Tomatoes are a very popular garden vegetable many gardeners love to grow. Since these plants are harvested during the late summers, gardeners will need to store their seeds to replant during the next spring. You might even have tomato seeds ready to plant and grow now!
This has you wondering how to prepare the seeds to have it grow successfully, from planting tomato seeds directly in the ground and how to store seeds for later use. One common question many gardeners ask, ‘do you have to dry tomato seeds before planting?’
Read on and learn about whether or not you will need to dry tomato seeds before planting them!
Do You Have to Dry Tomato Seeds Before Planting?
While planting is a fairly easy task, it’s a bit nerve-wracking waiting for your seeds to sprout. That’s why you want to make it right and prepare as much as you can to make sure your tomato plants will thrive. For many gardeners, this would have them learn about drying their tomato seeds.
But is this really necessary?
Actually, it isn’t! You don’t need to dry tomato seeds before planting them. In fact, tomato seeds can grow even when in the fruit.
That said, it is a helpful step to take, as drying your seeds would help prevent diseases and pests that normally attack wet seeds. This is because tomato seeds are enclosed in a gel-like sac containing germination-inhibiting chemicals unless seeds can stick to the soil crevices. If left undried, the soil residue may be a haven for seed diseases, increasing the risk of seed rotting.
Furthermore, drying tomato seeds would prevent stunted growth, have you harvest a lot of seeds from one fruit, and even keep it in great shape when you plan to store it. Drying tomato seeds is best done if you plan to store your seeds before planting them during their planting season to keep them healthy while dormant!
It’s also pretty easy to dry tomato seeds, as you can dry fresh seeds on the right surface 2-3 days before you plant them.
Tomato seeds would retain the best germination rates if they were dried to 6-9% moisture content. If fermented for around 2 days, the seeds, along with tomato pulp, would produce even higher germination rates. However, avoid over-drying your seeds, as it can damage the embryo and cause stress damage from heat.
This is why you need to carefully dry out the seeds and follow the right tips and steps when doing so.
Quick Tips on Drying Tomato Seeds
If you are planning to dry your tomato seeds for storage or before planting them for its benefits, here are a few quick tips to follow:
- After you have prepared your tomato seeds and got the good ones for planting, spread them on an absorbent surface. You can use paper plates, wax paper, or coffee filters.
- Avoid using paper towels as the seeds would stick to paper. Also, avoid using ceramic, plastic, or metal plates.
- Wait for 2-3 days until they are dry. You’ll know if they are dry when they are very hard and difficult to smash.
Wrapping It Up
Drying seeds before planting is one of the oldest agricultural practices that shows benefits. While it isn’t absolutely necessary, it’s recommended to dry your tomato seeds to reap the advantages and have it germinate and grow well. It’s easy to do, so you won’t have to worry about how long and arduous the task is!
Hopefully, you learned a lot about drying seeds before planting, particularly with tomato plants. Keep this information in mind as you prepare your seeds for planting and/or storage. Good luck!