Save Those Seeds
Plan for growing success – just save your seeds to plant in the fall. Think of it as backing up your garden for next year. You’ll save money and continue the heirloom tradition.
To save your seeds, you’ll need the following:
- Plastic container
- Plastic wrap
- Paper plate
- Envelopes or plastic baggie for seeds
- Tomato for harvesting
Make sure that the variety you want to save is an heirloom tomato, not a hybrid. Heirlooms are open-pollinated, while hybrids will not breed true – there’s no telling what you’ll end up with. You can also save seeds from heirloom tomatoes you’ve bought at a farmers market.
Save seeds from a fully ripe tomato from your best plants. Slice the tomato in half so that you can squeeze out the seeds and the surrounding gel easily into a plastic container.
Add an inch or two of water to the seeds. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Label the outside of the container with the variety of tomato seed. Set the container aside where it won't be disturbed for a few days.
After a few days, you'll see mold growing on top of the water, which means the gel surrounding the seeds has broken down. Pour off the mold, any floating seeds (they're duds) and as much water as possible and rinse in a fine mesh strainer to clean the seeds.
Place seeds on a paper plate labeled with the variety name. Set the plate aside in a dry place for a few days to dry completely.
When your seeds are completely dry, place in a labeled envelope and store them in a cool, dry place until planting season. You can also save seeds from other vegetables and herbs.
FIND OUT MORE. Visit http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu and search for "Saving Seeds"