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New to growing your own tomatoes? This is the forum to learn the successful techniques used by seasoned tomato growers. Questions are welcome, too.

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Old August 19, 2020   #1
KathyDC
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Default What's your method for getting the seeds out?

I'm really curious if there is a "best" or even "better" way than what I do -- which is to slice a tomato in half and stick my thumb in the holes until all the gel and seeds come squirting out into a bowl. It's very scientific!
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Old August 19, 2020   #2
Goodloe
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That's basically what I do, also. Maybe not scientific, but it's quick and effective! With cherry varieties, I just cut them in half and squeeze out the innards like I would squeeze out lemon juice...
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Old August 19, 2020   #3
mcsee
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No need to slice the tomato to get seeds out, just cut in half (around the equator) and squeeze the contents into your container. With Cherry tomatoes place a cut across the bottom (blossom end) and squeeze the contents through the cut. Easy.
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Old August 20, 2020   #4
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I don't cut, just squeeze.
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Old August 20, 2020   #5
FarmerShawn
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for most tomatoes, no matter the size, I slice across the equator and squeeze. The only exceptions are very large, meaty fruit, which get the slice and finger-scoop treatment. I will try the single slice across the bottom for cherries idea. I like the idea of reducing the squeezes by half to speed things up. I typically save seeds from around 100 varieties a year, so any time saving technique is worth a try! By the way do you all still find some use for the mushed leftover tomato flesh? Mine usually finds its way into some kind of sauce.
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Old August 21, 2020   #6
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I take a slice off the bottom then use a wooden chopstick to clean out out the visible seeds and gel into a fermenting container. Make a few more slices and clean out the newly revealed seeds and gel, and keep working my way up to the top of the tomato. This way I'm left with seeds and gel in a container, and a pile of tomato slices for my salad or sandwich. I don't do too many at a time, and this method allows me to still enjoy the tomato after I've cleaned out the seeds.
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Old August 22, 2020   #7
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I don’t try to get all the seeds when I eat a tomato! I cut slices, see what’s left on the cutting board, and decide how many more seeds I want to extract. I leave some seeds and gel for my main tomato-sandwich slices, then scoop a bunch out from the remaining slices, which I also eat. I use the tip of the knife to get the seeds out. I use a cutting board that “folds” so it is easy to get extra juice into the seed-fermenting container.
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Old August 22, 2020   #8
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Just to add --

Pastes are the easy ones--core, squish, and throw them into the pot.

Dwarf project grow outs take the longest because they need to be documented -- first the weigh in, then the photo shoot, followed by the tasting, then I can collect seeds but they have to be kept separate for each individual plant.
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Old August 22, 2020   #9
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Quote:
I don’t try to get all the seeds when I eat a tomato! I cut slices, see what’s left on the cutting board, and decide how many more seeds I want to extract. I leave some seeds and gel for my main tomato-sandwich slices, then scoop a bunch out from the remaining slices, which I also eat. I use the tip of the knife to get the seeds out. I use a cutting board that “folds” so it is easy to get extra juice into the seed-fermenting container.
That's what I do as well most of the time when I eat tomatoes I really like. But I don't bother fermenting the cutting board seeds, I just push the seeds into a small plastic cup, add about 1/2 inch of water and a small amount of oxiclean, like 1/4 tsp, stir it up well, let sit for about 20 minutes and rinse well under a stream of water, rubbing seeds in a strainer, dump them back into the cup now filled with very hot water, stir and pour off any floating bits of flesh, rinse a few more times with clean water in the cup, then a final strain and rub under the tap. I dry seeds in cone coffee filters, use a knife to smear them along one side to dry. Info as to variety, date and comments written beforehand on the filter. I do not combine batches for the season. In case I later find the seeds have been crossed, I can go back a choose another date saved for that variety. These days, I save primarily for my own use, so I don't need big stockpiles of seed.

At the end of the season, if there are some varieties not saved, or if I need more seed, I will use fermentation for larger batches from whatever is left in the garden.
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Old August 25, 2020   #10
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Shawn, if you split and seed the cherries, you can also dry them for tomato "cherries", also using a slice and seed method to set up larger tomatoes for drying. A bit slower o do.


I toss many into the vitamix , skins and all since the machine really does the work and make sauce, paste of juice to be canned , the paste to be dried.


If you wanted to You could freeze the meat part of the tomatoes after seeding, for soups and stews type things. I have carefully squeezed bigger tomatoes and then stuffed the shells for supper.
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Old September 7, 2020   #11
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So best practices in separating the gel from the seeds? I read somewhere to add something like Comet or Barkeep's Friend to the mix.


?
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Old September 8, 2020   #12
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I use only Oxiclean in water now, but have used Ajax/Comet type of cleansers in the past when I did small batches of cutting board seeds without fermentation. For those I sprinkled enough powder on the mass of seeds and gel in a small cup to made a thick wet paste, let them sit in it for about 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally before rinsing with running water in a sieve.

I don't know that any one thing is "best" for everyone. Some only feel comfortable with fermentation, some just want it over and done quickly the same day. I use either method depending on my mood and how much tomato juice I have.
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Old September 8, 2020   #13
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I'm not patient enough for fermentation. What do you do with Oxyclean?
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Old September 9, 2020   #14
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Well, the tradition recipe is 1 Tbsp of Oxiclean to enough seeds, pulp, and water to equal one cup. Mix thoroughly and wait about 1/2 hr before rinsing well. Some recommend an after rise in the cup with a bit of dish soap before a final clear rinse.


I don't bother measuring anything, I just add a tiny bit of water to my cutting board seeds and maybe a 1/4 tsp of oxiclean because there is only about 1/2 inch of water in the cup. Whip it up well, maybe stir a few times if I go by and think of it. Rinse well anytime after 1/2 hour, time is not critical.
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Old September 9, 2020   #15
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Thanks. I'll give it a try.
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