Basically when you seeds, you can collect them by drying the seeds present in fruits and vegetables. However, when it comes to tomato, the process is slightly labor intensive but well worth the effort as you will have good quality seeds for next year's crop. So, here is how to start tomato seeds.
From this year's crop, select the best and healthiest looking tomatoes. Slice the tomatoes into half so that you can expose the inside gel-like sac containing the seeds. Scoop out the seeds into a clean jar. Remember, while doing this, you will get tomato juice too. Do not discard this. Once you have finished with all the tomatoes, check the jar. The seeds should be floating in the liquid. In case, this is not the case, add a cup of water to separate the seeds from the tomato pulp. Now cover the brim of the jar with cheesecloth and set aside the jar in a warm place for 2 to 4 days for the fermentation to take place. The smell can be overpowering so make sure the jar is kept in an area where you do not frequent.
Due to fermentation, there will be a growth of mold on top of the seed and pulp mixture. Check on the jar daily, and once you see bubbles rising, it is time to remove the seeds from this mixture. Remove the top layer of the mold gently using a fork. However, if you do not want to do this, then move to the next step.
Mix water in the jar and shake it well. The seeds that are good will settle at the bottom of the jar. So, you can drain off anything that is floating on top. Once you finish the draining process, transfer the remaining seeds to a colander. Rinse the seeds well under running water and remove any remnants of pulp.
Spread the washed seeds on a paper plate and allow them to dry out naturally. Do not use paper towels as the seeds will stick to it. Keep the paper plate in a warm part of your home. Shake the plate everyday to ensure that the seeds do stick to one another and that they are drying out evenly.
Once the seeds are completely dry, transfer them to an air tight contain and store in a cool dry place. Now you have all the seeds required for the next season.
|Vegetable Gardening :|
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