually not canned, but it is possible.

The USDA has a guide for canning food, and they describe how certain foods are not acidic enough to prevent bacterial growth during a hot water bath process. Pressure canning using the right processing times is necessary for safe food storage.

Preparing Spaghetti Squash for Canning

Before learning how to can spaghetti squash or canning yellow squash, it’s a good idea to know how to prepare this veggie for canning. It’s common to cut veggies into pieces and pack them into jars, but spaghetti squash requires a bit more preparation.

Growing spaghetti squash in containers is a great way to get your daily dose of this nutrient-rich vegetable.

Not only does growing spaghetti squash in containers save space, but it also makes the growing process easy and fun.

Follow these ten tips to make sure your spaghetti squash plants thrive in their new home.

What is Spaghetti Squash?

If you’re looking for an easy way to get your daily dose of nutrients, growing spaghetti squash in containers is a great option.

Spaghetti squash is a vine plant that grows long and needs plenty of space, so it’s a good choice for container gardening.

In this article, we will give you ten tips to make sure your plants thrive in their new home.

Growing spaghetti squash in containers has a number of benefits.

For one, growing spaghetti squash in containers is a great way to save space. Spaghetti squash is a prolific plant, and in most cases, you will only need one or two plants to get a good yield.

Another benefit of growing spaghetti squash in containers is that it’s easy and fun. Spaghetti squash is a very forgiving plant, and they are tolerant of a variety of growing conditions.

The best benefit of growing spaghetti squash in containers is that you can control the growing environment, which leads to better tasting squash.

10 Tips for Growing Spaghetti Squash in Containers

If you’re interested in growing spaghetti squash in containers, read on for 10 tips to help your plants thrive:

1. Choose a large container like a 10-gallon bucket (or larger) to grow your spaghetti squash plants in.

2. Make sure the container has plenty of drainage holes so the soil can dry out between waterings.

3. Plant the seeds in well-drained potting soil and make sure to cover them lightly with soil. I like to space my seeds at least 12 inches apart.

4. Water the plants regularly, making sure to keep the soil moist but not wet. You will have to water more frequently when it is grown in a pot. So check your soil moisture every other day.

5. Fertilize the plants with a balanced fertilizer once a week.

6. Make sure the plants have plenty of space to grow; they will need at least 4 feet of space to grow properly. It is best to have them grow vertically. Check out my article, Secrets to Growing Spaghetti Squash Vertically: Find Out Now! This also shows you trellis options for your spaghetti squash.

7. If you live in a warm climate, keep the plants in a sunny spot; if you live in a cooler climate, find a spot that gets some sun but is also protected from the wind.

8. Mulch around your plants. I like to use black plastic along with organic mulches like leaves, straw, grass clippings, etc.

9. Provide a trellis or place the pot where your spaghetti squash can grow on and spread.

10. Protect seedlings with an upside-down paper cup that has the hole cut out or use tulle. I use cups and tulle to cover my young seedlings to protect them from birds and other critters.

Now that you know how to grow spaghetti squash in containers, it’s time to get planting and take care of your squash plants.

Container Spaghetti Squash Maintenance

Spaghetti squash plants are easy to take care of and will thrive in a variety of growing conditions.

Here are a few tips on how to take care of your spaghetti squash plants:

-Make sure the plants have plenty of space to grow; they will need at least 4 feet of space to grow properly.

-Water the plants regularly, making sure to keep the soil moist but not wet.

-Fertilize the plants with a balanced fertilizer once a week.

-If you live in a warm climate, keep the plants in a sunny spot; if you live in a cooler climate, find a spot that gets some sun but is also protected from the wind.

-Harvest the squash when they are about 8-10 inches long.

-Store the squash in a cool, dry place.

With these tips in mind, growing spaghetti squash in containers is easy and fun.

If you are enjoying this article, you must check out

Gardening Made Easy: Growing Squash in Containers! How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Best Spaghetti Squash Varieties for Containers

Growing your own nutrient-rich spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash is a nutrient-rich vegetable that’s a great source of fiber, potassium, vitamin A and C.

It also contains antioxidants that can help protect your body against disease.

If you’re looking for a healthy and delicious way to add more vegetables to your diet, spaghetti squash is a perfect choice.

Try roasting it with some olive oil and herbs for a quick and easy meal, or serve it as part of a larger dish like lasagna or ratatouille.

With so many ways to enjoy this versatile vegetable, there’s no reason not to add spaghetti squash to your menu today!

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions about Growing Spaghetti Squash in Containers

What container size is needed to grow spaghetti squash?

Spaghetti squash grows best in a deep pot. They need a depth of 18 inches and 1 foot in diameter for 1 plant. I like to use a 10-gallon bucket to grow spaghetti squash in a container. You can use plastic totes as well. Just make sure that your containers have good drainage holes and nutrient-rich soil.

What month to plant spaghetti squash?

Spaghetti squash seeds must be planted after your last frost date. For most gardeners, that is in April. Plant seeds when the weather is warm and no chance of frost. I like to plant my seeds a week after my last frost date to make sure that the weather is nice and warm.

Products that you may need to grow Spaghetti Squash in Containers

Conclusion

Now that you know how to grow spaghetti squash in containers, it’s time to get planting and take care of your squash plants.

With these tips in mind, growing spaghetti squash in containers is easy and fun.

There are a number of benefits to growing spaghetti squash in containers, including the fact that you can control the growing environment, which leads to better tasting squash.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

The Spruce / Leah Maroney

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
46 Calories
0g Fat
11g Carbs
1g Protein

×

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 46
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 31mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 6mg 30%
Calcium 36mg 3%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 199mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Spaghetti squash is a great low-carb, high-fiber vegetable. It’s a popular replacement for carb-heavy ingredients like pasta or rice and can be eaten as a side or added to a variety of recipes. Although it doesn’t take much time to cook spaghetti squash, it’s nice to have some ready in the freezer because you simply have to reheat it. Take advantage of squash season with this simple method, and you can enjoy its sweet flavor any time of the year.

