I get so many emails every year from people asking when to save the seeds from their vegetables and saying that the seeds they do save do not come up. I personally think that some times this is because they don't let the vegetable age properly. Above is a yellow summer squash we just picked. O Wise One allowed it to sit on the bush for several months. He picked it right before first frost. Notice how big the warts are on the fruit. This fruit is fully mature.
This squash is for human consumption. It is picked young and immature with very small immature seeds and very soft and tender outer skin. I like to pick my squash about 6 to 8 inches long.
Notice on the yellow squash how small and flat the immature seeds are. When you are cooking them this is what you want. These seeds most times will not germinate.
Now lets cut our giant squash. Unfortunately I couldn't! O Wise One had to take a meat cleaver to this squash because the outside was so hard.
Once cut see how thick that outer skin is!
The seeds are large and plump and mature. Those are how you want your seeds! Not those flat and immature seeds. These seeds should germinate just fine once dried and cured.
See how the middle is now tough and stringy and dried out. It looks almost like a pumpkin middle!
And look how big and plump those seeds are as they are laid out on a piece of waxed paper to dry out. So if you are harvesting your seeds before your fruit is mature that is why your seeds are not coming up good. Let those vegetables get fully mature before you harvest for seeds. Try planting 1 extra seed plant and just leaving the fruit just for seeds maybe and just not picking anything off that plant at all. For us we simply leave the squash or cucumber here and there and let them get huge. When the plants are pulled out those are our seed fruit.
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter