Ask a Question forum: No visible fermentation???

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Name: BetNC
Hendersonville, NC (Zone 7a)
Annuals Seed Starter Tomato Heads Hellebores Gardens in Buckets Plant and/or Seed Trader
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BetNC
Aug 8, 2017 7:15 PM CST
Am I doing something wrong?? Are these tomato seeds good. despite no visible sign of fermentation (no scum on top)? This is my first year trying to save seeds. . . . Should I add some tomato flesh at the beginning???

My procedure for collecting / processing tomato seed:

slice a ripe tomato in half at the widest part
cut a slice (from the cut end) from each half
for these two slices from the middle of the chosen tomato, use the tip of a blunt paring kn ife, to cut out / scrape the "jelly" + seeds into a cup
add an equal amount of cool tap water
cover the cup with Saran Wrap and poke a few holes in the wrap
set cup outside in the shade
leave alone, overnight
the next day, remove the Saran Wrap, stir and replace the Saran Wrap
leave alone overnight (this is when I'm supposed to see the "scum")
the next day, bring cup into the house: add more cool tap water, decant, repeat
pour seeds with remaining "jelly" into fine strainer and gently run cool tap water over seeds until there's no "jelly" to be seen
sharply rap strainer (with cleaned seeds) onto a paper plate, spreading seeds out, into one layer
set paper plate on top of refrigerator (cool, shady, out-of-the-way) for drying
the next day, use the back end of the blunt paring kn ife to un-stick seeds from paper plate
return plate to top of refrigerator for several days to completely dry
store seeds in envelope, in cool, dry hope chest (constant low humidity maintained with a dehumidifier and verified with humidity strips)
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Dreams don't work unless you do.
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greene
Aug 8, 2017 7:23 PM CST
http://howtosaveseeds.com/seed...
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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Weedwhacker
Aug 8, 2017 7:31 PM CST
Hi Bet,

I think the main reason you aren't seeing the "fermentation" is the stirring. Also, it really isn't necessary to add the tap water, although I usually do so myself; however, if your water is chlorinated that could be preventing fermentation from taking place.

Here's a link to some instructions from Seed Savers Exchange, which is pretty much what I go by: http://blog.seedsavers.org/blo...

Here's what I actually do:
Cut open a tomato and scoop the seeds out (using my fingers) into a clean margarine tub. Add a little water (our tap water is untreated). Set the margarine tub top loosely on the tub and leave it on my kitchen counter for a few days -- no stirring. After a few days there's most likely a pretty good layer of scum -- add more water, stir it up, and pour off most of the liquid; add more water, stir, pour off ... repeat that step several times, until everything looks pretty clean. Dump the cleaned seeds into a fine-mesh strainer, then dump them out onto a coffee filter on top of a paper towel on top of a paper plate. Write the name of the variety on the edge of the paper plate. Set aside somewhere where my cats won't decide to play with it. Smiling

The fermentation step isn't really mandatory... I saved seeds for years before I learned I was supposed to be doing that... but it can help kill off any potential seed-borne diseases as well as removing the natural germination inhibitors from the seeds.

Hope that helps!
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Aug 8, 2017 7:32 PM CST
okay... What? Confused

Are you trying to save seeds to plant next spring? That seems like the hard way to do it. I don't understand the fermenting thing - sounds like tomato seed vinegar. Smiling

Find a really ripe (rotting) tomato, stick it on a pot of soil and put it someplace outside in the weather. The seeds will germinate next spring when they are ready.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: BetNC
Hendersonville, NC (Zone 7a)
Annuals Seed Starter Tomato Heads Hellebores Gardens in Buckets Plant and/or Seed Trader
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BetNC
Aug 8, 2017 8:18 PM CST
Thank y'all for your prompt, helpful advice. Especially that link: I'm bookmarking it, to re-re-read again and again!!

So...should I start over?? I've only done ONE tomato, from one of my varieties. All my varieties are still producing, so I can do this right!

Why am I doing this?? I trade tomato seed, plus (when I was first starting out growing tomatoes) some very kind folks sent me free trial packets of seeds and I want to pass the kindness on. Sounds kinda hokey, huh? Well, bottom line: it's a nice thing that I can do!!
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
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Weedwhacker
Aug 8, 2017 9:01 PM CST
I personally think that the seeds you've already done will be fine... but if you have more tomatoes of the same variety, and if it makes you feel better, then sure, go ahead and re-do them. Smiling
โ€œThink occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Aug 9, 2017 7:56 AM CST
Wally-Wow !๐Ÿ˜ƒ! Bet, its not rocket science. Hears a e-z way.
Cut full ripe tomato in half.
Squeeze all juice out.
Into jar and close with plastic wrap, no holes.
Leave sit.
OR ! Do as @Daisyl said.
๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
[Last edited by Philipwonel - Aug 9, 2017 7:58 AM (+)]
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
Image
Weedwhacker
Aug 9, 2017 8:24 AM CST
DaisyI said:
Find a really ripe (rotting) tomato, stick it on a pot of soil and put it someplace outside in the weather. The seeds will germinate next spring when they are ready.



Wouldn't they be likely to germinate sooner than that? (like, now?) Or would the natural germination inhibitors force them to wait long enough to go through the winter and sprout in the spring? That would certainly be an easy way to grow tomatoes!
โ€œThink occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities[/I] / Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Dreams don't work unless you do.
Deer Bookworm Keeper of Poultry Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia
Plant Identifier Rabbit Keeper Composter Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
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greene
Aug 9, 2017 12:03 PM CST
Many years ago I learned how to ferment the tomato seeds. A woman from Italy taught me. She didn't speak a word of English but she knew her stuff, that's for sure. Scoop out the seeds and what I call the 'yucky stuff' from the tomato. Put it into a clean (sterile if possible) glass jar. Do not add water. Should I repeat that...do not add water. Just leave it somewhere warm and it will ferment. After several days, rinse and clean the seeds. Dry the seeds. The seeds will be ready to share, trade, sell and will be ready to grow for next season.

DaisyI's suggestion will only work if the seeds are to be grown on the same property and will not be packaged/traded/mailed/sold, etc.

I get lots of new and interesting tomatoes that grow by themselves in the compost bin when the weather warms in the spring, but that is a crap shoot as I never know what kind of tomatoes they are.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Aug 9, 2017 5:17 PM CST
In my 40 or so years of gardening.

I discovered, years ago, that volunteer tomatoes are the best. Thumbs up

๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
Image
Weedwhacker
Aug 9, 2017 8:30 PM CST
greene said:

Daisy's suggestion will only work if the seeds are to be grown on the same property and will not be packaged/traded/mailed/sold, etc.


Good point -- rather difficult to swap for a rotten tomato on a pot of dirt...
โ€œThink occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities[/I] / Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map

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