Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Tomato Seed Saving

One of the activities from the moon chart for this week included:
Check fermenting seeds, dry out if ready. For Tuesday 20th

This year my favourite Tomatoes have been the Black Cherry and a Dwarf Cherry Ida Gold that I acquired through Seeds Savers Network from a seed saver in the Adelaide Hills SA.
So the best of these were chosen for seed saving.
As these were grown in areas away from other tomatoes they should be true to type.

I chose the plants which grew well and showed good pest resistance and produced fruit that had the best flavour, colour, size and keeping qualities.

I then chose the biggest fruit from these plant and let them to over-ripen.


I cut the fruit in half around the middle.

Then I very carefully squeezed the seeds into a clean jar.

I covered these with clean water. I used rainwater as our tap water has too many chemicals added and these would have interfered with the beneficial mould/fungal growth.
The jar was loosely
covered with a small tea towel to still allow air in.

These were left at room temperature (low 20Cs, cool spot inside) for five to seven days and stirred daily until a mould/fungus grew on top.

This is good as it is this mould/fungus that breaks down the coating that covers the seed and stops them germinating. This mould/fungus also acts as an antibiotic which controls seed borne diseases.


After a week I added warm water to the jar and gently poured off the mould/fungus and any small seeds on top of the water. The good seed will sink to the bottom of the jar.

I continued to rinse with warm water until the seeds were clean.

These were poured through an old tea strainer and drained.

I then tipped them onto a piece of paper and left them to dry.
When they are thoroughly dry carefully fold the paper and place in a well labelled envelope and store in a vermin proof container in an area away from temperature extremes.


A more detailed explanation for saving seeds of many kinds can be found
at this link to the International Seed Saving Institute:

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