lvnrg

saving tomato seeds...

hello! im a complete begginer to gardening but ive just inherited 2 tomato plants. first i read somewhere that you need to pinch off the lateral growths ... im not really sure what the lateral growths are... it cant be the branches that are growing horizontly because thats where the tomatos are!

also. id like to plant the seeds for next year but i was wondering when to take them, how to store them, and when to plant them, etc....

thanks so much for the help!

s

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Grey
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What they're talking about pinching off are the suckers - these will be smaller shoots that like to grow between the main stalk and the stem. The reason behind removing them is they take up energy the plant should be putting into producing fruit.

However, I have stopped pinching off suckers because I didn't notice much difference in the size of my fruit nor the number. The pinched plants grew taller than those I let be, but that was my experience.

You can take the seeds from a tomato anytime once it's ripe. You'll want to pick the best tomato from your garden for this.

Squeeze the seeds out of the skin into a container. Tomato seeds have an outside coating and you will need to get rid of the coating.
Add enough water to the seeds in the container to just barely cover half the shell. Set aside for three days. They will get some mold, after the three day period add more water and scrape off the mold. The seeds that sink to the bottom of the container are the ones you will want to save.

Dry those seeds by spreading them out on a glass or ceramic plate to dry. Once dry, put them in an envelope (I tend to use ziploc bags) and label/date it.

opabinia51
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I'll just add my two bits worth to this thread as well :wink:

Yes, suckering is pinching off the little 'suckers' that grow between the apex of a major branch and the stem. Not only will you have tastier, healtheir fruit but, the plant itself will be healthier because it will expend less energy on growing new branches. It will also be easier to stake your plant because it won't be such a tangle of branches.

Oh, and saving seeds. Just cut the tomatoe in half and as Grey said, squeeze the seeds and juice into a container or onto a plate. Then, let the mixture sit out for a few days until it becomes a little moldy. Don't worry, the fungi secrete chemcials onto the seeds that will protect them from bacteria and other fungi.

Anyway, then rinse the seeds off, pat dry with some paper towel and store in an airtight container until next year.

In about February, start the seeds indoors in flats and transplant the juvenile plants into small pots. Continue to put them up until the spring when you plant them outside.

NZG
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Or a much quicker and easier way to save seeds is to squeeze seeds from tomatoes, and place onto a paper towel in rows. Let dry for a few days and them store in a coold dry place.

Then when you want to plan them they're ready for you to cut away, and there is no fiddly small seeds to pick through :wink:

Works a charm for me each and every time.

The Helpful Gardener
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Tah NZ! :D

HG

NZG
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In reference to what Grey has said:
Squeeze the seeds out of the skin into a container. Tomato seeds have an outside coating and you will need to get rid of the coating.
How do you remove that outer blob of ... stuff (technical term has escaped me) that protects the actual seed?

I haven't tried your method of saving seeds. I've always found it much easier to save onto paper towel and throw in the seed box. But since I now keep seeds and pass on to others, how do you remove that blob so I can bag the seeds up nicely, rather than hand over a ratty old piece of paper towel?

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Scarification in sand or beter yet repeated rinsing are generally recommended...

hugh
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I am not a moderator but would anyone object if I made a couple of hopefully helpfull comments.

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Grey
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Hugh, all helpful comments are welcome on this board! Happy to have you :)


I remove the outer coating on the seeds with repeated rinsing. I'll try to take photos next time I do it so we have a step-by-step here.

hugh
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Some of the modern varieties of tomatoes are hybrids and will not grow ‘true’. You will get either no germination or very odd, useless plants.

I would recommend that next season you experiment with half saved seeds and half bought in, that is from packets. The additional advantage is that I grow tomatoes for their taste, absolutely different from the supermarkets. You can experiment with what variety you like – it is really worth it and great fun. (Have you tasted those sweet yellow tomatoes, for example?)

A small point on side shoots. When you get rid of them makes sure that the cut is ‘clean’. The easiest way is to check most days and simply pluck out the side shoot. If they are a wee bit bigger, then you can pinch them out between the nails of thumb and index finger. BUT if they are too big, use a sharp knife to get a clean cut. Tomatoes are lovely to grow but right b*****s for getting infection from open wounds. (Don’t use blunt scissors as my wife did last week! She is now banned from the tomato patch!)

By the way if you have never grown tomatoes before, there are two golden rules to avoid infection (they are prone).

Never plant in the same soil two seasons running.

Keep them away from potatoes. Tomato blight and potato blight are related, potatoes are the devil for infecting tomatoes.

Finally get a recipe for green tomato chutney, to use up the end of season green ones, fabulous. Perfect with your New Zealand lamb.

Hugh

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Grey
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Thanks Hugh!

I have yet to grow potatoes, I intend to next year so thank you for the warning!

I have never successfully banned my husband from the garden. One year he overfed the tomatoes a commercial fertilzer very high in nitrogen - he fed them like a grass, and we had blossom end rot for most of the rest of the season. Many times he's pulled plants he thought were weeds... or hit them with Roundup (not my favorite product) to kill the weeds, saying it was selective and won't kill the plants, just weeds... :roll:

The Helpful Gardener
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Where you been hiding, Hugh? Glad to have you onboard; we always welcome helpful, knowledgeable advice... :D

Scott

Ironbarkbob
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Seeds Prosessing

Hi all, I made this page up sometime ago hope it helps.
IBB

[url]https://home.iprimus.com.au/ironbarkbob/seed/process.htm[/url]

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Grey
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Hey wow - a site with photos explaining how to prepare seeds! Thank you, Ironbarkbob - nice to have you on board. :)

grandpasrose
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Great job Ironbarkbob! Photos and all - Thanks! :wink:
VAL
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