Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Friday, September 17, 2010

Saving Tomato Seed

Just a few tips on an easy way to save tomato seed. Pick the biggest, best, healthiest outdoor tomato you can find and make sure it has stayed on the plant to really ripen properly.
Squeeze the seed out into an egg cup and add just a couple of teaspoons of water. Leave this eggcup on a warm windowsill in the kitchen for several days. The tomato pulp surrounding the seed will start to ferment and break down a little, allowing you to separate it from the seed more easily. Don't worry even if a little mould appears on the surface of the pulp, that is fine, so long as the tomato flesh starts to decay it is ready.
Gently wash the seeds in a sieve and rub with your fingers to separate most of the surrounding pulp from the seeds. You won't get it all, but get as much as you can and this will prevent mould forming on the dried seeds through the Winter.
Spread out the seeds on a plate and separate them. When they are completely dry you might have to scrape them off the plate to store them in packets.


At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love saving seeds and always save much, much more than I need.
Usually I dry seeds on baking paper. I find it easier to scrape seeds from it than from any other surface.

At 10:54 PM, Blogger BilboWaggins said...

Brilliant timing, thanks for demonstrating this. Rebsie told me ages ago about the fermenting technique which I'd previously not heard of; I was thinking of it today and then this evening - all your excellent photos! This year's Costoluto Fiorentino may be weird shapes but the flavour is great and I want to save some seed.

At 12:56 AM, Blogger Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

Great tip and so timely as I'm thinking of growing tomatoes. Thanks for the step by step instructions!

At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Damo said...

Thanks Matron, it's that time of year now!

At 8:07 AM, Blogger Jo said...

I have grown some Tangella tomatoes this year and want to save some seeds as they're delicious. Thanks for the info as I've never saved seeds before.

At 2:48 PM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

I've got about 8 different lots saved already. I always have this fear that I'll eat the last tomato and then remember ...!

I would also say that they germinate brilliantly - almost 100% which is more than can be said for a lot of bought seeds.

At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Lucy @ Smallest Smallholding said...

Yey seed saving! I have started saving some flower seeds for next year. I love the whole process and am hoping that some of my squashes aren't F1s so I can sow them again next year too. I'm also wondering if I'll be able to give them away as part of little Christmas homemade 'hampers'... if I ever get the time!

At 5:17 PM, Blogger LJ said...

Oh what a lovely blog you have! I'm so happy I accidentally found it while searching for hedgehog cucumbers.

I've got the worst tomatoes this year, so I won't be saving the seed, but out of curiosity, how do you store saved seeds? Do they need refrigeration?

At 7:26 PM, Blogger Matron said...

LJ - Thank you. I store my seeds in biscuit tins in the garage. I try to collect those little bags of silica gel to help keep them as dry as possible. Generally, dry, cold and dark is ideal.


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