How to Save Seeds From Heirloom Tomato Plants


Heirloom tomatoes come from open-pollinated plants (as opposed to those that are self-pollinated) that were introduced more than 50 years ago and the varieties have a history of their own, according to Benjamin Watson in "Taylor's Guide to Heirloom Vegetables." Saving seeds from your favorite heirloom tomato plants is easy to do and will provide you with an exact clone of the fruit. Choose tomatoes that are ripe but not too soft, and the best quality fruit from the plant.

Step 1

Cut the heirloom tomato in half. Over a small bowl, squeeze the seeds and pulp from the tomato halves.

Step 2

Pour water over the pulp and seeds until they are covered. Allow them to soak until a white mold appears on the surface of the water.

Step 3

Skim the mold from the surface of the water and remove and discard any heirloom tomato seeds that are floating, as these are not viable.

Step 4

Pour the water and seeds into a strainer and rinse under clear water. Use your fingers to gently remove any pulp that remains clinging to the seeds.

Step 5

Place the heirloom tomato seeds on a paper plate and spread them in a single layer. Allow the seeds to completely dry. This will usually occur within three days.

Step 6

Pour the seeds into a paper or wax envelope or a glass jar and store them in a cool area.

Step 7

Pour the seeds into a paper or wax envelope or a glass jar and store them in a cool area.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Bowl
  • Strainer (fine mess)
  • Paper plate
  • Paper or wax envelope


  • "Taylor's Guide To Heirloom Vegetables"; Benjamin Watson; 1996
  • Planet Green: How To Save Tomato Seeds
Keywords: heirloom tomato seeds, save tomato seeds, harvest tomato seeds

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.