Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Saving Tomato Seeds

This is really so simple. I've included pictures for each step of the way, but don't be intimidated; it takes so little effort!

If you have heirloom tomatoes, and you want to keep growing them year after year without having to buy more seed, try saving their seeds. Saving the seeds from your healthiest plants will help ensure you are giving future plants the best start in life; they will be more acclimated to the specific growing conditions in your garden. By saving seeds year after year from the tomatoes that perform the best, you are essentially doing your own natural selection.

The tomatoes we decided to save seed from: Heirloom Amish Paste,
originally purchased from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (click here)

Noah says "Save some Seeds, Man!"

I'm completely in love with my Amish Paste Tomatoes, and their seeds are the first I've ever attempted to save. Since March I've tended them; they grew in my heart more and more as the summer progressed, and repaid my efforts with a harvest that just never seemed to end. They've proven to be just the most perfect, all-round tomato in my opinion; perfect for slicing and for preserving. The pictures below show the very simple process. Don't be afraid of the mold; it's an important part of the process that helps break down the goop around the seeds and sterilizes them.

I needed three tomatoes for a recipe. Click here to make the recipe;
you will not regret it.

Slice tomato in half, and simply scoop out all the goop and seeds
with your finger into a small container (I used a small Mason jar).

Slice further into quarters to make sure you've found all the pockets of goop/seeds.

The goop and seeds will form a tiny layer in the bottom of your jar.

Cover with a lid that has breathing holes (I used a coffee filter),
then put on a counter or windowsill...leave it alone for a few days.

Several days later, you'll have a layer of mold on the top.
This is a GOOD thing, don't worry!
Scoop the mold off the top and discard it...
then pour seeds and goop into a strainer over the sink.

While rinsing, stir seeds around on the strainer to remove all goop.

Tap the strainer upside down over a paper towel or coffee filter to get all the seeds out.

Gently spread the seeds around to dry.
Place the seeds in a dry place until fully dried; I put mine in a sunny windowsill.

They are dry when they no longer stick together. I had to gently peel some of mine off the coffee filter.
I could see cute fuzzy hairs on the seeds, showing me they were completely dry.

I used an old baby food jar to put all the seeds in. Be sure to label your container.

Voila! Seeds for next year!

1 comment:

  1. I always tried to save some by using different techniques of my own but couldn't succeed with it. Thanks for giving this awesome and easy tip for saving tomato seeds.