How to Save Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Seeds

Seed Saving Guide #2738
Family: Solanaceae
Binomial name: Solanum lycopersicum

Flower Type Perfect, self-fertile
Pollination Self-pollinated and insect pollinated
Isolation Distance 10m
Other Isolation Methods Cover flowers with paper bags.
Population Required for Viable Seeds 1
Population Required to Maintain Variety 5-10
When to Harvest When fruit is completely ripe.
How to Harvest

Cut individual fruit from the plant. Cut fruit in half and squeeze out the seeds and pulp.

How to Clean

Place seeds in a container and cover with water. Ferment for 1-3 days to remove the gelatinous coating from around the seeds. Add more water, stir the mixture, then decant the floating pulp leaving the viable seeds which have settled to the bottom. Repeat until all pulp is removed. Place seeds in a seive and rinse thoroughly. Spread clean seeds out on a plate to dry.

Image of Seeds Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)

What is Seed Saving?

Seed saving is the practice of collecting and storing mature seeds from open-pollinated plants. By allowing plants to reach full maturity and harvesting the seeds, they can be cleaned, dried, and stored for future use. 

  • To learn the techniques and methods needed to save seeds in your garden, we recommend reading our seed saving series.
  • To view a combined table of all our seed saving guides view our Seed Saving Chart.
  • To browse our seed saving guides individually click here.