Seed saving

As the tomatoes disappear and the flowers die back, capture the memory with seeds. Seed-saving is easy; I’ve done it with heirloom tomatoes and I did get plants! (With hybrids, you don’t replicate the plant whose seeds you saved). I have a friend whose mother thinks it’s a waste of money to pay for tomato seeds because saving them is that easy.

So if you still have some good-looking and tasty tomatoes, push aside some of the seeds when you slice, then soak them in water in a clean bowl or jar. I’ve read they should soak for a few days, with the water changed twice a day and that the seeds need to ferment, but I’ve also done it far faster.  The idea is to dissolve, or dislodge, that sack around the seed and then let them dry before packing them up (I use paper towel and a ziplock) and storing them until spring. Here’s a more “official” how-to, and there is no shortage of videos on the Web.

I know some of you have saved other kinds of seeds, so tell me how you did it.

Last step: tell me what you saved and let’s swap. I have plenty of seeds for plants that bear orange golf-ball sized tomatoes and was given some of similarly sized light yellow ones. I’m sure I have a few other as well as some bought seeds, such as what’s left of the 100-seed-pack of Super Marmande tomatoes. (I want some of those striped ones, particularly yellow and red bicolors.) All this just might keep me from ordering too many seeds this winter.

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2 thoughts on “Seed saving

  1. I have some green heirlooms on the vine – not sure if they’ll ripen at this point. Do you think it’s worth saving their seeds if they’re still green or do they need to be red to be saved? (I know – dumb question but I’m a novice…)

    1. I’ve never saved seeds from unripened tomatoes, but I wouldn’t give up on them ripening inside. Last year I had a glut of green tomatoes on the vine the night before frost, so I picked them all, made some green tomato chutney but left lots in a bowl thinking I’d eventually get to them. Then I realized they were ripening. So I let them. Some still went bad, but we ate our last garden tomato after New Year’s.

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