If you want foods to taste good when they come out of the freezer, it’s essential to start with good-quality food. For spaghetti squash, that means selecting vegetables that feel firm and heavy for the size. Skip any that have soft spots, cracks, or damaged parts. If you have both blemished and unblemished squash, cook the blemished veggie right away and freeze the latter.

Cucurbita pepo

  • How to save spaghetti squash seeds

  • How to save spaghetti squash seeds
  • How to save spaghetti squash seeds
  • How to save spaghetti squash seeds
  • HOW TO GROW
  • FAST FACTS
  • REVIEWS

HOW TO GROW

Sowing: Gardeners with short growing seasons may want to start their vegetable spaghetti squash seeds for sale indoors a month before the last expected frost. Since squashes do not take well to transplanting, peat pots are the best option. Plant two seeds per pot, later clipping off the weaker seedling. Harden the seedlings by exposing them to the weather for several hours at a time during the week before transplanting. About a week after the last frost or when the soil temperature reaches an average of 60 degrees F, plant the seedlings in very rich soil 8-10′ apart in rows 10-12′ apart. Another option is to plant the seedlings in hills of two, 8-10′ apart. To direct sow, plant the seeds a week after frost 1/2″ deep, 3-4′ apart and thin to 8-10′ apart. For companion planting benefits, plant squashes along with corn but avoid planting them with potatoes.

Growing: Since squash seedlings do not tolerate frost, provide protective coverings if cold weather threatens. Keep the soil moist at all times, but avoid getting the leaves wet as this can cause diseases such as rot or mildew. When the vines begin to develop, a layer of mulch will help conserve moisture and control weeds; mulch also will keep the squashes clean and protect them from too much soil contact. By midsummer, pinch off all the blooms to concentrate the plant’s energy on the developing squashes.

Harvesting: Squashes can be harvested as soon as the stem begins to dry and the skin becomes too hard to pierce with a fingernail. Because cold weather can damage squashes, they should be harvested before the first frost. Cut the stem with a sharp knife, leaving a 2-3″ length.” Do not carry the squash by the stem; if the stem breaks off, use it as soon as possible, since this causes the squash to deteriorate quickly. Cure the squashes in the sun or a dry location until the stem shrivels; do not wash the ones you intend to store.

Seed Saving: By the time the squash has been cured, the seeds are mature. Cut the squash open, remove the pulp and seeds, and rinse off the pulp. Put the mixture in a bowl of water to remove the remaining pulp; the good seeds will sink. Remove the good seeds and spread them out to dry for 2-3 weeks, stirring them at times to make sure they dry completely. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place for up to 4 years.

FAST FACTS

Latin Name: Cucurbita pepo

Type: Open Pollinated, Heirloom, Warm Season

USDA Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Seeds per Ounce: 300

Planting Method: Direct Sow

Sunlight: Full Sun

Height: 24 Inches

Color: Green

Squash

The Mylar resealable packaging is a real plus. Seems seem to be large and dry but I don’t think they germinated yet. I hope they do

Grew true

Like all of Everwilde’s products, this squash germinated and fruited as listed. Love the long, beautiful vines with yellow flowers.

Love packaging. High hopes for seeds.

Squash

Love your seeds. Good growth from them.

Spaghetti Winter Squash

The seeds I sowed all came up beautifully. I was impressed by the seed packet, the Gold Vault re-sealable package will keep my seeds fresh longer. I don’t intend on planting all seeds in this package this year. The instructions are well designed on the back of the package. This is my first seed purchase from Everwilde, but will not be my last. Much impressed.

Squash seeds

I received the seeds with out any problems.

spaghetti squash seeds

The seeds were fairly priced shipped fast and great packaging. looking forward to great things with these

DESCRIPTION

IN-STOCK ORDERS SHIP THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY VIA THE US POST OFFICE.

Spaghetti with fewer calories! This unique variety, Vegetable Spaghetti, produces a 12″ long squash that yields delicious spaghetti-like strands of creamy light-yellow flesh when cooked. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, then cut open and scrape out strands. This variety matures in about 100 days, and can store up to 6 months!

Originally from China, vegetable spaghetti squash seeds were introduced to Japan in 1921 by a Chinese agricultural research company. The Burpee Seed Company introduced this variety of spaghetti squash seeds for sale to the United States in 1936; most World War II Victory Gardens contained this squash, more commonly known as spaghetti squash.

HOW TO GROW

Sowing: Gardeners with short growing seasons may want to start their vegetable spaghetti squash seeds for sale indoors a month before the last expected frost. Since squashes do not take well to transplanting, peat pots are the best option. Plant two seeds per pot, later clipping off the weaker seedling. Harden the seedlings by exposing them to the weather for several hours at a time during the week before transplanting. About a week after the last frost or when the soil temperature reaches an average of 60 degrees F, plant the seedlings in very rich soil 8-10′ apart in rows 10-12′ apart. Another option is to plant the seedlings in hills of two, 8-10′ apart. To direct sow, plant the seeds a week after frost 1/2″ deep, 3-4′ apart and thin to 8-10′ apart. For companion planting benefits, plant squashes along with corn but avoid planting them with potatoes.

Growing: Since squash seedlings do not tolerate frost, provide protective coverings if cold weather threatens. Keep the soil moist at all times, but avoid getting the leaves wet as this can cause diseases such as rot or mildew. When the vines begin to develop, a layer of mulch will help conserve moisture and control weeds; mulch also will keep the squashes clean and protect them from too much soil contact. By midsummer, pinch off all the blooms to concentrate the plant’s energy on the developing squashes.

