Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Homemade Living: Saving Tomato Seeds

I've always been intrigued by the idea of saving seeds from the current season's harvest to plant the following year. We've made plans in the past to save seeds, but for some reason just never got around to it. This year, we were determined to try it out with our tomatoes since we had success with several different varieties.


You may remember a previous post in this series where I wrote about our black cherry tomatoes and how they were my favorite from this year. In addition to the black cherries, we also had good luck with some red and yellow cherries, yellow pears, and San Marzanos.


In order to save the seeds, we picked the best tomatoes and waited until they were really ripe. We cut them in half, then squeezed out all the seeds and juice into a jar. To each jar, we added a little bit of water then covered the jar with plastic wrap and let it sit for 2-3 days.


You want the seeds and water mixture to ferment, so when a thin film is covering the seeds, they are ready to rinse and dry. Simply rinse the seeds in a fine mesh sieve until they are clean, then spread out to dry in a coffee filter or on parchment paper. Once the seeds are completely dry, they are ready for storage.

We labeled different envelopes with the name of each tomato seed so we wouldn't get them confused, and have the seeds stored in the envelopes for next year. I was surprised at how easy the seed saving process was, and I'm really excited to see how the seeds do in next summer's garden. But I think I'm most excited about the fact that we hopefully won't have to buy any tomato seeds next year!

Do you save any of your seeds?

~Tammy


This week in the Homemade Living series, I am joined by Mary and Jackie in posting about how we incorporate homemade items into our lives. Next week Daisy, Staci, and our new blogger, Sue, will be up. If you have some free time, please check out the other posts in this weekly series!

Shared with Cottage Tails, From the Farm Blog Hop  

45 comments:

  1. I don't have a garden, so I don't save seeds, but it seems like a good idea to save them for the following year.

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  2. I've never tried this and didn't know about the fermenting process. I'm looking forward to seeing your crop next year!

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  3. Yes we buy heirloom seeds so we can save our own seeds. I lost my bean seeds this year due to the geese getting in the garden - I was gutted.
    Love Leanne

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  4. I'm such a slacker....we haven't saved any seeds this year! I hope we get it together for next year!

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  5. Lovely is the cat with the tomatoes photo!
    Greetings, RW & SK

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  6. I had never heard of the fermenting process before. I always tuck all these little tidbits of knowledge away for the day I finally strike up the courage to move to the country and live off the land. Seriously I think about it a lot :)

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  7. I am with Keith I never heard of that before either. I think I will try this and see if it works for me. Nice variety of Tomatoes Tammy. Thank you for the advice. B

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  8. Hi, fairly new reader to your blog here... and love it!

    This year I saved seeds from the Japanese White Egg eggplant, lemon cucumber, jalapenos, cosmos, and two types of basil. I also saved tomato seeds and used the fermenting process but the whole plate of drying seeds got thrown out... I was pretty bummed :-(

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  9. I love collecting and saving seeds...I also read that you can root a favorite tomato from a stem on the plant to get that same plant...I haven't tried it...but I want to. Have a wonderful day!!

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  10. Hi, my husband And I have been saving seeds for several years. We save a variety of tomato seeds as well as different kinds of peppers, squash, okra, onion, lettuces etc...saving seeds year to year is really only successful with heirlooms. It is a wonderful feeling to save seeds and watch them grow the next year it is also a wonderful way to save money!

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  11. Never knew you had to soak them in water first. I'll have to give it a go. Thanks for sharing on the Maple Hill Hop! ;0)

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  12. I have been wanting to do this with all of my seeds. We've saved some before, but only for a few plants. Your cherry tomato variety is gorgeous!! Thanks for the tutorial!

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  13. What a great idea! For some reason I never considered doing this with tomatoes. I'm definitely going to give it a try next year!

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  14. I didn't even know you COULD save your seeds. What a cool thing to do!

