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July 10, 2011

Saving tomato seeds Part 2

Now that we have tomato seeds scooped out and left in a cup to ferment, we watch for the signs of actual fermenting. These will be cloudy water and foam or film on the top of the water with the seeds. This process takes anywhere from three days to a week, sometimes longer, depending on the temperature in your home. But when you see foam or film on the top of the water, the seeds are ready:

Now put the seeds into a strainer and rinse with cold water until there is no tomato particles and seeds are clean:

And spread the seeds on a coffee filter. I usually write the variety name on the filter because if I save many seeds of many varieties, things get mixed up pretty fast:

Set the coffee filter somewhere where it will not be disturbed and let dry for a week or two. You will know that the seeds are dry when they easily separate from the coffee filter and from each other. At this point you can store the seeds in the bottom of the refrigerator for the next planting season.

If you want to seed some tomatoes now, you do not have to wait until the seeds are dry. Just plant rinsed fermented seeds in a nursery container and you should be just fine.


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