How to save tomato seed

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do not To do in March

Do not To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do To do in August

Do To do in September

Do To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

Saving seed from your favourite tomatoes is a simple process and could save you money on buying seeds next year. If you grow more than one variety it’s likely bees will have cross-pollinated them, so you could be growing your own brand new variety of tomato.

Choose open-pollinated tomato varieties (not F1 varieties as they may not come ‘true’). It’s also a good idea to save heritage, or rare varieties of tomato in this way, to preserve the seed for future generations.

You will need

  • Tomatoes
  • Knife
  • Glass jar
  • Sieve
  • Paper envelope

Total time:

Step 1

Choose a couple of healthy tomatoes and mark them with a tag, so you don’t pick and eat them by accident.


Step 2

When the tomatoes are very ripe, pick them off the plant and cut into them over a plate.


Step 3

Scrape the tomato seeds out into a glass jar and discard the flesh. Cover the seeds with water.


Step 4

A mould will develop after about four of five days. This helps to remove the gelatinous coating on the tomato seed, which can prevent germination.


Step 5

Pour the seeds into a sieve and wash thoroughly with water to remove the mould. Arrange them on a plate or piece of kitchen roll to dry.


Step 6

Once the seeds have dried out, store them in a paper envelope in a dark, cool place until spring. Make sure they are clearly labelled.