Saving tomato seeds from shop bought tomatoes is really easy. I have been doing this for the last three years pretty successfully. Every year I grow a handful of tomato plants from seeds that I have saved myself. Seeds that came from store bought tomatoes or tomatoes that I grew myself. I especially love saving seeds from special colourful tomatoes or very tasty tomatoes. It’s a cheap way to grow your own tomatoes.
Saving your own tomato seeds is not only cheaper, it’s also easier choice wise. You don’t have to choose a seed based on a picture and/or a description. You can choose based on taste, as you will save seeds from a tomato that you will eat and taste first.
While you are saving your seeds, no tomatoes will be lost in the process. You can just save seeds that drip out of a tomato when you cut it apart. There are so many advantages of seed saving, and it’s so easy to do, that I can advise you all to try it out.
To make it easier for you to jump into this adventure, I have made an old fashioned tutorial with pictures of every step. It will take you about five minutes from beginning to end. You will have to wait a few days though to fully dry your seeds after that. Ok, let’s start.
1. Choose your tomato (ideally a very ripe tomato), rinse it off with some water. Prepare a cutting board, a knife, a small sieve, a cup of water, a clean and dry tea towel and small container for your seeds. This last piece you will need later on in the process. But it’s good to have it on hand.
2. Depending on how you will use your tomato in your food preparations, you start cutting your tomato. It’s not so important how you cut it for your seed saving procedure. I cut it in slices for a tomato salad that will accompany our dinner.
3. After cutting up the tomato, you will find a bunch of seeds left on your cutting board. These will be the seeds that you will use to dry and save. Just place the wet seeds and the gel around it in the sieve you prepared.
4. Place the sieve in the cup of water you prepared and start rinsing them with your finger. Just push it with little pressure against the sieve, while you keep it under water. The idea being that you remove the soft gel around the seed. That part will be absorbed by the water. You will end up with seeds that have a slightly bigger gel shell around it. Don’t worry about that gel part.
5. Now you can place the seeds on the clean piece of tea towel that you prepared. Spread and push the seeds into the towel and place it at a dry place hanging. It will slowly dry and in a few days you can save the seeds or plant them out. I dried some seeds earlier on, so I can show you the upcoming steps with seeds from another tomato.
6. Remove the seeds from the towel, when they are all dried up. Place the seeds in a dry air tight container or start sowing them immediately. You can save the seeds for many years if you make sure that the seeds are really dry and if you save them in a dark and cold place. Don’t forget to label your container. If you don’t know the name of the tomato, just describe the tomato and add the year that you saved the seeds.
That’s it! Easy right? Bonus is that you will be left behind with a delicious tomato that you can much away with a bit of basil and some salt. Enjoy!