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Monty saving tomato seed

I watched Gardeners World this week, and Monty was showing how to save tomato seed. I did this for the first time last year, and the advice that I followed said to put the seeds in water for 2-3 days to get rid of the gel sacks, before drying. This worked fine and I had excellent germination. Monty didn’t do that, he just rinsed and then dried them on paper towels.  Of course I’d be happy to cut out the 2 day soaking step if it’s not necessary. Do you save your tom seed? Do you soak the seeds or not? Does it matter?
Carmarthenshire (mild, wet, windy). Loam over shale, very slightly sloping, so free draining. Mildly acidic or neutral.



  • floraliesfloralies Posts: 2,589
    I haven't watched the last episode, did he say that seed from F1 varieties are unlikely to come true from the seed? I was just wondering out of interest.

  • EmerionEmerion Posts: 566
    I don’t think he said that in so many words. I think he said that it will save you money if you have heirloom varieties, which implies the same thing. He should really have explained what he meant a bit more clearly.  F1 varieties of other veg don’t come true, so I expect toms will be the same. I’ve only saved seed from non-F1 toms. 
    Carmarthenshire (mild, wet, windy). Loam over shale, very slightly sloping, so free draining. Mildly acidic or neutral.

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,142
    Yes, heirloom varieties are not F1.
    F1 is the result of a deliberate cross between 2 plants done by hand.
    To replicate the F1 variety you'd need the 2 original parents and preform the pollination by hand yourself to get the same F1 seed.

    Seed taken from an F1 will have some attributes of each parent but will not be a replica of the plant from which it was taken

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • GearóidGearóid Posts: 198
    I've saved my tomato seeds for years by smearing some seeds on a piece of kitchen towel and it's always worked well. Picture of this year's batch below: 

    I just let them dry off, fold the sheet into an envelope and save for next year. 

    When I'm sowing I just tear the sheet into pieces and plant them directly into pots of compost. It has always worked a treat. 
  • GrajeanGrajean Posts: 434
    Same here, with good results.
  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,721
    edited August 2021
    If you don't mind them being stuck to little bits of paper there's no need to ferment them first. I do because I like clean seeds but it won't change the success you have one bit. It can be fun saving seeds from an f1 you never know exactly what you will get. But if you only have space for a couple of tomato plants I wouldn't save F1 seeds because you might get a terrible cross. Not a problem for me I grow over 100 plants every year I can afford a couple of bad plants, but if you only have 3 and one turns out to taste terrible or fruit poorly...
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,989
    edited August 2021
    I was told that my grandfather soaked his tomato seeds in an eggcup of water for three days then dried them on blotting paper which was marked into squares with a pencil and ruler, and variety names. 
    Woe betide any child who even breathed on them when they were drying. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,085
    I can’t see as it makes any difference, if you’ve ever dumped a tomato in your compost you’ll find tomato plants wherever you spread the compost next year.  
    I’ve taken seeds straight out of a tomato and sowed them. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • EmerionEmerion Posts: 566
    Good point @Lyn. Just personal choice then.
    Carmarthenshire (mild, wet, windy). Loam over shale, very slightly sloping, so free draining. Mildly acidic or neutral.

  • Last year I didn't get any tomato plants but had the last tomato (from a supermarket) one day at lunch.
    Took the seeds out and sowed them.
    Best crop of tomatoes for years!!!
    No idea what the variety was, just labelled "salad tomatoes"
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