Harvesting: Squashes can be harvested as soon as the stem begins to dry and the skin becomes too hard to pierce with a fingernail. Because cold weather can damage squashes, they should be harvested before the first frost. Cut the stem with a sharp knife, leaving a 2-3″ length.” Do not carry the squash by the stem; if the stem breaks off, use it as soon as possible, since this causes the squash to deteriorate quickly. Cure the squashes in the sun or a dry location until the stem shrivels; do not wash the ones you intend to store.

Seed Saving: By the time the squash has been cured, the seeds are mature. Cut the squash open, remove the pulp and seeds, and rinse off the pulp. Put the mixture in a bowl of water to remove the remaining pulp; the good seeds will sink. Remove the good seeds and spread them out to dry for 2-3 weeks, stirring them at times to make sure they dry completely. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place for up to 4 years.

FAST FACTS

Latin Name: Cucurbita pepo

Type: Open Pollinated, Heirloom, Warm Season

USDA Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Seeds per Ounce: 300

Planting Method: Direct Sow

How To Grow, Store, and Cook Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash (Cucurbita pepo) is also known as vegetable spaghetti. This a nice alternative to pasta for people who can’t eat wheat or want to reduce their reliance on the grocery store. This squash has fibrous flesh that resembles spaghetti noodles when cooked. It is easy to grow, store, and cook, so why not add this healthy vegetable to your garden and kitchen?

This post contains affiliate links or advertisements. You won’t pay extra but I may earn a small commission if you purchase products through those links. Thank you for supporting The Self Sufficient HomeAcre!

How to Grow Spaghetti Squash

Planting and growing vegetable spaghetti is pretty easy. Just pay a bit of attention to these details and you’ll have 2 or 3 squash per vine in the autumn.

Planting Instructions

Sow seeds directly in the garden after all danger of frost, or start 2 or 3 weeks early under lights indoors.

Thin seedlings to 1 or 2 plants per hill.

Mulch squash with clean hay or straw to keep weeds from sprouting and hold moisture in the soil.

Growing Conditions

Full Sun – 8 hours of sun a day, or more.

Compost – Plant in well-drained soil rich in organic matter and mulch with well-rotted manure or compost.

Water – Provide 1 – 2″ of water a week unless there is adequate rain.

Pests – Squash vine borer, red mites, squash bugs.

Time to Harvest – Approximately 90 days to maturity.

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How to Harvest and Store Spaghetti Squash

Harvest – Pick squash when the skin turns golden yellow (some varieties are orange when ripe) and hardens so that your fingernail does not penetrate. Harvest before heavy frost, as it may shorten storage life. Cut the stem about 1″ or 2″ from the fruit.

Carry – Don’t pick up squash by the stem. This may break the stem off and allow bacteria and mold in to rot the interior.

Clean & Cure – Wash squash with a light bleach solution, dry, and store in a well-ventilated spot to cure. Ideal conditions for curing squash are warm (80 degrees Fahrenheit), dry, and out of direct sunlight. Cure for 1.5 to 2 weeks to harden the skin and increase storage life.

Store – Place in a cool (50 – 60 degrees Fahrenheit), dry (60 – 70% humidity), dark area. Do not store squash on a cement floor. Instead, place them on wooden slats or shelves and do not pile on top of each other.

Check – Watch for mold or rotten squash in your storage area. Use damaged squash up quickly so they don’t go bad. Clean the neighboring squash with a mild bleach solution to prevent the spread of mold and bacteria.

Storage Life – When properly stored, spaghetti squash may last up to three or four months.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Prepare – Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Add 1/2″ of water to the pan to prevent sticking or grease pan with vegetable oil. Lay squash cut side down.

Bake – 350 degrees Fahrenheit until tender.

Serve – The fibrous flesh of spaghetti squash can be teased into strands with a fork. Dish some onto your plate and top with marinara or Alfredo sauce, butter, and garlic, or other sauce as desired.

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Sauce & Cheese

  • 1/2 baked spaghetti squash (medium size)
  • 3 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Use a fork to pull spaghetti ‘noodles’ from squash skin, leave flesh in the skin for serving ‘dish’. Place squash in baking dish.

Top squash with spaghetti sauce, cheese, and seasoning.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until hot in center and cheese is melted. Serve hot in the squash skin.

Spaghetti Squash with Garlic

Makes 1 serving.

  • 1 cup baked spaghetti squash ‘noodles’
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • Salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste
  • Grated parmesan or asiago cheese

Saute garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat. Add ‘noodles’ and stir fry until heated through. Place cooked spaghetti squash on a plate, top with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and grated cheese. Serve hot.

Note: This recipe may be increased to serve as many people as you like. Just multiply all ingredients by the number of people you wish to serve.

Vegetable ‘Spaghetti’

Spaghetti squash is a versatile vegetable that requires little care. You may grow a few vines each year for a wheat and gluten-free alternative to pasta. Each vine produces 2 or 3 oval squash that will keep up to 4 months in proper storage conditions.

Try your hand at growing and cooking these tasty squash on your own homestead!

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How to save spaghetti squash seeds

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About The Author

Lisa Lombardo

Lisa Lombardo is the author of The Beginner’s Guide to Backyard Homesteading and Organic Gardening for Beginners, and she writes about gardening and homesteading for this website and The New Homesteader’s Almanac. Lisa grew up on a farm and has continued learning about horticulture, animal husbandry, and home food preservation ever since. She has earned an Associate of Applied Science in Horticulture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. The author lives outside of Chicago with her husband, son, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a variety of poultry.

7 Comments

This is on my list to add to the garden next year – thanks for sharing on Homestead Blog Hop!

Thanks for sharing this with us on the Homestead Blog Hop!

I have a new love for spaghetti squash, and I want to try and grow some in 2020! Thanks for the helpful information 🙂

Hi Cherelle!
Thanks for hosting the party! There are always so many great posts shared. 🙂
Happy to share this info…hope it helps with your future squash

Mine are piled in the fridge right now.
Thanks for this corrective information!

