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Saving tomato seed

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Saving tomato seed

Post  ander217 on 2/10/2011, 8:39 am

This may not be the right time to post this, but the "Wha'cha growin'" tomato thread reminded me of information we were given last August at Baker Creek seeds in Mansfield, MO regarding saving tomato seeds.

One of their seed collectors said to squeeze out the tomato seeds along with their "gel" and place in a small container - a yogurt container works fine. Add about the same amount of water, and allow the mixture to ferment a day or two - no longer than three days, - until a layer of mold forms on top of the water. The fermentation helps destroy diseases, as well as remove a chemical which may inhibit sprouting. She said this is how tomatoes work naturally when a whole fruit drops to the ground, ferments, and then seed from it sprouts the next year.

Once you see the mold, pour off the water, fill the container with water, pour off the water again, and continue until the seed looks clean. Then spread the seed out and rinse again - a fine mesh strainer, pantyhose, or screen wire stretched across a wide-mouth jar ring, etc. will work for this step. Rinse well and let air dry a few days, stirring occasionally. When completely dry the seeds can be put in jars or other containers to keep out humidity.

I have saved seed in the past without going through these steps, but apparently this is the recommended way to do it to get the best quality seed.

She gave us another seed-saving tip about watermelons - she said to always rinse the sugar off watermelon seed before saving it, and seed should come from an "overripe" melon.


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Re: Saving tomato seed

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/10/2011, 8:55 am

Thank you so much! Now to find this when (if in the PNW) I need it.

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Re: Saving tomato seed

Post  dizzygardener on 2/10/2011, 9:18 am

Being seriously allergic to molds of all shapes and sizes, I couldn't dream of using this method, but I have seen other methods of doing this without fermentation.

Here's two methods: http://www.wintersown.org/wseo1/CleanTomatoSeeds.html I think I prefer the method in the PDF on the left.

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Re: Saving tomato seed

Post  quiltbea on 2/10/2011, 12:12 pm

I've used the fermentation method in small jars. Each jar has its own variety of seed which is marked on tape on the tops. It takes several days, but its easy.


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