Save Tomato Seeds the Easy Waycomments (7) October 3rd, 2016
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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