Save Tomato Seeds the Easy Way

comments (7) October 3rd, 2016

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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The seeds from the largest of my Black Krim tomatoes dry quickly on a paper towel to save for next season.
The seeds from the largest of my Black Krim tomatoes dry quickly on a paper towel to save for next season.
The seeds from the largest of my Black Krim tomatoes dry quickly on a paper towel to save for next season.Click To Enlarge

The seeds from the largest of my Black Krim tomatoes dry quickly on a paper towel to save for next season.

Photo: Jodi Torpey

I've been saving my heirloom and open-pollinated tomato seeds for years using the standard method. That's the method that requires scooping the seeds from each tomato, placing them in a clean container, covering them with water and letting them ferment.

The fermentation process allows the gelatinous substance to separate from the seeds to allow for drying and long-term storing. 

I landed on my new method last season while at a tomato tasting party. There were some great-tasting heirloom tomatoes that I wanted to save and grow in my own garden.

Instead of trying to save the seeds in a plastic cup, I grabbed a paper napkin and spread the seeds on it. Then I labeled the napkin with the heirloom variety's name and folded it up. I saved about three or four different tomato seeds that way.

The seeds stick to the paper, and once they've dried they release easily from the napkin. Even if a bit of paper sticks to the seeds, that will dissolve when the seeds are planted.

The tomato seeds I saved that way sprouted and grew into strong transplants that produced nice crops of tomatoes.

So that's how I've been saving my heirloom seeds this summer. Whenever I cut one of my heirloom tomatoes to serve, like one of my prize-winning Amana Orange tomatoes, I scrape some of the seeds off the cutting board and onto a paper towel. Then I label the variety and set it aside to dry.

No more fermenting tomato seeds in cups of water. No more scummy water. Just a super-simple, time-saving method for saving some of my favorite seeds.


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posted in: seeds, tomato

Comments (7)

shinday writes: wow amazing
Posted: 2:11 pm on November 4th
williejohnson writes: It's Amazing
Posted: 4:03 am on October 26th
DanielleHansen writes: Amazing. After reading this post i had to do a little more reading about tomato seeds. These are much more useful than i would have imagined.
Nice share, thank you.
Posted: 3:09 am on October 26th
robicook writes: Awesome bro
Posted: 6:49 am on October 14th
BakerRen writes: Great one share
Posted: 6:18 am on October 14th
Zacionafalidaa writes: No comments..
Posted: 1:37 am on October 13th
CharlesJones1995 writes: Tomato seeds are more important than you might think. You could survive only with them and water for so long!
Posted: 5:02 pm on October 4th
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