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  15. Tammy-what a great idea! We have volunteer tomatoes come back every year, but they don't usually get very big. My problem right now is that every vegetable and flower bed in my yard is getting over run with hollyhocks! I didn't know they were so naturally prolific!

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  16. Tammy, you make everything seem so easy. I love tomatoes and it is wonderful to be able to go right outside and pick your own fresh tomatoes. We also have some volunteer cherry tomatoes this year and were very happy with them. Thanks for sharing, I hope you are having a great day!

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  17. Wow - I love that you are doing this, and I am excited that you taught me how I could as well! Thanks my friend and hope you are having a fantastic day!

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  18. Wow! What a great idea! I had never thought to do that!

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  19. What a helpful post. I've never tried saving seeds because I imagined it was quite a complicated process.

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  20. I also agree with Leslie from the above post, I have never tried because I thought it was complicated too.

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  21. Great post and a great reminder that I need to get busy!! :) Your photos are stunning as always. I love that at least one of the critters usually makes their way into a photo or two.

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  22. Love your photo of all the different colors of tomatoes on the platter. We don't ever save our seeds - my hubby just buys new ones every year.

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  23. It's amazing how simple it is to save seeds and astonishing how many seeds you can get from just one plant or fruit. I started saving several years ago and rarely buy seeds anymore. Not only does it save money but it also helps preserve varieties. The only drawback is it can become addicting, my office is filled with envelopes, paper bags and jars filled with all sorts of seeds!

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  24. My MIL taught me this method -- and it's a good one. :)

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  25. Tammy that was very interesting . I didn't know how to save tomato seeds !
    We do save our morning glory sees, our moonflower seeds were from last years too ( and we had amazing moonflowers this year). We save any flower seed that we can and I love not having to pay the high prices for annual flower seeds too. Plus it is so cool growing from your own seeds isn't it ! :)

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  26. I have never ever had black cherry tomatoes and I have never ever stored seed, I have however forwarded this post to the OH with a very big hint.

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  27. Those tomatoes are bursting with colour and flavour!

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  28. I've honestly never thought of saving tomato seeds. Great idea! You are always inspiring me :)

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  29. hi sweetie :) you always have the most delicious looking tomatoes. never thought it would be so easy to save seeds! good to know :) xxo

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  30. I never knew about the seeds in water part. It will be fun to see the results.

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  31. I always save my seeds, I love it. It's a lot of work, but it's incredibly satisfying. Are you a member of Seed Saver's Exchange?

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  32. You make it look so easy! I can't wait to see how they grow next summer. Won't that be exciting to grow something from seeds you saved yourself.

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  33. That second photo is rather beautiful

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  34. My parents planted a lot of our fruits and vegetables when I was growing up and I remember my dad doing this. He also did it with green peppers as well. I don't have a green thumb unlike my parents, everything I plant die unfortunately. I can't wait to see your tomatoes next year. BTW love that photo of Sylvester near the tomatoes. :)

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  35. Great tip, great photos and congrats on your sold print :) yay!

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  36. I LOVE that you have so many tomato varieties. They look great and bet they taste delicious too. I planted some heirloom varieties late winter and how they are just seedlings. Hope they thrive!

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  37. Very cool post!! Thanks for sharing. I want to try this sometime... hopefully next year when we get a bigger garden going. I think it would be *so* awesome to have a seed that has come from years down the line, saving seeds each year. So neat!

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  38. I've never saved my seeds because I never thought to do it (nor would I have known how). These are great instructions! Too late for me to do it this year... but hopefully I'll remember next year.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.
    xoxo

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  39. That is so cool. My husband and I were just talking about this subject the other day. I enjoyed my visit here this morning.. Hope you have a happy week.

    Hugs~

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  40. One beautiful try of colorful tomatoes. Thanks for the seed saving process. I didn't know to do the fermenting part.

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  41. Thank you, what perfect timing for this post because I am just about to let the chickens loose in my summer garden.

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  42. Ha I didn't even know how to do this! How easy! I got to try it someday ;) Thanks Tammy.

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