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Saving Seeds (HTW Tip)

Julie Maruskin shared a very detailed seed-saving technique at the Heirloom Tomato Workshop. Warning – not for the faint-hearted. “The seeds of fleshy tomatoes benefit from the fermentation process, which helps clean the seeds of bacteria.”

To save seeds from tomatoes through the fermentation process, you must follow a set of tried and true steps, which Ms. Maruskin explained to us.

  • Choose a pretty, tasty fruit from a healthy plant.
  • Cut the tomato open (halves are fine).
  • Scoop out the seeds and pulp. 
  • Place in a jar with as much water as pulp.
  • Cover the jar loosely with a lid. You want a little air to get in.
  • Label as you go.
  • Keep at room temperature and out of direct sun for 3-7 days.
  • A layer of good mold will form on the surface. This moldy plaque forms a bacteria-killing anaerobic environment that also boosts germination.
  • After the mold forms, scoop it off, and dump everything else into a strainer under running water.
  • Rinse the seed and spread them out on a paper plate.
  • Label the plates as you go.
  • Let the seeds dry two weeks at room temperature.
  • When dry, pack the seed in paper packets or envelopes, and label as you go.
  • Store in the refrigerator if possible. If not, store at room temperature.
Tomato seeds planted today using fiber egg cartons. We planted beefsteak and a mysterious variety that someone had saved seeds from. Guess we’ll see when they germinate!

Tomato seeds planted today using fiber egg cartons. We planted beefsteak and a mysterious variety that someone had saved seeds from. Guess we’ll see when they germinate!