Tomato Seeds from this years fruit
Greenfingers Guerrilla Posts: 5
in Fruit & veg
Greenings to all
I wonder if anyone could help.
I have picked various tomatoes in order to get seeds for next years crop.
The fruit now seem to be turning blacky / brown (botryts ?)
Will the seeds be OK for next year or will they prove to be of bad quality?
ie show symptoms of fungal disease when planted next year?
All input greatly received
seeds gathered from plants this year may not turn out to be the same as this year's plants. Depends if they are F1 hybrids. Always worth a go.
It is advised always to use a perfect specimen to take seed from but I have often had success with just the best I had. Rarely are things "perfect" in my garden
results have often surprised me, so have a go and let us know
A A Milne
As Hostafan says, it depends whether the original toms are hybrid varieties or not. Seeds from hybrids won't produce true to type. What are the varieties, GG?
You don't need a perfect specimen in order to save seeds but the fruit should be basically healthy. Again, it depends on what's wrong with the fruit. Things like Blossom End Rot don't impact on the seeds inside, nor do the common fungal problems. Viruses can be transmitted via seeds. One of the reasons for fermenting seeds during the seed-saving process is to kill off various possible nasties.
Botrytis would be a problem, for sure, but it's pretty unusual in a home garden. I wouldn't mind seeing a photo of one of the problem toms.
I would use the best you can. They are not that expensive for return you get
I used this method in the USA this summer to bring back some South Jersey tomatoes - it worked well but obviously I haven't grown any yet
Slice it in half across the middle (its "equator"). With a spoon or your well-washed fingers scoop out the seeds and their gelatinous "goo" into a clean cup or container. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to the seeds. Cover the container with a piece of plastic-wrap and then poke the plastic-wrap with a pen point to put a small hole in it...this is to allow for air-transpiration.
Place the container of seeds in a warm location; a sunny windowsill. Now the seed and water mixture ferments. This takes two or three days. Each night remove the plastic-wrap, stir the seed and water mixture, and replace the plastic-wrap, if you use a new sheet of plastic-wrap then don't forget to put a small hole in it for air-transpiration. The top of the liquid will look "scummy" when the fermentation process has separated the "goo" from the seeds.
Take the fermented seeds to the sink and with a spoon carefully remove the scummy surface. Then pour the container's contents into a fine kitchen sieve and rinse the seeds with water several times...stir them while they're in the sieve to assure that all surfaces are thoroughly rinsed. Give a few sharp taps to the sieve to help remove as much loose water as possible from the seeds.
Line an open plate with a large automatic-drip coffee filter. Place the rinsed seeds onto the coffee filter and spread them about so they are in a single layer. Place the plate in a safe location where the seeds can dry for a few days. Stir the seeds a few times during the drying process to assure that all their surfaces are evenly dry. Spread them out again into a single layer after each time you've stirred them. Tomato seeds are thick and can take up to a week to dry thoroughly. If you're having a rainy week that drying time may lengthen by a few days.
How do I know when the seeds are dry? Dried seeds move quickly and easily across a plate, they do not stick to each other.
How do I store them?
I like paper packets or some folks like plastic. Whichever envelope style you choose is a matter of personal preference. If you choose to store your seeds in plastic the seeds must be BONE DRY....otherwise any moisture in the seeds will be transferred to all seeds inside the plastic packet, it will foster mildew and rotting and the seeds will be ruined.
Good stuff, RAS, that's pretty much my procedure. I keep the fermenting seeds out of direct sunlight, just a warm place will do. Some people stir, some people don't. I've witnessed some healthy debate over the stirring question. I don't stir. The best tip is the coffee filter paper. It's the best surface in terms of the seeds not sticking while drying. Some will, a bit, but they're easily removed. The worst materials to use are tissue paper, kitchen paper, and even paper plates. They stick like glue.
We'll see how they grow next year - South New Jersey is HOT and humid - no greenhouse required so I'm in the lap of the Gods! Then again, it could be 1976 all over again
I didn't realise it was that technical. I normally just rinse through over ripe fruit and dry the seeds on kitchen roll. I will certainly try fermentation this year. Just to show how resilient tomato seeds are though, I spread my compost bin on one of my beds in the spring and I still have several healthy Gardeners Delight fruiting at the moment courtesy of a few seeds that slipped through last year.