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Old November 22, 2011   #1
Red Dirt Farmer
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Default Another seed saving method

If this has already been detailed, I apologize. I am asking for your opinion of the following seed separation method. Why? Because it seems too easy, so I’m uneasy. I tried this first with Tomatillos and it work so well, I did a couple of tomatoes, same result. No smell and it’s quick.

Items needed:
· Fine screen colander, large and small
· Food processor or blender
· Wax paper
· Bowl, Dish
1. Cut the tomato into small chunks, removing any obvious bad areas, stems etc.
2. Chop the pieces in the food processor until liquid.
3. Place contents into the colander and rinse vigorously under cold water. (This removes the small vegetables matter.)
4. Dump the result on to a dish and then scrap it into a bowl.
5. Gentle fill the bowl with cold water.
6. The seeds sink to the bottom and the rest floats. (I stirred the floating mass to ensure all the seeds that would sink did.)
7. Pour off the floating vegetable matter.
8. Add dish-washing soap (I used dawn) and cold water to the seeds.
9. Swish the seeds and then pour them into the small colander.
10. Rinse the soap off the seeds under cold water.
11. Dump the wet seeds on to wax paper.
12. Separate the seeds with a toothpick.
13. Dry as usual.
I will test them for germination in a few months and report the results. Comments appreciated.


Ken
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Old November 22, 2011   #2
bcday
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I tried this for tomato seeds with a blender. A lot of the seeds had large areas of their seed coats scraped or peeled off by the blades. It might have worked better with a different kind of blade that wasn't so sharp, but I just went back to fermenting instead.
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Old November 22, 2011   #3
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It might work OK on a slower speed or "pulsed".

I use a similar method but because I'm doing a LOT of tomatoes at a time, I use a drill paint mixer. That doesn't go so fast that it damages the small seeds at all.

Carol
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Old November 22, 2011   #4
Red Dirt Farmer
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I actually used a cheap ($9.50) electric food chopper from WalMart. It has a small blade.

I haven't looked at the seeds under a magnifying glass to see if they are nicked. Nicking is a form of stratifying so that may not be a problem.

Ken
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Old November 22, 2011   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Dirt Farmer View Post
I actually used a cheap ($9.50) electric food chopper from WalMart. It has a small blade.

I haven't looked at the seeds under a magnifying glass to see if they are nicked. Nicking is a form of stratifying so that may not be a problem.

Ken
Ken, since tomato seeds need no stratification I would consider any that were nicked deeply to be a possible problem,

I just read over your method again and I see nothing there that would help remove the germination inhibitor which is in the gel surrounding each seed; with fermentation that process is enzymatic.

For many years I was growing up to 6-700 tomato plants each year so that could mean up to a couple of hundred varieties.

Your method might be OK for not too many varieties but there are more steps in yours than there ever was with my doing it by fermentation IMO.

I think the only way to go is to try a variety of methods known to remove pathogens that cling to the surface of the seed, which also ezymatic , and data is known for that as opposed to using oxi-clean as some do now, where no such data has been found, to date.

If the gel capsules are not removed it seems to me that the majority of seeds, immature or otherwise, would sink, which could also be a problem.

As I've oft said in posts here, no two folks produce seeds the same way and that's also true of seed germination.

But if your method works for you that's all that really matters.
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Old November 22, 2011   #6
goodwin
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I would agree with Carolyn. If the gel capsule surrounding the seed is not removed, it will be difficult to separate the seed. In addition, fermentation destroys most pathogens and breaks down the compounds that inhibit germination. Of course, I sort of like doing it, so I have not been tempted by other methods.
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Old November 23, 2011   #7
coloken
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I see no reason for using dish detergent when it could be like comet with bleach that would all so kill some diseases. Each to his/her own, but no way are my seeds going through a mix master.
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Old November 23, 2011   #8
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All,
As I said, it’s an experiment. I looked at the tomatillos and tomato seeds with a magnifier last night. No apparent nicking or damage noticed.

Carolyn, to address the germination inhibiting gel and pathogens issue; I need some education.

· What is indicated when a seed sinks or floats? I thought floaters were bad seeds.
· Will a 10% solution of H2O2 kill said pathogens?
· Some of the tomato seeds are light green rather than tan, what does that indicate?

I can’t see any gel capsules on the seeds although they are still a bit sticky, which could indicate a thin layer of inhibiter. That’s why I used the Dawn, to help break down the coating. Once they dried on the wax paper, they look like a normally processed seed.

I’ll do some germination testing soon and let you all know the results.
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Old November 23, 2011   #9
casino
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I use the fermentation method to clean my seeds.
The blender method seems a little harsh on those fresh seeds.
Items used, fine screen, paper plate, magic marker, plastic cup.

On the plastic cup I write the name of the tomato variety that I am saving the seeds in.
Wash the tomato.
Cut the bottom off the tomato and squish the gel into the named plastic cup.
If only a few seeds squish out then go hunting.
Add water and fill the cup to the 1/2 mark.
Take the squished tomatoes, cook them down and make some tomato sauce & freeze.
Have these items ready
Take a paper plate and write the name of the tomato on it.
Cut a fine mesh screen 1 foot by 1 foot (a sheer curtan works fine)
Put the screen on the named paper plate
After 1-2 days dump the seeds in a screen colander and rince clean.
Dump the clean seed on the screen pad and air dry.
The paper plate will wick the water away from the seeds and they dry faster.
Next
Write the tomato name on a paper envelope and write the year to be planted.
When dry in 2 days, roll the seeds off the screen pad and put in the envelope.

My seeds are very clean and since I dry multiple varieties at a time I feel confident that the seeds in the envelope is that named variety.

My only problem is if I let the seeds sit in water for more that 48 hours because in 3 days they want to start growing. If they are growing (oops) then I trash the seed cup and start over. Wash the cups in Dawn, dry, black out the name of the last seed saved and re-use. Make sure the cups are clean dont want any stray seeds floating around.

When all the supplies are premade, saving seeds becomes an assembly line, easy easy.
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Old November 30, 2011   #10
Skaggydog
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I use a garbage desposal on my seeds. It works real good.
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Old December 8, 2011   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Dirt Farmer View Post

I haven't looked at the seeds under a magnifying glass to see if they are nicked. Nicking is a form of stratifying so that may not be a problem.

Ken
Couldn't help but notice some of you had used the term sratify or stratification.

Stratification is a term used mostly with cold treatment

I believe the term "to nick" is....Scarification
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Old December 8, 2011   #12
bobberman
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I have been using the blender on low speed for tomato seeds for years and it works great!
I use plain water and pour the seeds on a paper towel then place under a fan for several hours. I leave the seeds stuck to the paper towel and put the paper and all into a plastic zip bag and use the seeds scraped off the paper towel when i am ready to plant! The paper towel keeps the seeds very dry in the plastic bag where I store the seeds at room temp with no problems!
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Old April 16, 2012   #13
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This is a follow-up this posting I made a few months ago.

It did not receive a favorable response to say the least. Well I have to report almost 100% germination of the tomatillo seed saved with this method, and about 50% with the tomato seed. Note that I only did this on one tomato so my germination rate may not be indicative of success. I used this method on three varieties and sources of tomatillos so that would be a fairer test.

The angst about seed nicking seems to be unwarranted. Try a small sample this fall, then test the seeds.
It sure beats the smell and fruit flies.

Ken
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