Due to the dense pulp, obtaining tomato seeds at home is somewhat difficult. But for a real gardener, nothing is impossible, especially if you like to experiment and are not afraid of difficulties.
To get tomato seeds of the highest quality possible, choose only pure fruits.
And one more important condition: before planting tomato seeds on seedlings, be sure to process them.
How to Collect Tomato Seeds at Home
Tomato is a self-pollinating crop, so in the conditions of a personal plot, you can get high-grade seeds. Before obtaining tomato seeds, fruits are picked from the most ripening, productive and perfectly healthy plants, best from the second brush, when varietal characters are most fully expressed. Correct selection should be carried out in advance when the fruits are still in brown ripeness. They are marked with a bright cloth so that they are not accidentally subsequently removed for food purposes.
Collect tomatoes for seeds as soon as they reach full ripeness. The fruits are cut across (in diameter) and squeezed or spooned out the contents of the seed chambers in a glass or enameled dish. Water should not be added to the released seeds since in this case their germination can be observed. Seeds extracted from fruits, together with juice, are kept for 4 days at room temperature.
In this case, lactic acid fermentation occurs, as a result of which the mucous membrane around the seeds is destroyed, and the resulting lactic acid to some extent disinfects the seeds. After fermentation, the seeds are washed in clean water and dried on paper. When drying, they should be rotated so that they do not stick together into lumps.
If the weather is cloudy and cool, because of which there is no ripe fruit in the open field, then you can use brown and even large green fruits to obtain seeds. Seeds from such fruits are released after ripening. You can not keep the fruits until they are completely softened or deoxidized, since the germination of seeds is reduced, and germination of some seeds can also be observed.
How to Get Your Seeds from a Tomato Fruit
The seed yield of a tomato depends on the intimacy of the fruit. In small-fruited small-chamber varieties of 1 kg of fruits, up to 5 g of seeds can be obtained.
In large-fruited varieties, the fruits are multi-chamber with a small number of seeds in them, so only 2 g of seeds are obtained from one kilogram of fruits. 1 g of seeds contain an average of 300 pieces.
Tomato seeds are usually stored much longer than most seeds of other vegetables. With proper storage, compliance with all lighting standards, temperature, and humidity, tomato seeds can be stored for up to five years. For comparison, pepper seeds have a shelf life of 2-3 years.
Humidity is one of the most important factors that affect the shelf life of seeds. You need to make sure that they are stored in a cool and dry place, it is best to store tomato seeds in the refrigerator in a tightly closed jar. Dry storage at less than 18 ° C will give good germination results.
Now you have an idea of how to collect tomato seeds at home, which means it’s time to learn how to properly prepare them for sowing.
How to Properly Prepare Tomato Seeds: Treatment Before Planting
Before processing tomato seeds before planting, you need to sort the good from the weak and empty.
The easiest way to select good seeds is to prepare a solution of table salt (1 tablespoon of salt in a glass of water), pour the seeds into it and mix, then let stand for a while. Good tomato seeds will settle to the bottom, and empty seeds will float on top.
The settled seeds are washed and dried, and the small and empty ones that remained to float on the surface are discarded. But you need to be careful, sometimes there are situations when the seeds are very dry, in which case even very high-quality and large ones will still remain on top. Therefore, before throwing away, visually make sure that they are really bad.
If planting material was stored in a refrigerator or other cool place, then when processing tomato seeds a month before planting for seedlings, they must be warmed up. The temperature must be gradually increased from 18 to 80 ° C. At home, it is convenient to warm the seeds on the battery for several days.
It is very important to disinfect the seeds since most tomato diseases live on their surface. Therefore, in order to avoid further infection of seedlings, it is necessary to disinfect the seeds
Methods for Processing Tomato Seeds Before Sowing
There are two ways to treat tomato seeds before sowing. The first is to place planting material for 20 minutes in a 1% solution of potassium permanganate or in a 2-3% solution of hydrogen peroxide heated to 40 ° C for 8 minutes. After the disinfection procedure, it is necessary to treat the seeds with nutrients, this will increase the yield of tomatoes. For this, the seeds are soaked for one day in one of the nutrient solutions. On sale you can find such industrial preparations as Epin, Immunocytophyt, Virtanen-Micro, you can also use humates of sodium or potassium, and for lovers of folk remedies, potato juice or aloe vera juice are suitable.
To soak in the preparation of tomato seeds for sowing seedlings, it is necessary to place the planting material in a small gauze bag and lower them in warm water (20-25 ° C). This procedure should last no more than 12 hours, and every 4 hours it is necessary to change the water.
Proper Preparation of Tomato Seeds for Planting on Seedlings
For quick germination and for an earlier harvest, it is advisable to germinate the seed. With proper preparation of tomato seeds for planting on seedlings, you need to take a plate or saucer, put moistened gauze or a rag on it and put it in a room where the temperature is not lower than 20 ° C. It is necessary to constantly monitor the humidity of the gauze so that it does not dry out or, conversely, is not too wet.
Since tomatoes are thermophilic, it is necessary to harden the tomatoes to make the plant resistant to adverse environmental conditions. This should be done at the very early stage, as soon as the seeds began to germinate. Hardening is carried out by sudden changes in temperature, as soon as the seeds begin to peck, we put them in the refrigerator at night, where the temperature is +2 ° С, and in the afternoon we put them in a place where from about 15 to 20 ° С, this procedure must be repeated at least three times in a row. It is proved that tomatoes grown from hardened seeds are more resistant to temperature extremes, fruits are tied faster and yield 30% more than non-hardened ones.
Knowing how to properly prepare tomato seeds for planting, be sure to subject the seed to such treatment.
How to Plant Tomato Seeds on Seedlings in the Middle Lane
In the middle lane, tomatoes do not have time to grow from seeds in a short summer, so everyone grows seedlings first, and in early June it is transplanted into the ground.
Planting tomatoes for seedlings can be carried out both in the ground and in various mixtures for growing plants. Before properly planting tomato seeds for seedlings, prepare a soil mixture of sod and humus, taken in equal proportions.
Well established as a soil coconut substrate. Seedlings grown on coconut have a strong and healthy root system, characterized by rapid growth and high quality.
Peat tablets can also be used to grow tomato seedlings.
Before sowing tomato seeds for seedlings, prepare crates with a height of at least 10 cm. Planting is usually done to a depth of 0.5-1 cm and covered with a film, glass or a transparent cap-cap. Germination time depends on air temperature and seed quality. At a temperature of +25 ° C, optimal for seed germination, seedlings appear within a week. Therefore, before seed germination, you need to put the container in a warm place.