Collecting seed from your favourite varieties of tomato has never been easier due to its all year round availability from supermarkets and greengrocers. You don't even need to know their cultivar names, just save the seed from the ones that - in your opinion - taste the best.

.When collecting seeds from tomatoes straight off the vine, allow them to fully ripen first to achieve for best seed viability . Always choose the best fruits from disease free plants otherwise any weakness to disease that the parents plants have can be passed on to its seedlings. Slice the fruit in half and then either squeeze the seeds and juice into a sieve for washing under a tap or ferment the mixture for a few days in a jar. This not only removes the jelly-like coating which inhibits seed germination, but it also helps to kills off many of the diseases that can be carried on the seeds. To do this, put the jar of seeds and juice in a reasonably warm place for 3 days, stirring the mixture twice a day. The mixture should develop a coating of mould, and rather unfortunately - start to smell!

After 3 days add plenty of water to the jar, and stir well. The healthy, viable seeds should sink to the bottom of the jar. Gently pour off the top layer of mould and any seeds that are floating amongst it. Empty the good seeds into a sieve and wash them thoroughly under running water. Shake off as much water as possible, then tip them out onto a china or glass plate. Allow them to dry somewhere warm but out of direct sunlight. Once they are completely dry, rub them off the plate and place into a paper envelope. Date them and write a brief description of the contents and then store in a cool, dry place where they should remain viable for at least 3-4 years.

They are now ready to be sown when you are.

For related articles click onto the following links:
Gardeners World - Tomato Seeds
How to Grow Giant Tomatoes

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