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How to Seed A Tomato

Seeding Tomatoes with Ease, Use Seeds to Grow New Tomato Plants

There are a few reasons why people choose to seed tomatoes: Some people do not prefer the taste or texture of tomato seeds; certain recipes call for de-seeded tomatoes; those with diverticulitis or Crohn’s Disease are unable to process seeds within their digestive track; many enjoy using seeds from fresh tomatoes to plant new ones. Whatever your reasons for de-seeding tomatoes these methods will help you get them done quickly and efficiently.

Our 1st method is ideal for stuffed tomato recipes:

  1. Slice the tomato in half (lengthwise). Slicing lengthwise ensures the seed compartments are kept intact for easy removal
  2. Carefully remove seeds by scooping them out with a small scoop tool, spoon or your finger.

This method is ideal for those who wish to preserve the tomato’s shape for recipes like stuffed tomatoes – the open-pollinated variety seeds can be reserved for planting next season!!

Our 2nd method is great for salsa and sauce recipes:

  1. Slice tomato lengthwise in half to keep seed compartments intact
  2. Gently squeeze the seeds out of the tomato

This method is perfect for recipes where the tomato’s shape need not be preserved – the open-pollinated tomato seeds can be reserved for planting next season!

Our 3rd method is perfect for a seedless tomato salad:

  1. Slice the tomato vertically, then cut the tomato into quarters
  2. Use a knife to cut out the seeds, flesh and gel

The tomato can then be sliced and diced to create your delicious salad – open-pollinated tomato seeds can be reserved for planting next season!

Our 4th method is preferred when canning tomatoes or for making tomato soups and drinks:

  1. Cut an “X” into the skin on the bottom of the tomato
    • The “X” should score the skin. If cut too deeply the tomato will divide and fall apart
  2. Gently add tomatoes to a pot of light boiling water and let sit for approximately 30 seconds or until you notice the skin pulling away
  3. Remove tomatoes from boiling water with a slotted spoon and place in an ice bath to prevent further cooking
  4. Once tomatoes are cooled remove them from the ice bath with a slated spoon
  5. Peel the skin off the tomato
  6. Gently slice the tomato vertically, then cut into quarters
  7. Scrape out the seeds with a small tool or a ¼ sized teaspoon
  8. Secure a sieve over a bowl and place tomato seeds on top
  9. Gently stir seeds on sieve until juices have fallen through and only seeds remain
  10. Use tomato remains to make tomato soups, drinks or canned tomatoes

If you have especially delicious tomatoes; heirloom tomatoes, or your favorite open-pollinated variety the seeds can be reserved for planting next season!

How to Save Tomato Seeds to Plant for Next Season’s Garden

If you’ve recently grown or purchased some especially tasty tomatoes, you may want to consider saving the seeds of open-pollinated varieties to plant your own repeat crop of delicious and rich tomatoes next season. The exception for saving seeds for re-planting is for Hybrid vegetable plants. Hybrids are crosses between two different varieties combining the traits of parent plants to produce plants with strong characteristics like disease resistance and productivity. The seeds from these Hybrids will not produce the exact same plant traits making the next generation of plants an unknown for taste, production or disease resistance. This is a good reason to not save Hybrid vegetable seeds and plan to purchase hybrids for your garden center each year for best results. Do save open-pollinated varieties of tomato seeds remaining from any of the methods above then follow the instructions below:

  1. Place fresh tomato seeds in a bowl and add a 2-3 Tablespoons of water
  2. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and use a knife to poke a small hole in the center of the plastic wrap. This will aid in the fermentation process
  3. Place the bowl in a sunny or warm location
  4. For the next 2-3 nights, remove plastic wrap and stir the seeds, then cover
  5. After the fermentation process, spoon or scrape off the scummy surface
    • The scummy surface is actually beneficial to the fermentation process as it helps prevent any tomato diseases which may have been concealed in the seeds
  6. Place seeds on a sieve and rinse thoroughly
  7. Dry seeds in a paper towel
  8. In a single layer, spread seeds on a piece of wax paper or in a disposable coffee filter for thorough air drying
  9. Tomato seeds require about a week to air dry. You should be stirring seeds (keeping them in a single layer) each day to ensure complete and even drying
  10. When completely dried out, store tomato seeds in a paper or plastic container (envelope, packet, sandwich bag, etc.)
  11. Label packet(s) with the variety name if you know it and date then store in a warm, dry spot until ready for germinating in very early spring

De-seed Tomatoes and Seed Saving Tips from Your Premier Online Garden Resource

Whether you’re canning tomatoes, making homemade tomato soup or growing your own tomatoes, Jung is your premier online garden resource. We offer the industry’s most sought after tips and tricks on everything from proper watering and soil pH levels to composting and cultivating. When you need trusted advice from expert gardeners, you know you can count on Jung.

Shop all our garden supplies now for healthier, heartier and faster growing plants.

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