Collecting Seeds | Vegetables

How to Save Tomato Seeds | 6 Simple Steps

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Learn how to save tomato seeds so you can get seeds for next season’s crop for free. Saving tomato seeds is quick, easy, and just a little messy, but totally worth it!

Whether you save tomato seeds from your own garden or your favorite local tomatoes, you can successfully save the seeds with my super simple tips.

So, bring home some seeds from those Jersey tomatoes! Or your farm stand or farmer’s market finds – the possibilities are endless.

Try my easy method of how to save tomato seeds from your own garden or ANY tomato at home.

How to Save Tomato Seeds - Paper Towels with Seeds and Labels

What do tomato seeds look like?

Tomato seeds are small, circular, flat seeds that are generally tan in color. These seeds often appear yellow inside a ripe tomato, and they may even range to cream in color. Purchased tomato seeds may sometimes have a very slight downy fuzz while those you save may not unless you clean them meticulously.

How do you save tomato seeds for next year?

Saving tomato seeds is easy! Simply cut open your tomato, scoop out the seeds, and pull them from the gel inside the tomato. Spread the seeds onto a folded paper towel and allow them to air dry naturally. Don’t forget to write the date and type of tomato on the paper towel!

Wet, freshly harvested Roma tomato seeds
Wet, freshly harvested Roma tomato seeds

Benefits of Saving Tomato Seeds

We already know about so many benefits of gardening, but seed saving is amazing as well. Consider all these great benefits of saving tomato seeds:

  • Free Seeds – Starting with the most obvious benefit, saving tomato seeds leaves you with lots of free seeds for your own use or for sharing.
  • Tons of Plants from One Tomato – One amazing tomato gives you more seeds than you probably need for your own garden use. (Let’s be honest – If you have room to plant all those babies, you have room for me and the girls to move in and come garden with you, too, right?!)
  • Therapeutic – There’s just something so relaxing about saving seeds. The process is rhythmic and monotonous in a peaceful and serene sort of way.
  • Sense of Pride / Rewarding – Saving tomato seeds from your own garden is a true testament to the success of your garden. If you loved the tomatoes that you grew enough to grow them again, you are winning!
  • Selective Breeding – By saving tomato seeds, you gain more control over what you grow in your garden. Choose the biggest, tastiest, prettiest, and best tomatoes from which to save your seeds. Saving seeds from the best tomatoes strengthens the gene stock of your seeds as they become your own heirloom plants that you can pass down for generations.
  • Super Easy – Learning how to save tomato seeds is quick and easy! I highly recommend giving it a try so you can have an endless supply of tomatoes for many years to come.

Saving tomato seeds gives you all of these benefits and more. It’s too easy not to try it at least once!

So, let’s keep going!

How to Harvest Tomato Seeds

Harvesting tomato seeds is an easy activity that doesn’t take much time. Even the kids can help!

Discover my quick and easy way for how to harvest tomato seeds for your garden.

  1. Choose the tastiest, biggest, prettiest, or otherwise best tomatoes from which to save seeds.
  2. Cut the tomato open and scoop out the seeds onto a cutting board.
  3. Fold a paper towel into quarters and write the name of the tomato variety as well as the date.
    Roma written on white paper towel for saving tomato seeds
  4. Use a knife to pull tomato seeds off the cutting board and spread them onto the paper towel. Continue doing this until you’ve saved as many seeds as you want.
    Sharp Knife with Tomato Seeds on White Paper Towel near Cutting Board
  5. The paper towel will be wet from the inside of the tomato and its juices. Set it somewhere warm and dry to allow the paper towel to fully dry.
  6. Once the tomato seeds and the paper towel are fully dry, store them in a paper bag or seed storage container. You may also be able to use a plastic zip-top bag once you know the seeds are 100% dry.

When it comes time to use the saved tomato seeds, simply peel them off of the paper towel one at a time and plant them!

It doesn’t get any easier than this, folks!

FYI – How to Save Tomato Seeds the Easy Way

Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s hard to save tomato seeds. It’s not!

I’ve seen posts advising people to use a blender or food processor to somehow clean the seeds and separate them from the goop. I’ve also seen people recommending soaking for a few days, which scares me that the seeds might pre germinate.

If you use my method on how to save tomato seeds exactly as described, you don’t have to fuss with ANY of that.

Drying Tomato Seeds for Storage
Drying Tomato Seeds for Storage

Saving seeds from tomatoes is fun!

When it comes to expanding your harvest and growing the best plants, saving seeds from tomatoes is a smart start.

It’s quick and easy to harvest tomato seeds from a ripe tomato. After you remove the seeds, you simply cook or eat the tomato however you like!

This is almost a zero-waste project!

Saving Homegrown Tomato Seeds on Paper Towel - Roma
Saving Homegrown Tomato Seeds on a Paper Towel – Roma Tomatoes

It can be a lot of fun growing your own tomatoes from seeds you saved.

Do you have any helpful tips of your own on how to save seeds from tomatoes? If so, please share them in the comments below!

I’m hopeful that my detailed post helps to explain the easiest way to save tomato seeds. If you still have questions on how to harvest seeds from tomatoes, especially if it’s your first time trying it, definitely post a comment and we’ll do our best to help!

Happy Gardening!

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