Lol…happy to share, Michele!

I never would have tried spaghetti squash on my own (don’t like spaghetti, and don’t like squash), but I love tortellini and ravioli with a yummy marinara sauce with bruschetta on top. So my old roommate made me spaghetti squash with my favorite toppings and I loved it! I’m going to go put it on my shopping list now. Great article!

Hi Janine!
I’m so glad you tried spaghetti squash and like it! It is very easy to cook and I’m sure you’ll enjoy trying some new recipes with it. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by…I’m so glad you found this helpful!

BY: Courtney PUBLISHED: Nov 15, 2018 2 Comments UPDATED ON: Nov 26, 2018

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Make Roasted Spaghetti Squash Seeds, just like you would make pumpkin seeds or other squash seeds! Squash seeds are edible and delicious!

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

When you make your own roasted squash seeds at home you can control the flavors and we just love making our mixes. You can make them sweet, salty, or even spicy. Go ahead, get creative in the kitchen and have fun!

can you eat spaghetti squash seeds?

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

All squash seeds are edible and filled with nutrients. Instead of throwing them away, eat them! The first thing you think when you cut spaghetti squash open is, can you roast spaghetti squash seeds? Yes, you can roast them! Just like you would roast pumpkin seeds and snack on those, spaghetti squash seeds are edible and make a great snack. You can roast spaghetti squash seeds, butternut squash seeds, even acorn squash seeds.

how do I get the seeds from the spaghetti squash?

Cut the spaghetti squash open and then with a spoon scoop out the guts and seeds and place into a bowl.

Separate the seeds from the guts by hand. Thoroughly rinse the seeds and make sure there is no squash left on them before roasting.

how to roast spaghetti squash seeds

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

  • Preheat your oven
  • Separate the seeds from the guts of the squash.
  • Thoroughly rinse the seeds with a strainer or sieve and remove any bits of squash.
  • Transfer the cleaned seeds to a towel and pat them until fully dry.
  • In a small bowl, toss the seeds with olive oil and salt.
  • Place the seeds on a baking sheet and roast the seeds for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Store roasted spaghetti squash seeds in an airtight container or freeze.

How to save spaghetti squash seedsHow to save spaghetti squash seeds

how to use roasted spaghetti squash seeds:

We love using them in salads, soups, yogurts, and even with a fall flavored vegan banana ice cream.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Now, whenever you cook winter squash we hope that you’ll bake those seeds! You can bake most seeds in just 15-20 minutes and they’re a great nutritious snack.

Learn How to Cook Spaghetti Squash using your oven, Instant Pot and microwave. Spaghetti squash is the perfect gluten-free alternative for pasta.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds Spaghetti Squash Tutorial

I’ve heard of replacing spaghetti with spaghetti squash since I started eating gluten free. As someone who never enjoyed pasta, I never tried making spaghetti squash. A while ago, I was walking around the grocery store and saw spaghetti squash. It’s a small yellow squash. I never noticed it before but then again I never notice a lot of things. The spaghetti squash was relatively cheap so I made an impulse purchase.

When I cut the spaghetti squash open I panicked. Where is the “spaghetti” in this squash? I thought I bought the wrong squash and then I thought if this is the correct squash this is not going to be enough to feed me. I thought the little bit of stringy strands holding the seeds must be the “spaghetti” in the squash. I went ahead and baked it. I was still not convinced until I stabbed the squash with a fork. This is the neat part. The whole inside of the spaghetti squash once baked, turns stringy. It’s like a magic trick! When a fork or spoon is inserted you can easily pull out the spaghetti. I found it rather fun to scoop it all out.

This is what a spaghetti squash looks like. It is oval in shape and is quite small. I stored my squash in the fridge until I needed it. You can find it in the squash/potatoes/and other root vegetable area of your grocery store.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a baking sheet.

Cut the squash in half. This is tricky so take your time.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds Spaghetti Squash Tutorial

Place the cut squash face side down.

Bake for 30 minutes. The squash is done when a knife can be inserted through the skin.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds Spaghetti Squash Tutorial

Let the squash cool.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds Spaghetti Squash Tutorial

Use a fork or spoon to scoop out the stringy inside. Discard the seeds but keep the stringy squash.

I found 1 squash made 4 bowls of pasta for me.

I did find the spaghetti squash can make a pasta dish a little watery. Try to pat dry the spaghetti strands before mixing with the sauce.

I did find the spaghetti squash can make a pasta dish a little watery. Try to pat dry the spaghetti strands before mixing with the sauce. You would use the spaghetti squash the same way you use “regular” spaghetti. Make a delicious sauce and mix it with the spaghetti and serve immediately. Leftover spaghetti squash was great the next day. I reheated the spaghetti squash and added the sauce. It wasn’t mushy but instead tasted like it was fresh.

HOW TO COOK SPAGHETTI SQUASH IN THE OVEN

Yield: 4 bowls of spaghetti

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a baking sheet.
  3. Cut the squash in half. This is tricky so take your time.
  4. Scoop out the seeds. Save the seeds for roasting. You can roast them just like pumpkin seeds. *I know my pictures show the spaghetti squash roasted with the seeds but after doing this many times, it’s easier to remove the seeds first and then roast.
  5. Place the cut squash face side down.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes. The squash is done when a knife can be inserted through the skin.
  7. Let the squash cool.
  8. Use a spoon to scoop out the stringy inside. Discard the seeds but keep the stringy squash.

Notes

I did find the spaghetti squash can make a pasta dish a little watery. Try to pat dry the spaghetti strands before mixing with the sauce.

When using the Instant Pot to cook your spaghetti squash there is no need to cut it! Keep in mind that the Instant Pot needs to come up to temp and then pressurize so you’re not really saving anytime cooking it this way compared to roasting.

