I have not bought tomato seeds in the store for a long time, but I harvest them myself


I have been working in a vegetable garden for several years and I put a special emphasis on growing tomatoes. Stocks of salted tomatoes and juice are very helpful in winter. I plant at least 250 bushes, so I can't even imagine how much I would spend on seedlings on the market, but I have been using my planting material for several years now.

At one time I was tempted by beautiful bags in stores, but I came to the conclusion that it is more profitable to harvest the seeds myself.

And the germination is better, and as a result I am confident, and there is no need to spend money. All my acquaintances - novice gardeners - taught how to properly prepare seeds for next year, save money and get a guaranteed harvest. There is nothing complicated in this matter.

First and foremost, don't rely on hybrids.

If you really liked the tomatoes from the bags, where, in addition to the name, there is the F1 marking, then you will not be able to repeat them exactly the same next year. They either will not grow at all, or something incomprehensible, but not a vegetable that you like, will grow. Only varietal tomatoes are used. By the way, another plus of self-harvesting: we choose the best fruit in the garden and this is how we carry out the selection - improving the performance of the variety.Take a closer look at the tomatoes that are pouring on the lower tassels. They are considered the most suitable as a source of planting material and in general are always tastier, juicier and fleshy compared to the ovaries on the upper tiers of the bush. Moreover, the risk of cross-pollination in such tomatoes is lower.

We choose a fruit that is beautiful, large, of perfect shape, without cracks.

I advise you to mark the tomato with a contrasting ribbon or thread so that no one from your family will covet it ahead of time. Then we proceed according to the following scheme:

  • wash the vegetable well;
  • cut the fruit into two halves;
  • carefully take out the core with a spoon;
  • we put the contents in a glass container (I take a jar) for fermentation.

I want to say a few words about fermentation. In simple terms, this is fermentation.Each seed is enclosed in a shell - the placenta. If you dry the seed as it is, then it will take longer to germinate, since it will have to overcome the barrier. Seeds of past years generally may not please with good germination, therefore, it is necessary to ferment seed material:

  1. We cover the jar with cling film or a plastic bag, in which we make holes.
  2. We put the container in a warm place (the air temperature is not lower than 25 ° C, so I leave it in the yard under a canopy to protect it from sunlight).
  3. After a couple of days we rinse (the water should not be cloudy, stir the contents of the jar with a spoon, periodically changing the water).
  4. We take it out and lay it out on paper to dry (I sign each sheet so as not to lose sight of the variety).

To dry, they need a high temperature - about 30 ° C. Make sure that there are no drafts, otherwise the paper will blow away. Better to play it safe and put something heavy on the edges of the leaves.Stir the seeds periodically, but you can then work hard and separate the dried seeds. Strongly crumbly, they run the risk of being blown away by the wind. I keep my seed fund in paper envelopes, be sure to sign the year and the variety (I come up with some names myself, for identification). I hope my advice will help you grow healthy, strong and, most importantly, your own seedlings, which you will surely share with your relatives, friends and neighbors in the country.


With your own hands - How to do it yourself

Increasingly, people prefer to grow varietal tomatoes. Yes, the hybrids are more productive, but the taste of the fruits of the varieties is richer, and you can collect your own seeds. Unlike pumpkin, tomato is rarely cross-pollinated. This means that you do not have to look for the variety you like in winter and hope that there is no re-grading inside the colorful bag. However, home gardening raises many questions. We asked the agronomist I. BELKINA to answer the most popular ones.

- Can I take seeds from tomato hybrids (F1)?

- It is possible, and perhaps they will even be fully developed. But it is unlikely that it will be possible to grow a plant out of them that completely repeats the characteristics of the parent, both in the habit of the bush and in the appearance of the fruits.

Some fans, however, are engaged in unhybridization of the hybrids they like, trying to create a variety out of them. But this requires large areas (after all, you need to choose exactly the one from a variety of plants, the signs of which you want to fix) and many years of painstaking work.

- Do I need to take the fruit for seeds from the first bunch of tomatoes?

- It is not necessary. I prefer to leave 2-3 brushes of tomatoes on the seeds. They develop in more favorable conditions, and the seeds are of better quality. And the potential of the bush is easier to determine. It is also inappropriate, in my opinion, to leave tomatoes from the 4th-5th and even more from the 6th cluster on seeds: hot weather often sets in at this time, and pollination is not always successful. As a result, even a large fruit can be virtually seedless.

- Do you need to keep the seed on the bush until they start to rot?

