This year I grew some Sweetpea Currant Tomatoes, a not-so-little bush variety that produces Tomatoes no bigger than a pea. They were beautiful. Not only did they taste very, very sweet but their tiny jewel-like fruits looked amazing on the plants and produced bucket-loads of Tomatoes. They were a real hit. The only problem is that the seed is quite expensive. If my memory serves me well they were £2.45 for ooh… about 15 seeds. In seed terms that’s quite a bit. So I have determined to save my own seed, since I have so many Tomatoes I might as well!
The first thing to do is to pick some nice, ripe Tomatoes (check). Cut them in half and scoop out the seeds. Put these into a jar and place in a warm cupboard to ferment – or get mouldy in plain terms. After about a week the jelly-like substance will have err.. rotted off. Nice huh?
Next fill the jar with water and skim off any bad seeds that float to the top. Wash the remaining seeds with fresh water.
Finally, turn them out onto a towel to dry thoroughly and store in a dry, frost free place until next year.
As I understand it you can save seed from any Tomato in this way. But, you have to be careful which Tomatoes you save seed from as some will cross pollinate in certain situations.
Tomatoes are self-fertile which means they don’t need insects or wind to pollinate them. But… some are pollinated by insects if the anthers on their flowers open up and allow insects inside. Or if the stigma sticks out beyond the anthers and insects can get to it. This can happen on the first flowers that beefsteak Tomatoes produce and currant varieties.
Aha, you say, but you have just saved the seed from a currant variety. Yes, you can do that if you are only growing one currant variety. Also if you discard any plants that do not produce Tomatoes that are true to type in the future.
So, if you have a bunch of ripe Tomatoes still hanging on for dear life, don’t bin them. Save yourself some money by saving the seed.