  1. Add one cup of water to the Instant Pot.
  2. Place the steamer basket or a metal trivet inside the Instant Pot.
  3. Pierce the spaghetti squash all over with a sharp knife.
  4. Add the spaghetti squash to the Instant Pot. Using the manual function, set for 15 minutes on high pressure. Add the lid and follow the directions for your Instant Pot.
  5. After 15 minutes, allow the Instant Pot to release the pressure.
  6. When it is safe, use oven mitts (because it WILL be extremely HOT), remove the spaghetti squash from the Instant Pot.
  7. Allow the spaghetti squash at least 10 minutes to cool before cutting into.
  8. Use a fork to scrape out the “pasta”.

Using a microwave is the fastest way to cook spaghetti squash. Just make sure you DO NOT try to cook it whole in the microwave. Steam would build up and create a dangerous situation. Always cut it in half.

Yes, you can roast spaghetti squash seeds! They are similar to and just as tasty as roasted pumpkin or butternut squash seeds. After dropping $5 for a spaghetti squash (and they’re supposed to be in season right now!) to make spaghetti noodles for my gluten-free husband, I wanted to get the most bang for my buck.

So paleo dieters, next time you eat spaghetti squash and meatballs be sure to save those winter squash seeds for roasting. They make a great snack and might just turn out to be your favorite part of the whole squash!

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Spaghetti squashes are high in vitamin C and other nutrients. If you eat the seeds too you’re adding another great source of fiber, folate, and iron. Let’s learn the best way to roast them!

Roasting Spaghetti Squash Seeds

Ingredients:
Seeds from 1 spaghetti squash
A little olive oil or coconut oil (anywhere from 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp depending on the size of your squash and how many seeds you have)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

The first thing you want to do is remove seeds from squash halves and do a simple rinse to remove any long strands or goo. Getting clean squash seeds is honestly the hardest part of the whole recipe.

Pat dry using paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. I like to use a tea towel when making roasted squash seeds so there’s no fuzz to worry about.

In a small bowl, combine seeds, olive oil, and sea salt. If you’re feeling fancy and aren’t on a dairy-free diet you can add a little grated parmesan cheese for extra flavor. Adding a little garlic powder or curry powder are tasty ideas too. If this is your first time making spaghetti squash seed you might want to keep it simple with salt and pepper so you can see how great they taste without much enhancement.

Spread seeds in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet making sure none of the seeds are touching. You can line the baking sheet with parchment paper if you like, but I find that this recipe isn’t that messy to being with so I usually skip it.

Turn seeds using a spatula and bake another 10-15 minutes.

Seeds are done when golden, slightly brown on ends and edges, and have a nice crunch when eaten.

I got about a half cup of squash seeds out of my little spaghetti squash. Store them in an airtight container for a great way to enjoy a crunchy snack on the go.

I plan on preparing two dishes this week that will each involve 1/2 of a spaghetti squash. In order for the second dish to be ‘as fresh as possible’ should I prepare the whole squash and save the second half, or save the second half (unprepared) and bake it when I prepare the second dish? (Time to prepare is not a concern). How should the second half be saved? (refrigerate, wrapped, . )

1 Answer 1

I haven’t specifically tried to save that variety of squash, but I’ve had good luck in general holding other varieties of winter squash for a few days by halving, sealing the cut side, and then refrigerating for. A few notes:

  1. If you have a large enough knife, just make a single cut through it.
  2. Either place it cut-side down on an appropriately sized dish with a flat bottom (eg, a casserole dish), or cover the cut side with plastic wrap . (of plastic wrap, then set in the dish, so you don’t accidentally knock off the plastic wrap in the next couple of days).

When it comes time to use the remaining half, if the cut surface is dry, shave a little off. Clean out the seed cavity when you’re finally going to use it. (this allows you to scrape back down to moist flesh, and reduce evaporative loss)

How long you can hold it will likely be affected by things like how often you open your frdge. I’ve never tried putting in the crisper after wrapping (as I tend to have too much stuff in there already).

If you’re looking to get the longest possible strands out of the squash, I think to need to cut it from stem to blossom end . but that would increase the cut surface area. If that isn’t a goal, it’s probably better to cut it across the stem-blossom axis.

Last Updated on June 24, 2021

Are you already a fan of spaghetti squash? Whether you’re new to this yummy fall veggie or know it well, you are going to love these delicious, healthy spaghetti squash recipes!

Learn how to make spaghetti squash in so many delicious ways, from simple baked spaghetti squash to lasagna to a veggie-ful take on pad thai! (swoon)

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

In honor of this lesser-known squash’s all-too-short season, here are some great healthy spaghetti squash recipes for this easy-to-grow, versatile and healthy yellow veggie.

What is Spaghetti Squash, Anyway?

If you haven’t encountered spaghetti squash before, you’re in for a treat.

Be forewarned that spaghetti squash tastes different from the more familiar acorn and butternut. Spaghetti squashes don’t have that rich, sweet flavor, but this quality actually makes them adaptable to some pretty diverse uses.

When cooked, spaghetti squash transforms into long noodle-like strings that can be used in place of pasta without the trouble of spiralizing, that new fad of making “noodles” out of veggies like zucchini and carrots. But be aware that spaghetti squash retains a little of its squash-y flavor and probably won’t fool anyone if you try to pass it off as actual pasta.

However, kids might enjoy helping to scrape out the noodle-like strings and then will be more willing to eat what you make with them (a good thing if you have kids like mine who generally prefer bread products to vegetables).

Spaghetti squash allows you to squeeze in some extra servings of veggies if it replaces a pasta main course, a great thing for gut health. I love a bowl of spaghetti squash with nothing but tomato sauce and parmesan as a filling and healthy lunch.

