Even though the shape and colour of backyard tomatoes may be more irregular than their supermarket counterparts, their rich flavour is proof that you should never judge a book by its cover. The best thing, however, is that it’s easy to grow your own tasty tomatoes, just by saving the seeds and following a few simple steps.
Australian gardening expert and founder of The Digger’s Club Clive Blazey shares these six easy steps for saving tomato seeds that you can store and plant for years to come.
1. Collect the seeds
Of course, you’ll need to collect the seeds from a ripe tomato.
Squeeze the seeds and a little bit of the jelly pulp into a bucket and leave it for a few days to ferment (be sure to do it somewhere outside where there’s plenty of ventilation).
Rinse the seeds under fresh water to clean away tomato pulp and the gel coating that surrounds the seed. Repeat until the seeds are clean.
Separate the healthy seed from unviable seed. The healthy seed is denser, and will sink to the bottom of the bucket. Discard the seed that floats in the water – it’s just like panning for gold!
Tip the seeds into a sieve for a final clean.
Spread in a thin layer of seeds to dry on newspaper or a plate. After drying in a well ventilated area, store the seeds in an airtight container and label them. If they are stored correctly in a cool dry place, these seeds will last four to six years.
While this method is best applied to the seeds of tasty heirloom tomatoes, it will work for store bought varieties and cherry tomatoes as well.
Psst… what are heirloom tomatoes?
Heirloom tomatoes are varieties that are not cross pollinated, but the result of generations of small-scale farming.
Before the days of supermarket giants, vegetables were grown in backyards and small space gardens, which meant that growers didn’t need to worry about their plants producing huge yields.
While genetically modified vegetables are disease resistant and result in larger crops, tomato connoisseurs say the flavour is apparently far inferior to home grown varieties.
Text: Homes To Love