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How to Save Tomato Seeds

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If your gardening area at home is like mine, then you probably have a small stockade of seeds. And some of them are probably past their prime (here’s a test to see if your seeds are still fresh). I usually have wonderful intentions when I buy those seed packets (like fields of butternut squash!), but great ideas fall to the wayside when life gets busy. As I’ve tried to be more mindful of what I truly need, this has translated into using what I already have. And seeds from my very own garden is a great start to being less wasteful and more self-sufficient. Saving tomato seeds is super quick and easy and a great way to get started with seed saving.

tomato seeds pin

Why save garden seeds?

One of the more expensive parts of planting a garden each year can be buying seeds and plants. This can be especially true if you prefer heirloom varieties or organic seeds. But if you have a little patience and a spare jar, you can easily save your own seeds from a variety of plants.

This year, I purchased two Jellybean tomato varieties from our local cooperative extension plant sale. They grew so well (are still growing in fact!) that I knew I wanted to save some seeds for replanting next year. It’s a win for saving money and using what I have! The process is simple.

Here’s what you’ll need

Ripe tomato (I used 2 since jellybean tomatoes are small)

Clear jar


Paper Towel

Envelope (or a cool, dry place to store your seeds)

Seed saving step-by-step

  1. Cut open the ripe tomato, and gently squeeze or scoop out the seeds and pulp into a clear jar. open tomato
  2. Add an inch of water above the seeds and pulp and place a lid on the jar. tomato seeds in water
  3. Over the course of two or three days, gently swirl the water in the jar several times a day. You will notice that the pulp releases from the seeds, and they settle to the bottom of the jar.tomato seeds settled
  4. Drain water out of jar, and spread seeds onto paper towel. Allow to dry completely. seeds on towel
  5. Store in an envelope or baggie. (I use simple mail envelopes.) Don’t forget to label the envelope, so you know what’s inside. Keep seeds in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to plant your seeds in the spring!

And that’s all there is to it. Saving seeds was not a new concept to our grand parents and great grandparents, but it seems to be less common these days. Save those dollars you’d be spending on a new package of seeds and instead use what’s growing in your very own garden.

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