How to save tomato seeds
The seed-saving experts at Real Seeds show how to save the seeds of your favourite tomatoes so that you can grow them again next year – for free. Images by Jason Ingram.
Saving your own seed can save you money, and is an excellent way of increasing your stock of your favourite garden plants, keeping annuals, biennials, perennials and veg plants going from year to year.
Ben Gabel and Kate McEvoy of Real Seeds are passionate about encouraging gardeners to save their own seeds. They sell seeds that are open pollinated and will therefore be identical to the parent plant (as opposed to F1 hybrids, which do not come true from seed). They teach gardeners how to save the seeds of their favourite varieties at home – so there's no need to buy new seed every year.
Here, Ben and Kate give their advice on saving tomato seeds.
How to save tomato seed
Let the tomatoes reach full ripeness before harvesting.
Squeeze the seeds into a jar and leave them in a warm room to ferment for three days.
Add water to the jar and mix well.
The good seeds will sink to the bottom. Discard the floating seeds and rinse the good seeds in a sieve under the cold tap.
Shake off as much water as possible.
Tip the seeds on to a plate. Leave to dry in the warm but out of direct sunlight.
When fully dry, separate the seeds from each other and store in a cool dry place, until you are ready to sow them the following year.
Find out more about Real Seeds.
13 issues for £30 when you subscribe
Subscribe to Gardens Illustrated magazine and receive your first 13 issues for £30!
Transform your Garden- Special Edition
Transform Your Garden
This special edition features advice on designing your garden from the world’s top garden designers, including top tips for redesigning your plot or creating a new garden from scratch.
Discover eight inspirational gardens in town and country, and beautiful planting ideas for year-round colour. Learn how to make the most of a small space, how to cope with a slope, and the ten most common mistakes people make, according to professional garden designers, and how to avoid them.
Enjoy insights on everything from paths and parking spaces to wildflowers and water features, so that you can be confident in starting to create the garden of your dreams.
Just £9.99 inc UK p&p
Gardens of the Globe
From botanical wonders in Australia to tranquil havens closer to home in Ireland, let this guide help you to discover some of the most glorious gardens around the world