Tomato (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)

Sow seeds indoors 6 weeks before the last frost date for your area. Plant seed ¼-inch deep in 3-inch pots. Keep soil temperature in the range of 75-85˚ F. Harden-off seedlings before transplanting into garden. Plant 2 feet apart in a sunny location. Supports (tomato cages, stakes, etc.) are recommended.

To save the seeds:
Cut tomatoes in half around the “waist” and squeeze out the seeds. Place the seeds into a jar with tepid water. Label the variety! Tomato seeds need to ferment at temperatures between 70-80 degrees F for 1-3 days to separate pulp from the seeds and dissolve a protective coat on the seeds. On day 3, discard any floating seeds and rinse the remaining seeds. Spread the seeds on a coffee filter and dry thoroughly, be sure to label each sample with all important information.

Planting your saved seeds:
Isolation distance needed to separate varieties that can cross pollinate for seed saving is 10-50 feet. Save seeds from 5-10 plants. If stored when completely dry in airtight, cold, dry conditions seeds can be viable for 4-6 years.