What tomato seeds can be collected

If you are planning to propagate fruits from your garden, pay attention to the seeds that you have sown. Usually, the packaging indicates “variety” or “hybrid F1” (rarely F2). So in the first case, you can safely collect seeds from your tomatoes – next year they will yield a crop of the same quality. Breeding hybrids is a waste of time. Their production is a complex process involving breeders who cross several varieties. As a rule, seeds collected from hybrid fruits will either not produce good seedlings, or tomatoes will turn out much worse than their “parents”.

Following this logic, you should not collect seeds from fruits bought in the market or in a store. After all, you do not know for sure which tomatoes are – varietal or hybrid. But you can ask for a tasting to the neighbors and take a couple of fruits they like from them.

How to choose the right tomatoes

How to collect tomato seeds at home: try to pick tomatoes from the bottom two brushes
Try to pick tomatoes from the bottom two brushes. Frame: Elena Koneva / YouTube

It is believed that the higher the brush is located to the top of the plant, the less large seeds it contains. Therefore, it is better to choose fruits from the first two lower brushes. On them, look for tomatoes of the correct shape and size – those that best match the variety. You can take both fully ripened fruits and just starting to turn red – in both cases you will get good seeds.

Carefully inspect the selected tomatoes: they should not have spots, plaque and traces of rot, which can be not just mechanical damage, but signs of disease. In addition, the plants themselves must also be absolutely healthy, strong and well developed. Such vigilance will help to obtain high-quality planting material.

How to collect tomato seeds at home

Wash the fruits thoroughly, take a small bowl or jar, a knife, a coffee or teaspoon, cheesecloth or a sieve.

Extract the seeds

How to collect tomato seeds at home: extract the seeds
Frame: Elena Koneva / YouTube

Cut the fruit into two or four pieces. Gently squeeze each with your fingers and squeeze the seeds, along with the juice, into a bowl. If the fruit is hard, you can get them with a spoon.

Send seeds for fermentation

This procedure will help to destroy the protective shells of the seeds, so that in the future they will germinate faster and easier. Cover the container with tomato gruel with a lid or saucer and leave at room temperature for two days. If you have collected seeds from different varieties, be sure to label each one so there is no confusion.

How to collect tomato seeds at home: send the seeds for fermentation
Frame: Elena Koneva / YouTube

After fermentation is completed, most of the seeds will settle to the bottom, the juice will brighten, and a film and air bubbles will form on its surface.

Rinse and dry the seeds

Pour the gruel into cheesecloth or a fine sieve. Rinse the seeds thoroughly under running water.

How to collect tomato seeds at home: wash the seeds
Frame: Elena Koneva / YouTube

Place them on paper, newspaper, or a napkin to drain excess liquid.

How to collect tomato seeds at home: place the seeds on paper, newspaper or napkin
Frame: Garden, vegetable garden, DIY / YouTube

And then put on a plate in one layer and leave to dry for 5-7 days at room temperature.

How to collect tomato seeds at home: put on a plate in a single layer and leave to dry for 5-7 days
Frame: Elena Koneva / YouTube

How to store tomato seeds

Spread completely dried seeds in cloth bags, paper bags, envelopes, or simply wrap them in baking parchment. Do not use plastic bags – they allow air to pass through and the planting material may rot or become moldy. On each homemade package, do not forget to write the name of the variety and the year of collection.

Store seeds in a dry, dark and cool place. They will be suitable for sowing within 5 years.