- It is advisable to remove them when fully ripe. There are times when overripe tomatoes, especially salad varieties, begin to rot. You don't need a seed infection. There is one more reason not to wait for the fruits to soften, because the seeds can germinate right inside the tomato! Unripe tomatoes (brown), ripening in the room, will not be able to form full-fledged seeds. Their germination rate will be low.

- Do the seeds have to be fermented or can they be extracted directly from ripe tomatoes?

-I did not notice the difference in germination either with one or the other technology. Another thing is that during the fermentation process, the seeds are separated from the pulp, and it is easy to spread them out in a thin layer to dry. How to ferment tomatoes correctly? They are cut across and the pulp with seeds is squeezed into a container.

There is no need to add water. In 2-3 days at a temperature of 22-23 °, this substance will begin to ferment.

It is actively mixed and washed in a sieve under a strong stream of water. From time to time, you can check the germination of seeds: you just need to fill them with water (the mature ones will settle). Then the seeds are dried and stored in cotton bags or cardboard boxes. Tomato seeds in a dry room remain viable for 3-5 years, and sometimes even more. I once sowed a variety whose seed expired 10 years ago. So their thirst for life was so high that from 20 seeds 5 sprouted.


General tips for good seed

It is most expedient to set aside a separate plot for growing vegetable seeds. On such a site (relatively small), plant 1-3 plants, the fruits of which will go to seeds in biological ripeness. But you can simply choose from the plants growing on the corresponding bed the most typical by biological characteristics and mark them as future testes (for example, with a bow) On long-climbing crops (cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins, peas, etc.), you can select a whip with which then work separately.

To get varietal seeds, the site must be in optimal conditions:

  • in a lighted place, away from the wind rose and drafts,
  • in sufficient spatial isolation, which is especially important for cross-pollinated crops,
  • grow only 1 variety of culture, if there are several varieties of one crop, then see the previous paragraph,
  • the site must be kept absolutely clean, since weeds can drown out cultivated plants, pollinate (single-family, for example, cruciferous) and serve as a source of disease and a temporary refuge for pests,
  • testes must be absolutely healthy,
  • care and processing on the seed plot should be carried out especially carefully: timely watering, feeding, protection from pests and diseases, the timing of harvesting fruits and their further processing.


Parsing errors

Before choosing tomatoes for seeds, you should sort out common mistakes:

  • 1) Gardeners who think hybrid varieties produce the same fruit are wrong. In no case should you take seeds of such varieties, because they occur in connection with the crossing of several varieties. It is impossible to guess what the resulting harvest will be.
  • 2. Newcomers do not take into account the fact that bees also play an important role in the life of tomatoes, and take the first fruits they come across for seeds. This can lead to the emergence of hybrid plants. In order not to stumble upon such tomatoes, the fruits need to be picked only from the lower branches. At the end of spring, the bees are not so active, therefore, the blooming flowers of the lower racemes in most cases remain intact.
  • 3. Another common mistake is to take the largest fruit for seeds. It is not a fact that the same juicy tomatoes will be obtained from it.
  • 4. It is worth taking into account the characteristic shape of a particular variety. If this shape is round, then the fruit for the seeds should be exactly the same shape. It is also worth considering the size and color of the fruit, all this must correspond to this variety.
  • 5. Do not take overripe tomatoes, the seeds of such fruits germinate quickly and do not germinate.


Choice of ground tomatoes

In this problem, everything depends not only on the possibilities and the presence / absence of a greenhouse on the site, but, above all, on the region and the goals of cultivation.

The dispersion of shapes, colors, tastes, sizes and purposes of tomatoes is very high

Table 2. Recommended types of tomatoes in bondage from their purpose

Appointment Recommended species
Salads, soups Medium and large tomatoes of red and pink varieties, cherry
Snack (canned) Multi-colored tomatoes: yellow, black, blue or spotted varieties
Salting Tomatoes of all sizes and shapes. Herbal tomatoes are good in salting
Fresh consumption Sweet, pink varieties. It all depends on personal taste preferences.

Note: the main characteristics of any variety are shown on the package. Please read this information carefully before purchasing seeds.

Not all varieties of this nightshade civilization are capable of growing in the beds and at the same time producing a tasty harvest. To achieve this, choose tomatoes:

  • frost-resistant
  • early maturing
  • disease resistant
  • domestic or adapted for the climate of Russia
  • marked "For open ground".

Manufacturers often indicate on the packaging whether the seeds are suitable for growing in the beds.


