Storing tomato seeds

Saving seeds from your garden It allows you to save money each year on the purchase of plants, in addition to the great satisfaction of self-sufficiency. But it is also an act of ecological courage, when it comes to conserving old varieties that could disappear and therefore preserving biodiversity.

Tomatoes in particular are one of the most widely grown garden plants, there are many varieties: from the classic San Marzano and Cuor di Bue, to a myriad of heirloom and local varieties. These are precisely the local cultivars the most endangered ones, in many cases, are only preserved thanks to the “seed savers” who keep them in their gardens.

The conservation of tomato seeds is an activity accessible to all , to do it with good results it is enough to take some precautions that you will find below. From the choice of fruit to how to remove the seeds: here is a short guide on the subject.

Contents [Ocultar]

  • Why save seeds

    • Avoid F1 Hybrid Seeds

  • which fruits to choose

  • Seed removal

  • Fermentation and pulp extraction

  • Seed drying and storage


Why save the seed

Buying tomato plants would be the most convenient option: they save time, they are already treated to prevent virus and fungus attacks, and they guarantee a good amount of fruit. However purchased plants generally cannot be defined as completely “organic” : Growers chemically tan the seeds from the start, and once germinated, the young tomato plants are treated to reduce the risk of disease early in life. In addition, advanced genetic techniques applied for years in agriculture have led to a focus on hybrid tomato varieties. , that is, created by laboratory crossings. These selections are disease resistant and have some fruiting characteristics, but they are not reproducible by themselves .

Without demonizing, we must be aware that this attitude of the major producers is a double-edged sword: by imposing certain varieties rather than others, we ignore both the importance of biodiversity and the natural adaptation of plants to their environment.

Indeed, over the years, saving seeds by self-production ensures a tomato cultivar that is increasingly adapted to the climate, soil and water supply available in the geographical area where it is found. Seed savers thus have the opportunity to save old varieties, which are often better for the context in which they were developed.

Evit F1 hybrid seeds

When deciding to self-produce the seeds, the nature of the parent plant should be taken into account. from where will the fruits be chosen . If you purchased seedlings from “F1 hybrid seeds”, it is very likely that your seeds will produce weak and low yielding plants.

Indeed, the producers have studied in the laboratory varieties that produce very strong plants in the first generation but which do not retain the original characteristics during reproduction.

It is easy to see how the question is purely economic: if everyone could grow their own tomato plants, or any other vegetable, the producers would get very little, with F1 hybrids, the grower remains the de facto owner of the variety and the buyer must buy every year.

Which fruit to choose

To store seeds, start with choose the fruit to take them from . It is necessary to identify a typical plant non-hybrid It’s for open pollinated . Open-pollinated plants are those that have reproduced by natural means such as wind, rain, insects, etc.


It is therefore necessary to look for seeds of the non-hybrid type at first, then seeds capable of reproducing the same variety of plant. Finding seeds of this type is increasingly difficult, but there are events scattered throughout Italy where gardeners and experts in the field meet exchange seeds not hybrids, just to keep varieties alive that would otherwise die. Additionally, there are certain varieties of tomatoes, such as the Heirloom variety, which reproduces only by open pollination, the fruits of which can also be purchased from your trusted greengrocer.

finally there is organic seed companies that, by choice, supply non-F1 seed , such as Rainbow and Sativa. Obviously it is recommended to buy seeds from these realities.

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