Re: [gardeners] 'maters

Margaret Lauterbach (
Thu, 01 Oct 1998 09:24:48 -0600

At 04:48 PM 9/30/98 -0400, you wrote:
>Bill Loke wrote, in part:
>>I gave some seed to Linda when we had an enjoyable visit. Seed has already
>>been saved for next year. My largest this year was just under 2 pounds.
>Yes, Bill gave me tomato seeds that make me wish it were Spring again!  He
>gave me a Hungarian paste tomato also from which I carefully took seed.  It
>was the highlight of our vacation as the fishing surely wasn't any good.
>BTW, when I take tomato seed, I scrape it into a jar of water, shake the
>he** out of it and let it set for a day or two.  Then I save / air-dry only
>the seed that sinks to the bottom.  Is this the way others save tomato
>seed?  I haven't used this method for other seed though.  Is the method
>applicable to other veggie seeds, e.g., peppers?
>Linda in NW Ohio near Toledo/Lake Erie, USDA Zone 5
I follow Suzanne Ashworth's instructions (from "Seed to Seed") and ferment
tomato seeds for 4 or 5 days, then scrape off the mold and rinse seeds in a
sieve.  Pour seeds onto a plastic or china plate and set aside to dry in
the china closet, where  critters (including humans) are unlikely to spill
them.  ID them, of course.  
Tomatoes are the only thing I know of (haven't studied the whole book) you
treat this way, and the reason is that jelly-like substance surrounding the
seeds is a germination inhibitor.  Fermentation destroys that capability.  

Peppers are quite different.  Let the pepper get completely ripe (turning
red, orange, brown, etc.), then cut into it, removing seeds by hand.  If
it's a hot pepper, you should wear rubber gloves.  Dry seeds somewhere
where they won't get spilled.  If your hands are sufficiently supple to try
bending a single seed, do it.  If the seed snaps in two, they're dry enough
to store in the freezer.  If it bends, dry longer and/or store in refrig.    

I strongly recommend her book, although I've been told by one seed company
owner that they don't like her recommendation of putting eggplant through a
blender to extract seeds.  Margaret