A friend just gave you a sack of tomatoes from their garden, and they’re the best tomatoes you’ve ever eaten in your entire life. Now, all you can think of is accessing additional resources and extracting the seeds so you can grow your own tomatoes next year. Don’t worry; saving the seeds from tomatoes isn’t difficult, and the entire process can be done without buying any extra tools.
Why Would You Want to Save Tomato Seeds?
As we just mentioned, maybe you stumbled upon some extra delicious tomatoes, and you want to grow some of your own next year. You might want to save money or just like the idea of not relying on others. Plus, it’s fun to grow plants from seeds you harvested yourself. It makes you feel like an old-timey farmer who can live off the land.
Stick to Heirloom Varieties When Harvesting Seeds
Did you know that hybrid seeds won’t produce tomatoes like their parents? It’s true, and it’s for that reason you want to stick to harvesting seeds from heirloom-only tomatoes. Sure, you could harvest hybrid seeds, and they’ll grow, but it’s a pig in a poke. You never know what you’ll get with hybrid seeds, so it’s best only to harvest heirloom seeds if possible.
How to Save Tomato Seeds?
The first thing you want to do is identify a healthy-looking tomato. The tomato must be healthy because you want to extract the highest quality seeds possible. Sickly tomatoes will produce tomatoes that aren’t up to par, and you’ll waste your energy trying to grow them.
Cut the tomato in half and scoop out the seeds. You can use a spoon to scoop out the seeds or your fingers if you’re feeling adventurous. Place the seeds in a jar with some water and cover it. Let the seeds sit in the jar for several days.
You want to put the seeds in a jar with water because the water will help break away the gel-like substance that clings to the tomato seeds. After several days, you’ll notice a film of mold on top of the jar, and that’s a good sign. The mold tells you it’s time to remove the seeds from the water.
Use a fine-mesh strainer and run your seeds underwater. First, dump the seeds into the strainer from the jar and then run some water over them. The water will remove any mold from your seeds. Don’t worry; the mold won’t hurt your seeds.
How to Dry and Store Your Seeds?
Now, your seeds are clean but not ready for storage yet. You should place your seeds on wax paper or paper towels. It will take up to a week for your tomato seeds to dry, depending on the humidity level in the area where you’re drying them.
Store your tomato seeds in a cool, dark place in a jar or an envelope. Tomato seeds can last for up to six years, but for the best germination rates, you should plant them the following spring. You’ll notice that the seeds don’t germinate as well as the years go by, so you want to use them as fast as possible.
Are You Ready to Plant Your Tomato Seeds?
Hopefully, you now know that harvesting tomato seeds isn’t hard at all. You can harvest seeds from just about any tomato and plant them. However, for the best results, you’ll want to harvest heirloom seeds, but you can do this same process with hybrid seeds as well.