Tomatoes – the next generation!
With the last of the glorious, sweet summer tomatoes gracing our salad bowls, it’s time to save the seeds of our favourite types.
If possible, save seed from the best-looking fruit on the healthiest plant. There are two simple methods for saving the seeds: the simplest “if I don’t do it now I won’t get around to it” method is to squeeze a very ripe fruit onto a piece of paper towel and let it dry. Write the name of the variety and the date on the paper towel, pop it in a plastic bag and put it in the fridge.
The second method is suited to longer-term storage of seed and involves fermentation. Squeeze seeds and jelly from a very ripe tomato into a jar then leave it for a few days. The fermentation that occurs, causing a foamy “head” on the surface of the jelly-seed mix, helps with disease resistance. Rinse and dry the seeds then store them in a labelled bag or envelope in the fridge.
Because tomatoes are self-pollinating, you can be fairly confident that the next generation will be “true to type” – that is, the fruit resulting from the seed you’ve collected will have the same qualities as the original fruit.