How to Dry Tomato Seeds

How to Dry Tomato Seeds image by Glutnix:


There is a long tradition of passing down heirloom tomato seeds from generation to generation, Whether you want to continue a family line of tomatoes, or start your own, the first step is to save the seeds from one year's crop to grow the following year. With most plants, this is a simple drying process and can even take place while the plant is still on the vine. However, with tomatoes, the system is a little bit more complicated.

Step 1

Allow tomatoes to ripen fully and then harvest your best specimens.

Step 2

Slice open the tomatoes and remove the pulp. The seeds will be firmly embedded in this goo which is why the process is more complex with tomatoes.

Step 3

Put the tomato pulp in a jar and fill it three quarters full with water. Stir the mix, cover the jar and set it aside for several days.

Step 4

Remove any seeds along with the remnants of the pulp which float to the top . It is normal for this part of the process to be fairly smelly. Set the jar aside for a few more days until new pulp no longer rises to the top.

Step 5

Pour out the remaining liquid, but save the seeds that have sunk to the bottom. These are your good seeds and they should be free of all of their sticky pulp. If there is any pulp remaining, try to gently wipe it off or wait a few more days for the seeds to separate out.

Step 6

Lay your seeds out on paper towels or newspaper for the final drying phase. Once the seeds are completely dry, place them in a glass jar or envelope and store them in a cool dry place. Remember to label the jar or the envelope.

Tips and Warnings

  • Hybrid seeds will not reproduce in a predictable fashion. Some examples of famous tomato hybrids are Big Boy, Early Girl and Sun Gold.

Things You'll Need

  • Tomatoes
  • Glass jar with lid


  • U of Illinois: Saving Seed from the Garden
  • Primal Seeds: seedsaving
  • Virtual Seeds
Keywords: heirloom tomatoes, heritage tomatoes, saving seeds

About this Author

Jenn Mercer is a Writer, Poet, and Translator (French > English) living in Raleigh, NC. She has Bachelors degrees in both English (Creative Writing) and French from NC State University. Mercer has been published in the Grapevine, Astropoetica, Talkin Blues, Nth Degree, the CATI Quarterly, The Fix, and Uncle John's Bathroom Reader for Kids.

Photo by: Glutnix: