You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. Epic Gardening occasionally links to goods or services offered by vendors to help you find the best products to care for plants. Even given that rough treatment, I’ve found that my saved tomato seed germinated very well even at 12 years old, and occasionally up to 14 years. Any leftover, seedless tomato flesh that isn’t spoiled can be dehydrated and used like a sundried tomato. You can save tomato seeds the same way you’d save other wet seeds by rinsing and drying them, and leave the fermenting out of it completely. don't have an online Once dry, the seeds will be stuck to the paper towel. The main caution for using seeds stored in the freezer is to allow the seed containers to reach room temperature before opening them. Any seeds that float are not mature or viable, so don't save these seeds. • Bowl or pan, if the edible portions that remain will be used for a recipe Immediately dump the seeds back into the strainer and rinse them under cold running water for at least 7 minutes, constantly stirring or agitating the seeds to make sure they are completely rinsed off. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only). The fan will force cool air through the seeds and dry them out much more rapidly than if they were just lying in a still-air environment. The best time to save seeds from your open-pollinated tomato varieties is when the first tomatoes ripen. On the one hand, that means that your tomatoes aren’t sprouting new fruit on the vine. Collect tomato seeds at the end of the season when the fruit is ripe and ready. Some gardeners simply … The seeds won’t go through the screen or strainer, but any residual gunk will. For the most true tomato development, you’ll want to stick with just one variety of tomatoes in a given location. Since you’re including the dried gel on the non-rinsed seeds, there is a slight risk if any of your tomatoes were harboring a potential disease. Cut the ripe specimen tomato in half and gather some of the seeds. I like to save tomato seeds and other seeds … One issue with this method is that any diseases on the seed surfaces that are typically removed by fermentation would carry through to the dried seeds. Otherwise, unwanted moisture from the air will be drawn into the containers and negate the work that was done to enhance the seed life. While you're here, why not follow us on Facebook and YouTube? You can then spread out your seeds on that and place it in a dry place that’s well-ventilated. The paper towel should help keep flies that are attracted to the fermentation from laying their eggs in the pulp. But the risk is fairly minimal if you’ve been disease-free. But open-pollinated varieties can be cross-pollinated from different species. I carry a permanent marker with me whenever I harvest from the garden. Already a Member but (The single exception to this is if the bees that visited the flower cross-pollinated it with another variety; seeds in that specific tomato would produce a hybrid of the two varieties.) Have you ever wondered how to save tomato seeds? – and watch as your tomato plants improve year after year! Collect the Pulp – Clean the tomatoes properly and cut them in half. 1. The other interesting thing I’ve learned about tomato seed is its surprising longevity, which is not something you would know if you read many commercial seed catalogs, whose success is based on bringing people back to purchase seeds each year. That’s why it’s important to limit the amount of time the seeds are fermenting; otherwise, you would end up with sprouted tomato seeds. Add enough … Any seed storage option should take this into consideration. Residual chlorines on the seed have to be at less than four parts per million to consider the seed organic. We have a lot more in-depth storage tips for a variety of seed types in our seed-storing article. You want them to ripen on the vine, and in fact, you want to leave those on the vine until they go over-ripe and a little squishy. To treat the seed, make a 10% bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) and soak the seed for 30 minutes. Begin by washing off your tomatoes thoroughly to remove any dirt that might be on the outside of the fruit. Beware, however, that during the seed-saving process, mix-ups or errors could be introduced in many places. Use a spoon to scoop all the seeds and put them, as well as the pulp and … Follow the fermentation method up to step 2; you will have the labeled cups of tomato pulp and seeds. 2. That’s a single-variety open pollination. Even if you didn’t plant any heirloom tomatoes, that doesn’t mean you can’t save the seeds … Each variety of tomatoes should be fermented on its own, not mixed with seeds from other varieties. Most of the viable seeds should fall to the bottom of the jar, and the gooey gelatinous layer should float on the surface. Three words apply to storing your tomato seeds: cold, dry, and dark. Once the lid is on the jar, give it a good shake and then set it in a location that’s 70 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Whether you’re thinking of saving heirloom tomato seeds or not, this guide should help you with all aspects of tomato seed saving. Moisture is necessary for germination, and your tomato seeds will happily sprout in the dark if they have access to moisture. As the parchment paper is more flexible, you should be able to bend it and pop stuck-on seeds right off. Because tomatoes and cucumbers have seeds … You are then ready to scrape the seeds onto the plates for final drying. The advantage is that it helps remove any pathogens on the seed surface, and below or in the surrounding seed gel. Use a box fan and two inexpensive air filters, as well as a few bungee cords. So, if you planted an heirloom tomato plant this year, now’s the time to pick a tomato so you can save its seeds. If there isn’t, don’t add water, as diluting the juice will actually slow down the fermentation process. Fermenting Tomato Seeds. Saving tomato seeds with fermentation: Select seeds from a tomato with your favorite flavor and from the healthiest plants. The cup contents can be quite concentrated, viscous, and opaque at this point so be very careful to not allow any seeds to escape along with the upper debris. Here is my seed-saving procedure: • Medium-size cups that can be written on Beautiful, full-color photos illustrate this comprehensive guide to successful tomato cultivation, from sowing to seed-saving. 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