Sorting tomato seeds in water

After the seeds are rinsed, wipe the bottom of the sieve with a dry cloth to remove excess liquid. If you want to immediately sort out full-weight seeds, then after washing, place them in a weak solution of table salt (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 1 glass of water). Stir and let stand.

Empty seeds will float, and full-weight seeds will sink to the bottom. Throw away the floating seeds without regret, and rinse the remaining ones in water and lay them out to dry. It is better to dry them in one layer, in natural conditions, on a material to which, when they dry, they will not stick, for example, on disposable plates. Write the names of the varieties on the plates.


My favorite varieties of tomatoes

Some varieties of tomatoes have been grown in our family for decades. The seeds of these tomatoes are no longer commercially available as they have been removed from the official list of plant varieties. This, for example, Auria, Early Beauty, Early Miracle, Golden Runet, Zomok (Hungarian variety).

Tomato Zomok is distinguished by a powerful bush, very strong oval fruits and dark blue-green leaves

Of the modern determinant varieties, I really like Rumba, Poranek, Olya Polka (a series of seeds of Polish producers "PNOS", Ozharov Mazowiecki), Promyk (Promyk), Boni-MM, Golden Autumn, Asterisk, Riddle, Gina.

But most of all I love working with indeterminate varieties: De Barao red and yellow, Golden Ozharovsky, Easter egg, Golden runet… I grow many indeterminate cherry varieties.

Easter egg - a productive, indeterminate variety with variegated oval-shaped fruits

I collect the seeds myself. This not only saves money and time in searching for the right varieties, but also allows you to save the variety, the seeds of which are no longer for sale. In addition, I am always confident in the quality of the seeds.


Collection and preparation of seeds

Method of harvesting with fermentation

So, you have chosen the most suitable tomato. Now it needs to be washed: after you separate the liquid with the seeds, what remains may well go to the salad.

Large flat-round fruits with a small seed content are more convenient to cut along the equator, small-fruited tomatoes are better along the length. With a spoon or just a finger, take out the seeds along with a clear liquid. Moreover, there should be enough of it so that the seeds are completely covered.

Flat-round fruits are more convenient to cut along the equator

We place the obtained in a container made of glass, porcelain or food grade plastic and cover it with a loose lid. We leave the seeds at room temperature for fermentation, otherwise this process is called fermentation... The required time cannot be predicted with absolute accuracy, it depends on the variety, and on the temperature, and on the humidity in the room. However, the approximate interval is 24-48 hours.

As soon as you notice the appearance of a film on the surface, the liquid itself will begin to brighten a little, and the seeds will settle to the bottom, you can consider the fermentation complete. There is no point in overexposing the seeds.

Mold may appear on the surface

Now the seeds need to be thoroughly rinsed, while trying to separate all the pulp. It is convenient to do this in a small sieve under running water. Then the seeds are dried a little.
Clean seeds should be spread out on a flat surface in one layer to dry. Disposable plastic plates are well suited for this purpose - it is then easy to collect seeds from them. Be sure to sign the variety name, especially if you are harvesting several varieties of tomato seeds at once.

Spread clean seeds on a flat surface and sign the variety name

Seeds dry in about 5-7 days. Then they need to be collected and packaged in paper envelopes or linen bags. It is best to store the seeds at a stable temperature and low humidity and, of course, do not freeze. A cool pantry works well.

Procurement method for the employed

After the seeds are dry, they are collected and stored in paper envelopes or cloth bags.

Once the seeds are dry, they are also collected and stored in paper envelopes or cloth bags.

I used both options. If the seeds are used fresh, that is, sown next year, then the difference in germination is almost imperceptible. But in the case of using old seeds, the advantage will be on the side of the fermentation process.

The germination of tomato seeds lasts 5-6 years

The fact is that tomato seeds are enclosed in a transparent shell, which is destroyed during fermentation. With simple drying, it simply dries out, tightly fitting the seed. When sprouting tomato sprouts, it is forced to break through not only the seed coat, but also an additional barrier.

Another plus of fermentation is that seeds are naturally disinfected, and mold is a natural antibiotic. And the seed looks much more attractive.

To create your own seed base, you first need to get seed from an inveterate gardener or buy varietal seeds from a reliable manufacturer. In our market you can familiarize yourself with a huge selection of tomato seeds and find something interesting for yourself.

The germination capacity of tomato seeds lasts 5-6 years. This must be borne in mind when updating your stocks. Collecting and storing seeds is a simple and accessible process for everyone.


Watch the video: Tomatoes, from store bought to garden


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