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Article: Saving tomato seeds using fermentation: How long is "several days"

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Forum: Article: Saving tomato seeds using fermentationReplies: 11, Views: 118
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Omaha, NE
(Zone 5b)

March 23, 2009
10:27 PM

Post #6309714

"When the fermentation process has gone for several days"

--about how many is "several" in this case?


March 24, 2009
12:33 AM

Post #6310202

3 or 4. ^_^
Long Beach, CA

September 28, 2009
6:54 PM

Post #7113299

Just out of curiosity, what happens when the seeds have been left to ferment for over a week? Will they still be viable?
Omaha, NE
(Zone 5b)

September 28, 2009
7:36 PM

Post #7113483

Mine have gone as long as 6 or 7 days with no problem. I'm told that, if the process goes too long, the seeds will darken but that they are still viable.

Did you do something I've done?--tucked them away to ferment and forgot they were there!

September 28, 2009
9:31 PM

Post #7113922

Yeah I've also let my seeds go for pretty long, but I don't think I've ever gone over 7 or 8 days. Just process as usual and if you're not sure about the seeds, certainly perform a germination test with paper towels to re-assure yourself.
Omaha, NE
(Zone 5b)

September 29, 2009
3:17 AM

Post #7115167

It didn't occur to me that the process might be temperature-dependent, but I find the following in Carolyn Male's book (p. 35):

The seeds should ferment for at least five days, longer if the temperatures are below 80 degrees F in the daytime.
Long Beach, CA

September 30, 2009
5:52 PM

Post #7120308

Thanks for the info, Russ and Dave!

Russ, I gave my mother-in-law my biggest Jersey Devil tomato, but asked her to please save me a few seeds from it. She called me sounding quite distraught saying she forgot about the seeds because after they began to smell, she banished the jar they were in to some far corner of her garden. They've been fermenting for at least two weeks when she happened upon them :D
Omaha, NE
(Zone 5b)

September 30, 2009
7:58 PM

Post #7120735

Heck, I've had some go that long . . . forgot to set them out to dry when I went on vacation!

Give 'em a try anyway, even if they've turned really dark. Remember, the natural process occurs when the tomato rots, and that can take quite a while, too.

And, as Dave suggests, do a "quickie" germination test with a damp paper towel.
Long Beach, CA

September 30, 2009
11:59 PM

Post #7121538

LOL--thanks so much, Russ! I asked her to rinse out the seeds and lay them to dry on a paper plate. I'll do the quickie germination, and maybe if they sprout, I'll experiment with an indoor holiday tomato plant :D
Harwood Heights, IL

May 17, 2010
6:44 PM

Post #7802320

One quick question, hope somebody knows the answer?
Are black cherry cherry tomato's real heirlooms? or are they
a hybred? I read they were invented by a genteman named Sapp, in
I want to save the seeds if in fact they will be true
to this years plant.

Thank you
Omaha, NE
(Zone 5b)

May 18, 2010
11:44 AM

Post #7804626

I started Black Cherry tomato seeds for the first time this year.

I've seen it stated that they were developed from a Ukranian heirloom by Sapp. However, Amy Goldman, in her book The Heirloom Tomato from Garden to Table, writes (p. 26):

"ORIGIN: Developed from a 'natural occurrence' by the late Vincent Sapp of Tomato Growers Supply Company and released in 2003."

According to the classification strategy in Dr. Carolyn Male's 100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden (commercial heirlooms, family heirlooms, created heirlooms, and "mystery" group, pp. 4-8), Black Cherry could be a created heirloom in the first case or a "mystery" heirloom in the second.

In either case, Black Cherry is certainly not a hybrid and is open-pollinated. I suppose the answer to your question depends a lot on what one considers a "real" heirloom".

See also here:

This message was edited May 18, 2010 12:47 PM


SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

July 15, 2010
8:05 AM

Post #7970227

What happens if they never ferment, and you leave them alone, then rinse them, and leave them alone, and then they begin to sprout little white tails?

I actually went ahead and planted them, and some are growing now. Should I hold my breath expecting viable tomato seedlings, or just go along until this science-experiment-gone-wrong plays out?


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