How to Prepare Tomato Seeds for Replanting

You can save money by saving tomato seeds for your next crop. image by bucklava/Flickr.com

Overview

Tomato plants are high yielding enough that anyone can get a lot out of growing them in even the smallest of spaces. There are a diverse amount of ways to cook with tomatoes, as well. Gardeners each year experiment with chutneys, homemade pasta sauce or salsas. Fresh tomatoes taste delicious on salads or sandwiches. You can prepare early for next year's crop of tomatoes by saving your seeds. It's easy to save tomato seeds, and by removing the seeds from just a few of the tomatoes in your crop this year, you can grow a whole crop next year without spending the extra cash.

Step 1

Remove the seeds from your garden tomatoes by slicing each tomato in half and spooning out the seeds into a tea ball.

Step 2

Clean the seeds under running water using the tea ball to sift away any vegetable matter still on your seeds.

Step 3

Spread the seeds completely flat on a plate. Put the plate in a sunny location to dry for a week.

Step 4

Store your dried tomato seeds in an envelope and seal it until you are ready to use them.

Step 5

Sow each seed into a separate starter pot indoors six weeks before the last frost in the spring.

Step 6

Put grow lights on your starter pots for 14 hours each day. Tomatoes need plenty of light to grow and produce fruit.

Step 7

Water the tomato plants daily to keep the soil moist during germination. When your tomato plants appear, water them at the base to avoid wetting the leaves. Watering the leaves can cause them to wilt.

Step 8

Transplant the tomatoes 6 to 8 weeks after you've started them indoors in a sunny location in your garden outside. Dig holes about 1/2-foot deep and 5 feet apart for each tomato plant. Put each root ball in a separate hole, and cover the roots with a mound of dirt.

Step 9

Add a general purpose fertilizer around the tomato plants.

Step 10

Water your plants immediately. Continue to water your tomato plants twice a week.

Step 11

Care for your tomato plants by weeding them regularly. Remove yellow and dead foliage each week, and stake each plant once they reach a foot in height to prevent them from touching the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Tomatoes
  • Tea ball
  • Plate
  • Envelope
  • Starter pots
  • Grow light
  • General purpose fertilizer
  • Stakes

References

  • Starting Tomatoes
  • Advanced Home Gardening: Cutting-Edge Growing Techniques for Gardeners; Miranda Smith; 2001.
Keywords: tomato, replant, seeds

About this Author

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for more than 15 years. Coe has worked on environmental health and safety issues in communities across Ohio and Michigan. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University. She has also received training and experience as a nurse aide.

Photo by: bucklava/Flickr.com