Tucked into the corner of the small greenhouse, I spied a perfectly formed, beautifully red, medium sized tomato. Not too big and blemish free it was the ideal candidate for seed saving. There is a very small chance that cross pollination may have occurred but the location of this particular fruit and the self-pollinating nature of tomatoes, has, in my opinion, minimised the risk and so I have decided to save the seeds from this perfect fruit. I will also save the seeds from one of the outside fruits too but this tomato really was too good to eat …. well the seeds were (the flesh was quickly devoured by the Mudlets).
So here is my chosen tomato. Isn’t it beautiful?
Seriously though, I think that if you are planning to try and cultivate your own seed, then it really is pointless trying to use a specimen of whatever you are trying to harvest seed from, that is less than as near perfect as you can get.
Mud commented that he thought this ideology was just the same as the approach to fresh produce that the Supermarkets follow which earned him a black look from me, as I explained it was nothing like their ‘everything has to look the same or we will reject it‘ policy. I will happily pick and eat/serve mis-shapened fruit and vegetables because, for the most part, the oddness of shape has no impact at all on the taste. However, for the purposes of seed saving, it stands to reason that the healthiest, most blemish free specimen and one that is as close to ‘type’ as you can find, is likely to be the best in terms of quality of seed saved, in my opinion at least. Not that there are any guarantees of course but surely I’d be silly not to give myself a fighting chance.
Anyway, back to my beautiful tomato (I think I maybe starting to sound a little obsessive here), I sliced it in half and using a clean teaspoon, carefully scooped all the seeds, along with the surrounding soft, squidgy stuff (my use of technical terms astounds me sometimes) into a clean jar. A small amount of cold water (approximately two tablespoons worth) was then added to the jar and then it was covered with a piece of cling film (plastic food wrap) and I used the point of a very sharp knife to make a tiny hole in the film to allow for ventilation. The jar has now been placed on a windowsill where it will remain, hopefully fermenting away, for the next three days, although I will need to stir the mixture each night. From everything I’ve read, this fermentation of the seeds helps to improve the quality of the seed and also kills many of the diseases which may be present.
So that’s it for now, until it’s time to carry out the next step which I shall document in due course.