How to Save Heirloom Tomato Seeds


Saving seeds from heirloom tomatoes is an excellent way to grow the same variety of fruit year after year. Heirloom tomatoes are not a hybrid and each year the seeds will produce exactly the same type of tomato. Saving seeds is not hard and can be done quickly and easily with items already in your kitchen.

Step 1

Slice the ripe tomatoes in half around the middle and squeeze the insides of the tomato halves into a small bowl.

Step 2

Fill the bowl half full of cold water.

Step 3

Allow the seeds, pulp and other tomato bits to sit in the juice water mixture for three days. The seeds will sink to the bottom and the pulp and other bits will float to the top.

Step 4

Carefully strain off the water and pulp bits from the seeds by tipping the jar or bowl and allowing the liquid to pour off.

Step 5

Fill the bowl with water a second time and swirl the seeds in the water to loosen any remaining tomato bits.

Step 6

Strain the seeds in a fine, wire mesh strainer or sieve.

Step 7

Place the seeds on a paper plate or paper towels and spread them out evenly.

Step 8

Allow the seeds to dry in a warm area for several days until fully dry.

Step 9

Place the dried seeds into sealable envelops and label the envelope with the date and tomato variety.

Things You'll Need

  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Sharp knife
  • Small bowl or jar
  • Fine mesh strainer or sieve
  • Paper plate or towels
  • Permanent marker or pen


  • Oregon State University: Save Your Favorite Non-hybrid Tomato Seeds for Next Year
  • International Seed Saving Institute: Beginner
Keywords: save heirloom tomato seed, saving tomato seeds, heirloom tomato seed

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.