If you grow your own tomatoes, you may be wondering how to save seeds for next year. It’s very simple and it guarantees you autonomy, as well as true organic production since the seeds will not be treated with chemical products. So don’t waste any more time and enjoy the latest fresh homemade production. Below is a detailed guide on how to collect tomato seeds.
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How to collect tomato seeds for sowing?
Before collecting the seeds of the tomato, it is important to choose the right fruit. It must be healthy and ripe. In other words, choose the best tomato you have. Then follow these instructions:
- To start, cut the fruit in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Then put them in a clean glass jar.
- The next step is fermentation. This is an important step in tomato seed harvesting that removes germination inhibitors and the gelatinous sheath from the seeds. It can also be used to treat certain seed-borne diseases. So put water in the glass and leave it in a warm place for a few days. It is recommended to cover it with cheesecloth to protect it from fruit flies, dust and bacteria.
- If you are collecting seeds from more than one variety of tomato, make sure to label the jars.
- Check the jar daily to know when the seeds are ready. You will first see bubbles forming, then a layer of mold will appear on top of the liquid. Once that happens and the seeds settle to the bottom of the jar in a watery liquid, you can move on to the next step.
- Remove the mold, add a little water, close the jar and shake it well to separate all the seeds. Then pass the seed mixture through a sieve and rinse well under running water.
- Spread the seeds out on a plate and let them dry completely, shaking them daily so they don’t stick. Don’t try to speed up the process with a food dehydrator, for example, as this will kill the tomato seeds.
- Store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
How to collect cherry tomato seeds?
The only difference here is that you have to deal with smaller tomatoes. As it can be difficult to remove just the seeds, you can use the whole pulp. Squeeze a few cherry tomatoes into a jar and repeat the instructions above.
Can we recover the seeds of grafted tomatoes?
This is a very common question and the answer is YES. You can use seeds, even grafted tomatoes. The method of extraction and dehydration is absolutely the same.
How to dry the seeds?
The drying of tomato seeds should be done in a natural way, without using accelerated methods like oven or dehydrator. First, you can put them on a paper towel to absorb most of the liquid, then transfer them to a plate. Don’t leave them on the paper, because they will stick to it.
Place the plate in a dry, warm place away from direct sunlight. The room temperature in September is quite sufficient for them to dry out. It may take a week or two. Do not forget to remix them every day, so that the tomato seeds dry well on both sides.
When to collect tomato seeds of tomatoes?
In fact, you can do it all season long. Some people prefer to use the fruits in mid-season, others collect the seeds from the last harvest. In other words, it’s up to you, as long as the tomato is fresh, healthy, and juicy.