Instructables
Picture of How to Ferment and Collect Tomato Seeds

I have collected over 10000 tomato seeds, for the first time, this year. In order to collect tomato seeds to be used in your garden the following year, you have to first ferment them.

A tomato seed is typically encased in a gel sac. The gel sac prohibits germination. Think about it. The tomato is mostly water and the seeds sit in the tomato at a cozy 80 degrees or more. The tomato itself is a perfect environment for seed germination. The tomato naturally suppresses germination by encasing the seeds. When a tomato rots, it typically is fermenting. The get sac gets dissolved and the seed is now free to germinate. You have to create this process so the tomato seeds will be ready for germination when you need them.

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Step 1: The Jar, the Gel Sac, and Tomato Seeds

Picture of The Jar, the Gel Sac, and Tomato Seeds
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You will need a jar with a lid. You can use whatever you would like. The fermenting seeds will smell badly and a tight lid is a good way to manage the smells.

The get sac is the sac that surronds a tomato seed. You can see them easily with the naked eye. They easiest way to collect the seeds is to cut up a tomato and scrape the seeds and the tomato gel and liquid into a large bowl.

You WANT the tomato liquid and gel mixed with your seeds. The seeds need to ferment in the liquid. Try and keep out larger pieces of tomato if you can. The pictures will show you the seeds surrounded in a gel sac and basic other steps.
 
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coptician2 years ago
Great instructable! You forgot to mention that only heirloom seeds will be of any use. Most hybrid tomato seeds won't produce fruit at all from seeds of a parent plant. Make it a point to only grow heirloom tomatoes and this won't be an issue.
TheRustedGarden (author)  coptician2 years ago
Your right. Hybrids aren't true to type. They revert. Heirloom seeds will bring you the same tomato plant back to your garden year after year. Ill squeeze that in to my instructable.
Incredible instructable. I have been throwing away tomato seeds for years when I could have been saving them. Thanks for the education.
TheRustedGarden (author)  jeditanker722 years ago
It really works well. I hope you give it a try. This year I am also going to do a video. All my tomatoes came from seeds I saved this year. Thanks!
rimar20002 years ago
Thanks for sharing this, I didn't know it.

Can I anyway to save the tomato juice, that that goes with the seeds? I like it, for me it is the tastier part of the fruit.
TheRustedGarden (author)  rimar20002 years ago
You can save a lot of the tomato juice. You just need enough with the tomato seeds to start fermentation. Like a quarter jar full of juice and seeds is enough. Add water to 1/2 the jar.

Then you can watch them ferment and sip tomato juice. I have a tomato juice instructable coming too.