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Saving Tomato Seeds

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Select a Good Tomato
polish linguisa tomato saving seeds

A perfectly ripe 'Polish Linguisa' tomato.

Colleen Vanderlinden
Selecting a good tomato to save seeds from is the most important step in the process. There's no point in saving tomato seeds if you're not saving them from high quality fruits; the resulting plants (and their fruits) will be of inferior quality.

Here's what you're looking for.

  • Save seeds from an open-pollinated, rather than hybrid, tomato. Seeds saved from hybrid tomatoes won't come true, and there's no way to tell what you'll end up with. This may take a little research. If you're unsure whether the tomato you're growing is an heirloom or a hybrid, a quick internet search or a glance through a few seed catalogs will tell you what you need to know.
  • Save seeds from tomatoes that are fully ripe, but not over-ripe. Seeds from over-ripe fruits could already be on their way to germinating or flat-out rotting.
  • Save seeds from the best-looking, best-tasting fruits on the plant. When you save from the very best, the resulting plants will be predisposed to having those same desirable qualities.
  • It's fine to save seed from plants that have suffered from blight or one of the many wilts that affect tomato plants.
Related Video
Grow a Tomato Plant
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