Saving seeds from the plants we grow is a good way of regrowing your favourite vegetables without the need of continually buying new seed. There are many types of vegetable seeds that can be collected. Plants must be open pollinated and not from a previous Hybrid as there is no guarantee of the quality of the plant you grow. In most cases a hybrid will revert back to either of its parents often with much less vigour.

Most seeds can be obtained by simply allowing them to dry out before storing them in a glass bottle until you need them. Some seeds need to be pre-treated in order to make them viable. In this Article we will look at Tomato seeds.

Tomato seeds are coated in a pulp that protects the seed within the tomato. In nature birds will eat the flesh and seeds of the tomato and the action of the birds’ stomach will remove the coating from the seed and it will pass from the bird with its usual bodily functions.

We obviously can not do the same as birds do, but there is a technique that does the same process as the action of the birds’ stomach.

Tomato seeds can be “fermented” to remove the pulp leaving the seeds clean and ready to dry and save.

There are 5 simple steps to fermenting tomato seeds.

1. Choose a ripened tomato from an heirloom variety. Tomatoes should be slightly over ripe for seed collection to ensure the seed is fully developed and mature.

2. Cut the tomato into quarters from the top down. Place the tomato over a bowl and squeeze the seeds out or push them out with your finger or thumb.

3. Place the seeds in a glass bottle and cover with fresh cold water. Some seeds may float to the top but will gradually sink down. Leave the glass bottle uncovered in a warm spot (sheltered windowsill is ideal) for around a week. Stir the contents at least once a day.

4. After a week tip the seeds into a sieve and continue washing until any pulp etc is washed away. You can wash them with your hands by carefully moving the tomato seeds along the bottom of the sieve. Allow the water to fully drain from the sieve.

5. Empty the seeds onto a plate with a cotton cloth or “chux” wipe. Place in a warm damp free area for another week or so to allow drying. The seeds will stick together slightly when dried but can be crumbled apart with your fingers. Store seeds in a clip seal bag away from heat and damp and use within 2 years.

Please be aware that during the fermenting stage there will be a strong odour involved with the process. Consider this when finding somewhere to store the bottle to avoid any unwanted household smells.

Author's Bio: 

Eric J. Smith is an Experienced Horticulturalist with a keen interest in Organic Gardening. Eric's interest in Organics also shows in his interest in Organic Nutrition and Organic Skincare. More information can be found on these by visiting his websites... for Organic Gardening Articles and Information - Subscribe to Eric's Organic Newsletter. for Articles on Vermicomposting and Worm Farming.

Subscribe to Eric's FREE Gardening Newsletter via the above sites.