A one-cup serving of spaghetti squash has only about 40 calories, but 2 grams of fiber and a decent dose of potassium (180mg), an important nutrient most Americans fall short on. (Source)

Spaghetti squash is easy to grow, so consider poking a few seeds into your veggie patch this season! (Here’s info on growing spaghetti squash.)

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Healthy Spaghetti Squash Recipes!

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

You have several choices for making spaghetti squash. I prefer to cook spaghetti squash in the oven, but some people microwave theirs, and others like to cook spaghetti squash in an instant pot. Read my post on how to cook spaghetti squash in the oven for tips on making the most of your spaghetti squash.

Whatever method you choose, I highly recommend removing the seeds before baking, as you can make roasted spaghetti squash seeds the way you would pumpkin seeds and make a tasty and healthy snack while your squash bakes. (Instructions for roasted spaghetti squash seeds at the end of the post.)

Here are more amazing ways to eat root-to-stem to help you make the most of your produce purchases.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

How to Use Your Baked Spaghetti Squash

I’m all about simplicity, so my favorite thing to do with the few spaghetti squashes I get each fall is just to serve them with marinara sauce and grated parmesan. The little bit of crunch of the squash “noodles” is a nice change from traditional pasta, and it’s such an easy way to get in a big serving of veggies.

Some people enjoy spaghetti squash with nothing but butter and serve it as a side dish, but others have gotten really creative in their uses of this humble squash. Check out some of these more ambitious healthy spaghetti squash recipes!

Healthy Spaghetti Squash Recipes

♦ I’m a huge fan of Asian flavors. This spaghetti squash yakisoba from The Pickled Plum was really good!

♦ Here’s a recipe for a pad thai made with spaghetti squash that I will definitely be trying with my next spaghetti squash.

♦ This clever recipe from The Tasty Kitchen uses spaghetti squash in place of pastry crust in a spaghetti squash quiche.

♦ Or bake up some cheesy goodness with this spaghetti squash lasagna from The Minimalist Baker.

♦ Here’s a meatball pie if that’s more your thing.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Rhoda Burrows

Professor & SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist

New gardeners often ask whether it’s alright to plant cucumbers, squash, or gourds next to each other. Their concern is whether cross-pollination will result in inedible fruit. Fortunately, the pollen source does not affect the current season’s fruit. However, if the seed from that cross-pollinated fruit is saved and planted the following year, the resulting plants can be very different, and may be inedible. (Gourds produce a toxin that is bitter, so if you have a squash that is bitter, discard it and remove the plant from the garden.)

Seed Saving Precautions

Saving seed from garden vegetables can be rewarding, but it also comes with challenges, especially with plants that are cross-pollinated.

If gardeners wish to save seed from cucurbits (squash, pumpkins, gourds, cucumbers, and melons), special precautions need to be observed, as these plants are insect-pollinated. Additionally, they have separate male and female flowers, which increases the chances that the female flower may be fertilized with pollen from a different variety of the same type or species. Unless you (and nearby neighbors) have grown only one of the types or varieties, you could end up with some very strange vegetables from seed saved from those plants.

Plants from within the following groups will cross with each other:

  • Zucchini, Yellow Crookneck, Acorn, Spaghetti, Patty Pan, Delicata, Pumpkins and Gourds (except edible snake gourds) all may cross with each other.
  • Butternut, Buttercup, Banana, Hubbard and Turban squashes may cross with each other.
  • Muskmelon, Cantaloupe, Charentais; Honeydew; Casaba; Armenian Cucumber; Snake melon (gourd) can all cross with each other, but not with squashes, pumpkins, or cucumbers.
  • The Buffalo gourd, a weed, is too distantly related to cultivated species to be a problem.

Cucumbers, watermelon, and Loofah gourds only cross only with themselves, so you don’t have to worry about isolating them unless you are growing several varieties of the same type.

Preventing Cross-Pollination

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

To prevent cross-pollination between compatible types or varieties, they need to be separated by a distance of one-half to one mile. The presence of barriers such as large buildings, a thick stand of trees, or a hill can inhibit pollinator movement and allow for shorter isolation distances. However, since most gardeners don’t have adequate distance from other gardens or squash varieties within their own garden, the alternative is to (1) net or cage the entire plant to exclude insects or (2) bag or tape shut new male and female flowers as they are forming (before they open, but just beginning to show a bit of yellow or orange color) to prevent insect transfer of pollen. These methods require hand-pollination of the flowers. Early in the morning, a small paintbrush can be used to collect pollen from a male flower, and transfer it to a female flower. For best results, this should be done as soon as the female flower (identified by the miniature fruit just below the petals) first opens, within 4 hours of opening. Rebag or retape the female flower shut after you have pollinated it. Once you have fruit set, you can remove all the bags – just be sure to mark the fruit that you hand-pollinated.

Because pollen from the same plant can pollinate a flower, you only need to plant a single cucurbit plant in order to harvest viable seeds. However, to maintain a variety over time, save seeds from between 5-10 plants. If you’re saving seeds for genetic preservation of a rare variety, save seeds from 25 plants.

Seed Processing for Cucurbits

Cucumbers

Pick fruit several weeks after it has matured to the point of changing color to yellow or orange. Scoop out the seeds and surrounding pulp, and place into a container, add water and let ferment 2-4 days at room temperature, stirring occasionally. Add more water, stir, and allow the nonviable seeds and pulp to float to the top, where they can be removed. Repeat if necessary to thoroughly clean the seed. When clean, spread seeds out to dry on coffee filters, paper towels, or screens. When sufficiently dry, they can be cleanly snapped in half.

Squashes

For best results, store the fruit until it begins to lose eating quality; then ferment as above. Summer squash should be left on the plant until the rind hardens, then processed as above.

Melons

Allow fruit to remain on the plant for 1 to 2 weeks after maturity; alternatively, harvest reipened fruit and allow it to set for a few days prior to harvesting the seed. The seed can be simply washed by hand and then dried.

