Saving Tomato Seeds

I want to learn how to save seeds. I’ve done a little of this in the past, with mixed success. This year, I decided to save seeds from the volunteer tomatoes that I picked when we were exploring the fruit trees of Stanford’s campus.

This isn’t the first year I’ve saved tomato seeds. I’m not yet picky about what variety of tomatoes I grow, and so I’ve saved seeds from hybrid tomatoes before, which I know won’t produce fruit true to the parent fruit, but I enjoy the results nonetheless.

I think the tomatoes that I picked the other week were probably born from seeds of a hybrid tomato. The tomatoes were all about the same size (larger than a cherry or grape tomato, smaller than a Roma), but some plants produced red fruit and some produced yellow fruit. It will be interesting to see what kind of tomatoes I’ll get from their seeds.

The way I save tomato seeds is to first extract the seeds from the tomatoes, then rinse them to get most of the tomato hunk off of them, and then I leave them in a cup of water for several days.

I think you’re actually not supposed to rinse the seeds, so they can ferment (like so), which supposedly removes the gel coating from the seeds. We want to remove the gel coating because it inhibits germination.

I didn’t really do that this time. There was a little bit of tomato gunk and it did get a little moldy, but probably not to the level of fermentation. Oh well. says it’s not necessary anyway.

I rinsed the seeds off, and dried them on a paper towel.

I’m storing them with my other seeds in a sealed plastic bag to keep them dry.

Now I wait until March to plant the seeds and see what grows.