Saving Tomato Seeds

This fall, one of our Master Gardeners brought in a cluster of tiny, Peruvian cherry tomatoes they had grown from seeds they had been given. I decided to save the seeds to have for later. Here’s what I did.

First, you cut the tomatoes in half across the middle, and squeeze all the seeds and the locular gel out.

I typically add a few tablespoons of water as well. Then you cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm spot for 10-14 days. The reason for this step is that the seeds are encased in all that gel, and you need to get rid of it.

Unfortunately, I either neglected to take a picture (or have misplaced it) of the next step. This is the part where the top of the seeds are covered in really cool looking fuzzy fungus. If you don’t know that’s supposed to happen, you might freak out and think your seeds are ruined! It’s okay! The fungus is eating up the gel and also chowing down on any pathogenic bacteria or fungi that may have been hanging out in the fruit or on the seeds.

Then you scrape off the fungal goo from the top of the mixture. Next you rinse the seeds and strain out the water.

I used a coffee filter over a mesh screen that we had. You could also use a sieve of some sort.

Most of the gel is gone and the seeds are clean. From there, it is just a matter of spreading the seeds out and letting them dry for a few days. The seed should not feel damp to the touch when you bag it up. Make sure you label the package! Be sure you make sure you store the seeds in a cool, dry location.



About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on December 13, 2013, in Around the Garden, Techniques to Try and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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