How to Save Tomato Seeds

Tomatoes are one of the most popular and most easy vegetables to grow at home and now is the time to consider saving tomato seed ready for next year's growing season. Saving your own tomato seeds is a great way to save money - and as it's easy to do, there's no reason not to!

Which Tomato Seeds to Save

Save seeds from open-pollinated, not hybrid, tomatoes. Hybrid tomatoes tend not to breed true so it is wise to save tomato seeds from heirloom plants.

Save tomato seeds from tomatoes that are ripe, but not over-ripe. Over-ripe tomato seeds may be rotting or on their way to germination already.

Save tomato seeds from the best looking, best tasting plants as the seeds are most likely to produce plants with these same qualities.
It is OK to save seeds from tomato plants which have had blight.

How To Save the Tomato Seeds

To save tomato seeds, you will need:

  • Plastic container
  • Paper towels/paper plates
  • Select a good, ripe tomato fruit
  1. Slice down the equator of the tomato.
  2. Squeeze out the tomato seeds into a container.
  3. Add a few inches of water into your container over the tomato seeds.
  4. Label the container with the tomato seed variety and when you extracted the seed.
  5. Leave the container to sit for a few days. You may see white mold on the top of the water - this is fine. It is a sign that the gel that sits around the seeds is breaking down.
  6. After a few days, pour the water away.  Rinse the seeds gently and remove and seeds that float. Gently dislodge any gel which is still sticking to the tomato seeds. Place the remaining seeds onto a paper plate or paper towels. Allow to dry in a dark place for a few days.
  7. Once dried, keep in an envelope, airtight container or small bag. Ensure you label the container with the variety of tomato seed saved and when you saved them. Store in a cool place.

Saved tomato seed should be usable for germination for up to 10 ten years or more.

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