Tomato Propagation – preparing for next season

Not quite a drinking vintage!
Not quite a drinking vintage!

I’m getting braver with my gardening and now endeavouring to propagate my plants. I went to considerable trouble sourcing varieties of cherry tomatoes so it makes sense to keep the seeds of the successful plants for next season.

After a bit of research, my approach was:

  • Pick tomatoes that are ripe but healthy and not over ripe
  • Deseed them (I used a spoon) and put seeds in a labelled container. I used wine glasses which suited the process well.
  • Add a little water and swirl to mix.
  • Cover the container with plastic wrap with a hole to allow for limited air circulation.
  • Each day swirl the glass to mix. What happens is that the seeds in the liquid will ferment and gradually break away from the glutinous covering.
  • I left mine for about five days in warm weather, but which time they looked a bit scummy and fermented.
  • Add cold water and swirl, then put through a fine strainer. Rinse the seeds in the strainer until all the muck is cleaned off and you just have clean seeds.
  • Spread the seeds out on paper towels to dry – choose a dry place free from winds or drafts.
  • Leave for a few days until fully dry, fold paper towels up with seeds and place in labelled clip lock bags for next growing season.

Remember – this is my first time so I’ll need to wait until next year to see if it is successful. In the meantime I have a great collection of tomato seeds.

Dried and ready for bagging
Dried and ready for bagging

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