How to Save Tomato Seeds

Let’s Talk — Saving Tomato Seeds

There are a lot of benefits to saving your own seeds for replanting.  In addition to saving a little money, many believe that saving seeds starts a process where you replicate the veggies that are most adapted to your location and soil conditions.  Makes sense to me, because you will choose the best from each crop to save.

First, save seeds only from ripe, healthy heirloom tomatoes.  Hybrids will not reproduce true, so you never know what you will get.

Tomato seeds are easy, but have a couple of steps that will ensure success.  Tomato seeds are encased in a protective gel.  This gel inhibits germination.  The tomato wants to ensure its babies don’t germinate until the weather is right.  In order to get rid of this gel, you are going to create a ferment.

Choose a healthy, completely ripe heirloom tomato.  This is a Rutgers

Tomato 1

Cut your tomato across the circumference.

Cut the tomato

Scoop the seeds and gel out.

Tomato 3

Separate out as much pulp as possible.

Tomato 4

Add seeds and pulp to jar, with water. Leave the seeds in the jar for about a week. Open it a little ever day to allow the gas to escape and give it a little shake.  After about a week, you will see scum and bad seeds float to the top.  Scoop that off with a spoon.  The good seeds will have settled to the bottom.

Pour off as much water as possible, then add fresh water as a rinse.  Shake a little, then pour it all through a fine strainer.

Tomato 5

Spread the wet seeds out on a clean piece of paper, newspaper or typing paper works fine.  Paper towels are too rough and the seeds will stick.  It will take at least a week for them to thoroughly dry.  I usually wait two.  I move them around and make sure they aren’t stuck together.

Tomato 6

Label and Store in airtight container.

Tomato 7

This entry was posted in Seeds and Seedlings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How to Save Tomato Seeds

  1. Julie Angelo says:

    I needed this visual! Thank you Debbie!


  2. Katy says:

    thanks I have tried and failed many times.


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