If you got the tastiest tomato crop yet this year, you definitely want to keep them. Luckily, you can easily grow tomatoes from seeds harvested from ripe fruit. To do this, however, you should first obtain some healthy tomato seeds yourself. In the next few lines of this article, we will tell you how best to do this and how to store the tomato seeds you have obtained for next year.
What is the best way to get tomato seeds yourself?
How to get tomato seeds yourself and save them for next year?
First something important to note
First, let’s say that obtaining tomato seeds requires fermentation. This process prepares the seeds for storage by producing antibiotics that help fight various diseases. Fermentation also prevents seed germination. Do not skip this step as it is an essential part of obtaining tomato seeds.
Fermentation is an important step in obtaining tomato seeds
Win tomato seeds yourself: instructions
Obtaining tomato seeds is not difficult, and since a tomato often has 100 or more seeds, you don’t need a large amount of fruit to get enough seeds for yourself (and even your neighbor). Store seeds properly and your harvested seeds will produce healthy tomato plants for up to several years after the initial harvest. Here is the best way to get tomato seeds:
#Separate tomato seeds
First, select a perfect tomato (or multiple tomatoes) that will produce the best seeds. Once the tomatoes are fully ripe, pick fruit that is large, free of blemishes, and of an attractive shape and color. You can use 2 or 3 tomatoes depending on how many seeds you want to get.
Wash the tomatoes well and let them air dry. Then cut them in half with a sharp knife. Now carefully remove the seeds with a small spoon or with your fingers. Be careful not to damage them. Don’t worry if bits of the pulp get into the container you’re putting the seeds in (preferably a jar). It turns into the perfect medium for fermentation!
Separate the seeds with a spoon
Once you have collected enough seeds, cover the jar with a paper towel or coffee filter, securing it with a rubber band. Then leave the jar containing the seed and pulp mixture in a warm place, ideally between 15-21 degrees C, for three days to allow it to ferment. You’ll probably see white fungus on the mixture after a few days, but don’t worry. It is a beneficial fungus that consumes the jelly and prepares the seeds for storage.
*Read also how to get strawberry seeds yourself.
Stir the mixture every day
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After three days of fermentation, fill the jar with warm water and let the healthy tomato seeds sink to the bottom of the jar – these are the viable seeds. After that, pour out the water. Repeat the process until the water that comes out is almost clear. Then strain the seeds and remove the excess liquid. Spread the seeds out on a paper plate or 2-3 sheets of newspaper and allow to air dry in a well-ventilated place (it may take 2-3 days).
Gently agitate the seeds each day with your fingers to encourage even drying
How can I store tomato seeds for next year?
After the tomato seeds have dried thoroughly, gently stuff them into labeled paper bags. Store the bags in a dry place at a cool, constant temperature. You can store the sachets together with the silica gel crystals in a sealed container to protect the environment from moisture. You can store the seeds for up to 5 years.
Tomato seeds can be stored properly for up to 5 years
Should I soak tomato seeds before planting?
Soaking tomato seeds in general can help speed up the germination process. However, this is not strictly necessary for tomato seeds.
Can you plant seeds directly from a tomato?
Yes, it is possible to plant seeds directly from a tomato. Perhaps in your garden there are already seeds from fallen tomatoes that have germinated. In any case, it’s best to save the tomato seeds for planting next season. Read how to plant tomatoes in pots yourself.