How to Save Watermelon Seeds | Plus Storage Tips!

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Growing your own watermelons can be so rewarding in the backyard garden, especially when you bite into that first piece of homegrown watermelon! Learning how to save watermelon seeds ensures you can keep growing this favorite summer fruit year after year from your own seed stock.

Saving watermelon seeds is super easy since you don’t eat the black watermelon seeds on purpose. You can save watermelon seeds slice by slice and get the whole family involved or cut up a whole watermelon to save seeds.

Watermelons take a while to grow from seed to harvest, often as many as 100 days. Here in zone 6b, we only have time for one generation of watermelons, but I am happily saving seeds for next year.

Keep reading to learn more about how to save watermelon seeds to grow next season!

How to Harvest Watermelon Seeds - Cut Watermelon on Cutting Board with black seeds
How to Harvest Watermelon Seeds – Cut Watermelon on Cutting Board to reveal black seeds.

Can you save watermelon seeds to plant?

Yes, you can save watermelon seeds to plant for next year. Watermelons take quite a while to grow to maturity, so save watermelon seeds for the following season. Save seeds from melons you’ve grown in your garden after they’ve ripened on the vine. You can also save watermelon seeds from store-bought watermelons provided they aren’t a seedless variety.

How do you save watermelon seeds for planting?

When saving watermelon seeds for planting, you must first remove the seeds from the watermelon. Next, allow the seeds to dry sufficiently for a week or so. Turn the seeds over to promote complete drying. Lastly, save the seeds in a paper envelope or bag until next year. Once the seeds are completely dry, you can also store them in plastic bags.

Saving Watermelon Seeds

It’s easy and fun to save watermelon seeds! Follow these simple steps to save seeds from the watermelons you grow or buy.

How to Save Sugar Baby Watermelon Seeds

Personal-sized watermelons are easy to grow and harvest. In my experience, the sugar baby watermelon produced lots of seeds for us to save for next season.

Saving Seeds from Homegrown Sugar Baby Watermelon
Saving Seeds from Homegrown Sugar Baby Watermelon

Follow these tips on how to save sugar baby watermelon seeds:

  1. With a sharp knife, shallow cut the watermelon to avoid damaging the seeds.
  2. Gently twist the two sides of the melon to break it open.
  3. Scoop out seeds from the exposed surface of both watermelon halves.
  4. Use a melon baller or measuring tablespoon to scoop out watermelon bites if you wish.
  5. Set the seeds on a picnic style paper plate or a piece of cardboard. You can also put the seeds between two paper towels to help soak up the moisture.
  6. Write the variety of watermelon and the year on the paper product you’re using to help dry out the watermelon seeds.

In cutting our first sugar baby watermelon, I didn’t remember to shallow cut. Still, I think I had only one or two casualties of seeds that got damaged.

We still harvested a whopping 204 sugar baby watermelon seeds from the melon we grew!

How to Save Black Diamond Watermelon Seeds

Black diamond watermelons are oblong and crisp in the classic look of the beloved and timeless watermelon. Juicy and full of flavor, black diamond watermelons produce large, black seeds that are easy to handle and great for growing more watermelons next year!

Try these tips to save black diamond watermelon seeds for planting next year:

  1. Cut the watermelon using a sharp knife. Shallow cut if possible, or cut straight through as you normally would if it’s too hard to cut open.
  2. Twist open the watermelon or pull it apart after cutting.
  3. Remove any seeds across the top surface of the watermelon halves.
  4. Determine how many seeds you truly need to save.
    • Focus on Seed Saving – If you need every single seed, using a melon baller is going to be your best bet.
    • Fresh Watermelon Focus – Preferring slices to watermelon balls and you are okay with sacrificing a few seeds, go ahead and slice the watermelon.
  5. Remove seeds as you come to them.
  6. Set the seeds out on a plain white paper plate, a piece of cardboard, or on a paper towel.
  7. Write down the type of watermelon and year that you’re harvesting watermelon seeds.

We saved 152 black diamond watermelon seeds from our one small watermelon. Next year, we are going to remove any flowers after we find a single watermelon growing. Hopefully that will give us a bigger fruit!

While sugar baby and black diamond are two popular varieties, these watermelon saving tips will work well for ANY kind of watermelon!

Saving Seeds from Black Diamond Watermelon grown in our garden, 2021
Saving Seeds from Black Diamond Watermelon grown in our garden, 2021

Saving Watermelon Seeds the Super Easy Way

Simply cut up the watermelon and give it to your kids! Ask them to set the seeds aside on a napkin or paper towel for you.

Now you’ve gained back some time, taught them a skill, and you’re doing gardening activities together! Win, win, win!

Our kids love growing fruits and veggies with mommy so it’s wonderful to share these experiences.

Now, just set them up to decorate their own seed storage envelopes. Imagine the pride they’ll have next year when they get to plant a seed they saved!

How to Save and Store Watermelon Seeds

After collecting watermelon seeds from the fruit, it’s time to dry the seeds for storage. Follow these easy tips on how to save and store watermelon seeds.

  1. Keep the watermelon seeds on the plate, paper towel, or cardboard for about two weeks until they are fully dry. Longer is fine, too.
  2. Make sure the seeds are labeled as to the type and year harvested.
  3. Every couple of days, go over and mix up the seeds, stirring them around so they don’t stick together or get stuck on the plate.
  4. Transfer the watermelon seeds to a paper envelope, small paper bag, or other seed storage container.
  5. Make sure that container is labeled with the watermelon type and year harvested as well.

Although you can sometimes store watermelon seeds in plastic bags, I recommend making sure they are beyond a doubt 100% dry before doing so.

I’ve purchased watermelon seeds that came in a plastic baggie and they did just fine. Just be sure you don’t compromise the seeds with any moisture that could cause them to mold and perish!

Girls Harvesting Sugar Baby Watermelon in the Garden, 2021
Girls Harvesting Sugar Baby Watermelon in the Garden, 2021

Final Thoughts: How to Save Watermelon Seeds

Saving watermelon seeds is easy and fun for the whole family. Now that you know how to save watermelon seeds for any kind of watermelon, be sure to save them, trade them, and grow them all over again!

My girls were so excited that we actually grew two kinds of watermelons this summer. I am even more excited to grow more next year.

Do you have any tips on saving and storing watermelon seeds? Feel free to share your favorite watermelon stories, tips, or any questions you have in the comments below!

Happy Gardening!

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