Saving Tomato Seeds
If you harvest seed from tomato plants, be careful to know that they are grown hybrid varieties, not true tomato plants from seed. In fact, you can only save tomato seed from large, hardy varieties like Cherry, Plum or other large varieties. The best time to save tomato seed is in late summer, as the tomatoes have just bloomed and are ready to be picked.
How to Save Tomato Seeds
When you choose a tomato variety, you will need a few weeks of growing seasons with that variety in your garden, just like all other tomato plants. By harvesting seed from tomato plants, you will not have that opportunity. That means you will have to take an early decision on the variety you want and plant it from seed. This is a great way to get started with a new crop of tomatoes, but make sure it is grown from seed and not just by planting from cuttings.
When choosing tomato seed, try to find a variety that has not been overharvested. It will take the same amount of growing season as a tomato variety with less over-harvesting. Look at the seed to see if there are any defects that could cause a bad harvest. Many tomato varieties have a tendency to go bad as their growth cycles begin, especially during their first two or three years of growth. Take your time to choose a tomato variety that you can grow from seed and save from harvest.