When introduced in 1934, the Rutgers tomato quickly became a favorite among home gardeners. The variety is a favorite for canning and making tomato-based sauces and ketchups. While no longer used commercially, the Rutgers tomato is still in demand and many gardeners save seed from year to year. The Rutgers tomato is an heirloom variety of seed and produces the same type of tomato each time it is planted.
Pick fully ripe Rutgers tomatoes for seed saving. Choose fruit that is unblemished from plants free of disease.
Cut the tomato in half using a sharp knife.
Squeeze the seeds out of the Rutgers tomatoes into a glass jar or bowl. Allow the seeds to sit, in their own juices, for 2 to 3 days to slightly ferment.
Fill the jar or bowl half-full of water. The pulp juices will rise to the top and the Rutgers tomato seeds will float to the bottom.
Pour off as much juice as possible from the seeds. If desired, pour the juice and seeds into a wire strainer to ensure you have removed the pulp from the seeds.
Spread the seeds on clean paper towels to dry. This will take 1 to 2 days.
Place the Rutgers seed in an envelope, or jar, seal, label and store in a cool, dry place until ready to plant.