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Fermentation: To prepare seeds for fermenting, simply squeeze or scoop out the pulp with the seeds into a jar with a little water (about half as much water as seeds and pulp). There is no need to include more pulp than naturally comes with the seeds. Store this seed/pulp mixture in a warm place (75 to 85 degrees F) for 11/2 to 5 days (depending on the seed type and whether conditions are warmer or cooler). Fermentation will be evidenced by bubbling and/or by the formation of a white mold on the surface of the mixture. As soon as the bubbling or mold have been evident for a day or so, pour the mix into a bowl and clean.
Clean Seeds: To clean wet seeds, scoop the seeds from the fruit, pulp and all. Pour the seeds and pulp into a large, sloping bowl and add water. Healthy seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl, while dead seeds and most of the pulp will float. Use your fingers to gently separate all the seeds from the pulp. Watch closely, as seeds left fermenting too long (especially above 80 degrees F or so) may begin to germinate (evidenced by swelling and emerging roots) ruining their chances for storage. However, sprouted seeds can be planted immediately and grown out (depending on season), but they will die if they are dried out for storage once they have begun to germinate. If fermenting tomato seeds seems too much trouble, they will still germinate if the slippery gel surrounding the seeds is carefully rubbed off while you're cleaning them. Seeds treated this way will germinate, but they will not have had the protection of the fermentation process killing disease organisms. If you noticed any problems with your plants (leaves spotting or dying, inexplicable wilting, etc.), the extra trouble of fermentation will be well worth the effort.
Dry Seeds: Dry your tomato seeds on a piece of glass or a shiny plate - the wet seeds will stick to paper and be difficult to remove without damaging them.
Label and Store: Tomato seeds will store safely for 4 or more years after being properly dried and stored.
Tomatoes do best in a bright spot where they will get at least 10 hours of sunlight in the summer. Planting tomatoes in a few different spots will help reduce the risk of soil-borne diseases such as bacterial spot and early blight. In many areas, it is best to start seedlings in pots indoors in early spring. When temperatures are consistently warmer, begin taking the pots outdoors to have the plants adjust to the conditions. When planting seedlings, be sure to bury them up to the first true leaves. New roots will sprout on the stem below the surface, and more roots mean more fruits. Companion planting works wonderfully with tomatoes. For indeterminate varieties, such as Brandywine, put in stakes at the same time as transplanting to avoid damaging roots later. 6 foot stakes are ideal for indeterminate plants. It is best to avoid transplanting seedlings during the hottest part of the day, and be sure to water immediately after transplanting.
Water the tomatoes deeply once a week, and somewhat more frequently in the height of summer. Be careful not to get the leaves and stems wet. In addition to the weekly deep watering, providing small amounts of water frequently will help encourage steady growth and avoid split fruit. Shoots will appear between large branches and the central vine. Be sure to pinch off these shoots as they emerge, as they take valuable energy away from the plants growth and development of fruit.
When the first fruit is ripening, encourage new growth and continued fruit by adding compost around the stem and trimming some of the upper leaves. Cut off the top of plants when six trusses of fruit set, this helps focus the plant's energies. Sowing basil underneath will draw white fly away from the tomatoes, and garlic, nasturtium or tagetes will repel aphids. About three weeks after the tomatoes go in the ground, plant another set so the harvest does not come all at once. Harvest the tomatoes once they have reached full size and are fully colored. Add Compost And Trim; While the first fruit is ripening, encourage new growth and continued fruit by scratching compost around the stem and trimming some of the upper leaves.
Tomatoes should be allowed to ripen thoroughly on their vines to at least the eating stage before harvesting them to collect their seeds.
Upon harvesting, it is best to ferment tomato seeds in order to remove a germination-inhibiting gel which covers the seeds, and to kill diseases.
Sources: http://howtosaveseeds.com/seedsavingdetails.php#tomatoes; http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/secrets-growing-plump-tomatoes; http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/gardening-blog/2010/may/18/growing-tomatoes-tips
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