Saving your own tomato seeds

There is no reason not to safe your own tomato seeds. Tomato seeds are very durable and even under less than optimal conditions your seed saving process will result in viable seeds.

Step 1

Collect fruit from a plant that did really well. If you have multiple plants of the same variety make sure you get that one that gave you the biggest, tastiest harvest that year. We do this in order to maximize that chance we are retaining the best qualities we can have in the seed.

Step two

Cut open your tomatoes of a single variety. And remove the seed pulp. Note! Keep your cutting surface clean and clean it after each variety. You cannot see from the outside which variety the seed belongs to. So be careful and meticulous.

Step three

Put your seed pulp into a jar. Add some water (quarter-half the original amount). Add a lid if you want to, but don't close it tight. You don't want to process to go anearobic.

Step four

Wait 3-7 days. We need to get rid of the gel around the seed. It prevents the seed from germinating. The gel will start rotting slowly. Check every day how it looks and swirl the liquid.

Step Five

Once the gel is mostly broken up, rinse the content of the jar a few times, carefully pooring away the liquid above the seeds. The seeds will sink. So add water, swirl, wait, poor liquid away. Repeat this a few times till the liquid is clear. Your seeds are now ready for the next step.

Step six

Poor away most of the liquid. Then poor the rest, containing the seeds, on a paper or regular plate. Spread out your seeds so that they don't make contact (use a toothpick or something similar). Try to get rid of any liquid if there is a lot left. Otherwise, mark the plate, put it in dry warm place. The seeds will have dried within 1-3 days depending on the conditions.

Step seven

Collect the seeds from the plate after they have dried and put them into their final place: ziplock bag, envelope, small jar, etc. Label your container: variety name, year, notes.

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in pictures

a tomato

collect your best tomatoes of the same variety.

tomatoes cut in quarts

Cut open your tomatoes in halves or quarts.

seed pulp removed

The seedpulp removed from your tomatoes.

seed pulp in a jar

Put the seed pulp in a clean jar.

seed pulp in a jar with water added

A bit of water added to the seed pulp.

a jar with seed pulp

Label your jar and put it in a warm place for 3-7 days checking it regularly.

a jar with seed pulp cleaned up

After 3-7 days, rince with water a few times, stirring the content till you end up with clear looking liquid. Seeds that are ready will sink.

tomato seeds poored on a plate

Poor away as much liquid as you can, you may lose some seeds, especially those that tend to float more because they still have a lot of jelly coat remaining. That is fine. Poor the content on a clean plate.

tomato seeds spread out on plate

Spread out your seeds.

tomatoseeds on plate with label

Do not forget to label your plate!