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:
Paper towels/paper plates
Select a good, ripe tomato fruit
Slice down the equator of the tomato
Squeeze out the tomato seeds into a container
Add a few inches of water into your container over the tomato seeds
Label the container with the tomato seed variety and when you extracted the seed
Leave the container to sit for a few days. You may see white mould on the top of the water - this is fine. It is a sign that the gel that sits around the seeds is breaking down.
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
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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