Storing Seed

Once completely dry, seed should be stored in a cool dry location. If you have room, storing in your refrigerator is ideal. Make sure the storage containers are completely dry. Envelopes or ziplock bags work fine, as well as baby-food jars, etc. Most seed will stay good for at least 3-4 years. Don’t forget to label everything with both the plant name and date!

An Additional Caution

Some diseases can be spread through seed from infected plants. Following is a list of some of the diseases that can be spread through seed:

  • All Cucurbits
    • Angular Leaf spot (especially cucumber)
    • Gummy stem blight
    • Scab
    • Squash mosaic virus
  • Muskmelon, Cucumber, Watermelon
    • Anthracnose

If you know that your plants have any of these diseases, you should not save the seed. However, most people will have no idea whether their plants are infected with particular fungi, bacteria, or viruses. A good rule of thumb is to simply save seed only from plants that have healthy, normal-looking leaves and fruit.

For further reference:

  • Seed Saver’s Exchange. 3076 North Winn Road; Decorah, IA 52101; Phone: 319-382-5872
  • “The Organic Seed Grower” by John Navazio. 2012. Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, VT.
  • “The Manual of Seed Saving: Harvesting, Storing, and Sowing Techniques for Vegetables, Herbs, and Fruits” by Andrea Heistinger 2013. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

Posted on April 24, 2019

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Spaghetti squash may not be as well-known as other members of the winter squash family, like butternut and acorn squashes, but it should be. It’s easy to grow, attractive in the garden, and a delicious and unusual treat for the table. Here’s how you can incorporate spaghetti squash into your garden and menu planning this year.

Location and Soil Needs

  • Plant in a sunny bed with good drainage and high-quality organic compost incorporated in the soil.
  • Wait to plant until well after the last frost date, when the soil is warm. Winter squash seeds will not germinate if the air or soil is chilled.
  • Give the plants room to trail on all sides, as they are vigorous growers once established .

Growing from Seed

Direct Sow (recommended method) – Place two to four seeds in mounds eight feet (2.4 meters) apart.

Start Indoors – Sow seeds in three-inch (eight centimeters) or larger diameter pots, two to three seeds per pot. Keep under a grow light or in a warm window and, once the plants have reached the height of about an inch (three centimeters), cut away at the base of the stem all but the heartiest shoot. Now you can transplant the seedlings into your garden following the steps below.

Transplanting Seedlings

Place transplants out in mounds, two to a mound, spaced eight feet (2.4 meters) apart. Take special care when putting the plants in the ground as squash roots are easily damaged by handling.

Plant Care

Spaghetti squash needs the same amount of water as most vegetables, that is, one inch (three centimeters) a week, delivered if possible, through a slow morning soak. No special fertilizing is needed. If your plant begins to send vines into garden paths or other places you don’t want them, gently place the offending shoots out of harm’s way. Try to avoid bruising the vines as that leaves them susceptible to diseases and pests.

Harvesting

Spaghetti squash is ready to harvest in around 90 days. The yellow fruits will grow to around nine inches (23 centimeters), lose their luster, harden, and their stems will dry. Cut the stems about an inch (three centimeters) above the fruit and leave them on for better storage. Harvest all your squash before the first frost.

Spaghetti squash makes a great low-carb option to pasta. Roast or boil the flesh then pull it into strands with a fork. Add sauce on top or toss with sautéed vegetables – anything you can do with spaghetti, you can do with spaghetti squash, and without the high carb count.

Storage

Spaghetti squash will save for three to six months in a cool, dark place. For shorter periods (up to two months), it can sit at room temperature as part of a festive fall decorative display.

Easy to grow and fun to eat, spaghetti squash is a gardener’s dream. Make sure you add this late season favorite to your vegetable plot this year.

Do you have a favorite way to eat spaghetti squash? Share it in the comments below!

In general, each plant produces 5 to 25 pounds of yellow squash during the growing season. A 10-foot row of yellow squash averages 20 to 80 pounds of squash.

How many spaghetti squash plants do I need?

Growing Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash requires loose, well-drained soil. I suggest adding some compost to it as well since the plants need nutrient-dense soil. Plant spaghetti squash in hills, with 3 or 4 transplants per hill and 3 feet between each hill.

How long does it take to grow a spaghetti squash?

“Spaghetti squash has a long grow time, often needing 90-100 days after planting to mature,” she explains.

How many vines does a squash plant produce?

Maintaining Squash Trellises

As the squash grows, select three to five healthy vines to grow on and prune off peripheral growth.

How long does it take for squash to produce?

It will be after your last frost date, squash prefer warm soil. Most varieties take 45-60 days from planting to harvest.

Can you plant spaghetti squash next to zucchini?

You can plant different varieties together, but you won’t want to save seeds from the crops produce since they can cross-pollinate and affect later crops. We love growing both yellow summer squash and zucchini together. As your plants grow, make sure the soil is moist but not continually saturated.

Should you stake spaghetti squash?

Because staking pulls the fruit and much of the foliage off of the ground, it is extremely useful in damp climates. This technique reduces the risk of damage by slugs and other ground-dwelling pests that feed on squash plants. It also keeps the plants drier and makes it more difficult for fungal disease to set in.

What can you not plant with squash?

Squash – Companions: corn, lettuce, melons, peas, and radish. Avoid planting near Brassicas or potatoes. Borage is said to improve the growth and flavour of squash.

Is spaghetti squash a vine or bush?

It’s considered a winter squash because it produces large fruits that grow on a squash vine. (Summer squash varieties, like zucchini, grow in a bush rather than a trailing vine and produce smaller fruits with thinner rinds.)

What month to plant spaghetti squash?

