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[Tomato Dirt] 10 Great Reasons to Save Tomato Seeds
September 08, 2014

Tomato Dirt Newsletter
Volume 4, Number 16

Dear Tomato Dirt reader,

Welcome back to Tomato Dirt! Once or twice a month, we’ll send you this newsletter packed with tips about growing tomatoes and using them.

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Feature: 10 Great Reasons to Save Tomato Seeds

Image: Sunset

Are you thinking about growing tomatoes next season? Make sure you save tomato seeds from this year's crop.

On the surface, it may seem that the effort to save seeds is just one more chore at the end of the long gardening season.

But seed saving is easy and has many benefits. Here are just a few of them.

  • Save money. When you collect seeds from your strongest or favorite tomatoes, you can grow them again next season at hardly any cost.
  • Save hassle. It’s convenient to have your favorite varieties on hand at sowing time in mid- to late winter. Plus, seeds take hardly any space. You can store them in your refrigerator or freezer and barely notice them.
  • Be self-sufficient. There’s a tremendous sense of satisfaction to know that you can grow crops independently from year to year.
  • Exchange seeds. Use your seeds to trade with other gardeners. You can trade for other tomato varieties, other vegetables, or flower seeds. Learn more about seed trading on seed exchange forums.
  • Share seeds. A single tomato plant yields dozens and dozens of seeds. Saving tomato seeds means you have extras to give to family and friends.
Read more great reasons to save tomato seeds so you can grow tomatoes next season at very little cost and with very little hassle.

And check out some helpful pointers and visuals on our Saving Tomato Seeds Pinterest board.

Tomato FAQs: Is It Possible to Save and Use Seeds from Hybrid Tomatoes?

Image: Gardening About

Conventional wisdom says to save seeds from “open pollinated” (OP) or heirloom tomatoes. These are varieties that have been reproduced for generations. They are true to their type from their own seed, which means the next season’s plants maintain the same characteristics as they previous one. Open pollinated tomatoes are known for their consistent traits over time. In contrast, hybrid tomatoes are a careful cross between two genetically different tomato varieties.

Yet it is possible to save seeds from hybrid tomatoes … especially if you like surprises in the garden. Be forewarned that hybrid tomato seeds will likely not produce tomatoes that are true to their type. By definition, a hybrid tomato plant is a cross between two different varieties. A hybrid variety can be re-created only by crossing the exact same two types of parent plants.

Hybrid tomato seeds will produce tomato plants. But thanks to genetics, you simply have no way to know what the fruit will be like. Best Tomato Dirt recommendation: save some hybrid seeds for fun and see what happens.

Find out more when you read these Frequently Asked Questions about saving tomato seeds.

Check Out These Helps for Saving Tomato Seeds

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Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners, 2nd Edition Pack of 20 Seed Envelopes Beefsteak Tomato Rainbow Pack 10 Varieties - 250 Organic Heirloom Seeds (Good for Saving)

More on Saving Tomato Seeds

How to Save Tomato Seeds to Plant Next Year Easy Seed Saving Method for Tomato Seeds Which Tomato Seeds Should You Save for Next Year? Seed Trading 101: How to Trade Tomato Seeds

That’s it for now. More next time!

Until then, happy gardening!

Kathy with Tomato Dirt
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