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How to Save Heirloom Tomato Seeds

By Alicia Bodine ; Updated September 21, 2017
You can save the seeds from any heirloom tomato.

Heirloom tomatoes are simply open-pollinated tomatoes that have the ability to be grown from seeds. If you have a passion for gardening or growing your own food, you can harvest the seeds from an heirloom tomato. Those seeds must then be prepared in order to save them until the following spring when it is time to get your garden ready for planting.

Rinse off several ripe heirloom tomatoes and slice them in half with a sharp kitchen knife. Dull knives won't cut through the tomato skin.

Squeeze the seeds from the tomato out into a glass jar. Pour water into the jar until it reaches at least 2 inches above the seeds.

Wait three to four days for white mold to begin growing on your seeds. When this happens, remove the mold, water and any seeds that were floating in the glass jar. You want to save the seeds that are still sitting at the bottom of the jar.

Place the remaining heirloom tomato seeds in a fine mesh strainer. Rinse them under cold, running water.

Set the rinsed seeds on a paper plate so that they are in a single layer. Wait three to four days for the seeds to completely dry.

Transfer your heirloom tomato seeds to an envelope. Label the envelope so that you know what type of seeds are inside. Store in a cool, dry place.


Things You Will Need

  • Knife
  • Glass jar
  • Water
  • Strainer
  • Paper plate
  • Envelope


  • Choose only the best, ripe heirloom tomatoes to save seeds from in order to produce the highest quality crop possible the following year.
  • The saved tomato seeds will last up to 10 years.

About the Author


Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.