Spaghetti squash grows best in full sun and in soil that contains organic matter, such as compost. Wait until the danger frost has passed, which is around mid-March to mid-April in northern areas along the West coast, such as San Francisco. Start spaghetti squash seedlings indoors and transplant them outside.

Do squash need full sun?

All types of squash love sun and heat. So for best results (and bigger harvests), grow squash in full sun once temperatures consistently stay above 70˚.

Will spaghetti squash ripen off the vine?

Well, the short answer is “yes” to the ripening of spaghetti squash off the vine.

Should I pinch off squash flowers?

By midsummer, pinch off remaining flowers and small fruits on vining and winter squash. This will allow the plant to focus its energy on the ripening crop.

How do you keep squash off the ground?

ANSWER: Summer squash are prone to fruit rot in rainy weather. Rain splashes fungal disease organisms in the soil onto the fruit, causing rot. Apply 2 to 4 inches of pine straw under the plants so the fruit does not rest on the ground.

How do you grow squash in a small space?

If space isn’t on your side, then growing squashes upwards is the obvious answer. The easiest way is to train them onto trellis. A simple one-piece trellis can be secured against a sun-facing wall or strong fence. Plant your squashes the same distance apart that they would grow at if left at ground level.

Unsure how to cook spaghetti squash? This post breaks down how to bake spaghetti squash, how to microwave spaghetti squash, and how to cook spaghetti squash in a slow cooker.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

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The Best Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash — what the heck do you do with this stuff? And does it even taste like spaghetti?

Spoiler: cooking spaghetti squash is actually really easy. You don’t have to do much, but spaghetti squash can be a beast to prepare for cooking. I’m going to share with you three ways that you can cook this tasty squash as well as what to do with spaghetti squash once you’ve cooked it.

Does it taste like spaghetti? I think both yes and no. After cooking, you can separate the flesh into thin, spaghetti-like strands of squash that resemble spaghetti. It doesn’t have a super strong taste (such as butternut squash) so it can be easily substituted in place of spaghetti noodles for a healthier, gluten-free “pasta.”

How to Prepare Spaghetti Squash for Cooking

Before I jump into how to cook spaghetti squash, it’s important that I first explain how to prepare spaghetti squash for the various cooking methods. No matter if you’re baking spaghetti squash, microwaving spaghetti squash, or cooking it in a slow cooker, there are a few preparatory steps you need to take first:

  1. Make sure your work surface and the knife are both dry so you don’t end up slipping and cutting yourself.
  2. Spaghetti squash is hard when it is uncooked. Before cooking it, you’re going to want to cut the squash very slowly and very carefully.
  3. Scoop out the seeds and discard the seeds (or roast them for a snack!). Don’t go overboard and scoop too much of the flesh out because you want to keep as much of that as you can.
  4. Brush the cut insides with olive oil.

Once you’ve brushed the inside of the spaghetti squash with olive oil, you’re ready to move onto the specific instructions I’ve shared below for the three cooking methods.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash 3 Ways

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven

Learning how to bake spaghetti squash is arguably the easiest method mentioned in this post. Once the squash is in the oven, you can set a timer and walk away.

Here’s how to bake spaghetti squash:

  1. Wash the outside of your squash thoroughly.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Cut the spaghetti squash in half from stem to end.
  4. Brush the inside of the squash with olive oil.
  5. Place oiled side down in an oven-safe roasting or baking dish.
  6. Add 1/4 cup of water to the dish, optional, and cover with foil.
  7. Bake until done. (You’ll know the squash is done when it is tender and can easily be pierced with a fork.)

How Long to Bake Spaghetti Squash

When roasting spaghetti squash, it’ll need to bake for roughly 30-45 minutes. When you flake through the flesh (like you would with fish), the squash will separate into thin, spaghetti-like strands (hence the name!)

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

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How to Microwave Spaghetti Squash

I was a bit skeptical of this method. When I first started hearing about it, I had visions of spaghetti squash exploding all over my microwave, looking like something out of a horror movie. I promise you, this is not at all what happens.

Here’s how to microwave spaghetti squash:

  1. Wash the spaghetti squash and cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds.
  2. Brush the inside of the squash with olive oil.
  3. Place cut side down in an oven-safe roasting or baking dish and add 1/4 cup water to the dish.
  4. Pierce the outer side with a knife a few times. I don’t know if this is really necessary, but it makes me feel better that I’m not going to have a microwave explosion.
  5. Then, cook at full power anywhere from 5 – 15 minutes.

The spaghetti squash cook time using this method will depend on a couple things, like how big your squash is and the wattage of your microwave.

How to Make Spaghetti Squash in a Slow Cooker

  1. Wash the squash, then cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds.
  2. Brush the inside with olive oil.
  3. Then, place the squash oiled side down in a slow cooker.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of water.
  5. Cover and cook for 1 – 2 hours on high or on low for 3 – 4 hours.

How to save spaghetti squash seeds

Click HERE to save this tutorial on How to Cook Spaghetti Squash!

Can You Freeze Spaghetti Squash?

Yes, cooked spaghetti squash can be frozen for up to 8 months. Once cooked, let it cool completely and then packed into freezer bags. You can reheat the frozen squash without thawing it, if desired.

How Long Is Spaghetti Squash Good For?

Cooked spaghetti squash should be eaten within 5 days of making it.

What to Do with Spaghetti Squash

Now that you’ve cooked the spaghetti squash using one of the three techniques mentioned above, you might be wondering: what do I do with it now?

What to do with spaghetti squash is an easy answer: drizzle with melted butter, sprinkle with Parmesan, and season (to taste) with salt and pepper. That is the easiest way to serve it. Serving it this way is SUPER delicious and takes pretty much ZERO time and is an excellent side dish.

But, if you want to get a little more creative, here are 10 great spaghetti squash recipes that I’ve got my eye on to try.

How do you like to cook spaghetti squash?

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