As I was picking tomatoes earlier this summer, I came across a funny looking fruit that definitely was not one of the varieties I had planted. Ever on the lookout for something new, I decided I’d save the seeds, replant them next year, and see what happens. Who knows? Maybe I accidentally cross-bred some new variety that they’ll name after me someday.
With most plants, you just let the fruiting/flowering part mature and you can generally just pull out your bean or pepper or squash or whatever seeds. Tomatoes, because of all that jelly-goop-stuff, need a little more work, but nothing that you can’t do. To easily save tomato seeds, you’ll just need a jar and a couple days – the key is fermentation!
How to Save Tomato Seeds in Three Easy Steps!
- First, cut the tomato in half (or slices, or chunks, or however you’re preparing it to eat). Scoop as many of the seeds as you can get into a small jar. The gel and maybe some meat may come along with the seeds, but that’s okay.
– Cover the seed/gel mix with about an inch of water, and loosely cover the jar.
– Let it sit for at least a few days, shaking or stirring a couple times each day. What’s happening now? The mix is fermenting – this process is what breaks down the gel surrounding the seeds!
– Also, any seeds that are floating at this point can probably be discarded – they likely won’t be any good for germinating.
- After the few days is up, pour the whole mess through a strainer, then rinse the seeds.
- Dump the now clean seeds onto a paper towel or plate and let them dry for another couple days before storing them.
And that’s that. Now for the next time you find a weird hybrid in the garden (or just want to save fruit from an exceptional plant), you know exactly how to save tomato seeds!