Flowers and Fruits · Seeds and Seedlings

Collecting Tomato Seeds


I’ve already planned out my fall garden and am getting ready to pull up my summer crops. I’ll write a post soon with a reflection on my summer garden. (Spoiler alert: it didn’t go well.) The one thing that did go well is my cherry tomatoes. All thanks to one plant. This one cherry tomato plant took over half the garden bed! And it gave me a lot of tomatoes. It was the only thing in my garden that didn’t mind the constant heat and sun. So it was a no-brainer that I wanted to save the seeds from this plant for future gardening.

To do this, I started with collecting a few large, ripe cherry tomatoes. Then, one by one, I would put a tomato in a bowl and press down on it with the flat side of a fork. With a little pressure the tomato would squirt out its insides. (Sounds gross, but it really wasn’t.)

I scooped out all of the tomato guts onto a paper towel. I turned the faucet on ever-so-slightly and held the paper towel under the faucet to rinse things out a bit. Even after rinsing the seeds they still had a thin, filmy casing on them.

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tomato seeds after being rinsed off with water

I found it quite easy to remove it with my fingernail. I would just press my finger down over one of the seeds so that the seed was under my nail. Then I would lightly drag it along. The casing would get left behind on the wet paper towel and after dragging it for about an inch I would be left with a clean seed under my fingernail.

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the slimy casing that surrounds each seed, removed

At that point I would just transfer the seed to a clean, dry paper towel.

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clean and dry tomato seeds

I lightly covered all of the seeds with another clean, dry paper towel. Then I set them out to dry for several days in a safe place in my house.

Once dry, I put them in a small, sealed bag. I labeled and dated it. You’ll also notice I put a note that I had other tomatoes in the garden. There is a possibility I had cross-pollination, so I wanted to remind my future self of that. I planted the two kinds of tomatoes in different beds and the San Marzano tomatoes weren’t successful (and barely fruited), so I’m hoping my cherry tomatoes are pure cherry tomatoes in the future. I’ll be sure to keep you posted next year!

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seeds stored and ready for future use

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