Hay there Seed People!
It's that time of year when the tomatoes are filling your gardens and kitchens. If you are anything like me, you're already thinking of which ones you'd like to have again next year - so this blog is all about how to save your own tomato seeds! This skill will allow you to preserve generations of good breeding, a favourite heirloom, or one that you just really like the taste of for many years to come.
There are a couple of different ways to do this, but I use the fermentation method to save my tomato seeds. Using the fermentation method not only adds vigor and lifespan to your seeds, but also prevents any seed born diseases from passing on to the next generation. (also, they'll last for up to ten years as opposed to just drying them out)
Collect fruit from your tomato plants to save seed from. Choose the fruits that are as ripe as possible. Make sure your fruits are fully ripe. (past the eating stage and into the mush stage is even great!) If you are familiar with the variety of tomato you are selecting, then choose the most typical of that variety to pass on.
You'll want to make a tag for them to put on a plastic or glass container, so that you'll remember what kind of tomato it is once it's in the jar. (green painters tape works great, or sticker paper)
Squish your tomato "guts" (seeds and pulp) into a jar
Put a lid on that jar (unless you enjoy weird smells and tons of fruit flies)
Set the jar somewhere for about 3 days, or until mold appears on the top layer of the "guts"
Once your tomato "guts" are gross and moldy, you'll want to open the jar and pour off the top layer of guck and light or immature seeds. The good seeds will all be on the bottom of the jar. once the grossness is poured off, take the good seeds that are on the bottom of the jar and dump them into a strainer so that you can spray any remaining goosh off of them
Once your seeds are cleaned off, you can then dump them onto a plate to dry. (maybe make a heart in your seeds to give them some good love energy..?) Any old plate will do, but if you have nice china then use it! (the seeds appreciate it.)
Let the seeds dry out for a few days
Once the seeds are dry, you can then put them into a jar, or envelope with a label on it stating the tomato variety and the year it was saved.
Store them in a cool, dark, dry place for next season and years to come!
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