Seeds from your groceries - tomatoes but possibly others

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Subversive_plot

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I trialed this idea last autumn. 

We were getting ready to watch a college football game (American football, and University of Georgia Bulldogs  of course!). The Mrs. decided to get some fancy cherry toms (half pint from the grocery store) to include on vegetable skewers (we cook our meat and vegetable skewers separately).  The tomatoes were a combination of cherry, grape, and mini-plum shapes, and red, yellow, orange and brown colors.  We didn't use all of the toms, and had a few left over.  I saved the seeds from a yellow grape, and this summer I have been enjoying my own yellow grape tomatoes from those seeds.  They are nearly identical to what we had in that grocery store purchase. This year I have saved seed from a really good orange grape and an equally good chocolate-colored cherry tomato, and I'm about to do the same thing with a red mini-plum tomato.  I have some seedlings of the orange grape already growing for late summer and fall tomatoes.  I will trial a few of the chocolate cherry and red mini-plum, also for late summer and fall plants.  I suspect that many of these tomatoes are not F1 types.

We also see slicing tomatoes advertised as "heirloom tomatoes" in the grocery store.  Of course, other heirloom tomatoes are available from the farmer's market and organic farms too.  The varieties are usually not labeled.

If you don't care about the variety name, this is a frugal way to acquire some seeds.  You get to "test drive" the tomato in terms of taste and texture before you decide to save the seed (or not).  The seeds are in the groceries, so you are paying nothing extra for them.

The next thing I'd like to try are seeds from some mini sweet peppers.  They look like a variety I have been trying to get from a seed company, but which always seem to be out of stock.  A small bag of peppers will allow me to save red, yellow, and orange mini bell peppers.

« Last Edit: June 25, 2023, 16:54 by Subversive_plot »
"Somewhere between right and wrong, there is a garden. I will meet you there."~ Rumi

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Blewit

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Re: Seeds from your groceries - tomatoes but possibly others
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2023, 21:00 »
It's a great way to experiment and cut costs SP. Back in 2016 we bought Palermo peppers from the supermarket, put some of the seed to dry and still keep the line going by saving seed from our own each year. (Makes the current crop 7th generation).

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Plot 1 Problems

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Re: Seeds from your groceries - tomatoes but possibly others
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2023, 22:07 »
It works if they're genuinely heirloom fruit but if they're an F1 variety you'll likely not get the same fruit from the seeds.

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Subversive_plot

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Re: Seeds from your groceries - tomatoes but possibly others
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2023, 22:36 »
It works if they're genuinely heirloom fruit but if they're an F1 variety you'll likely not get the same fruit from the seeds.

That is well understood, but a point worth stating.  For each type I am trying out, I am making note of the results.  If the tomatoes are similar to the original, then the assumption is that the genetics are reasonably stable, which is what you would expect from an "heirloom", but not an F1 hybrid.

Food for thought: this year, I am already trialing some heirloom tomato seeds from a seed supplier.  I've noted that the two Marmande plants are somewhat different from each other.  They grow right next to each other, and are roughly the same height and are equally healthy, but one plant has bloomed more and set more fruit than the other.  I expect that my grocery store tomatoes will also show some variation.  The yellow grape tomato I saved also has shown some variation between the two plants, and I likely will save seed from the best of those two.

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coldandwindy

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Re: Seeds from your groceries - tomatoes but possibly others
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2023, 09:31 »
Very interesting. Please come back with your results.

I've tried this a bit , with limited success not so much because of F1 varieties more because of my challenging growing conditions and short season. I'm guessing that commercial growers select for uniformity and appearance over taste, speed or hardiness?   Unspecified "new potatoes" produced but had quite a bland flavour,  most other things ran out of summer before cropping, garlic seemed to be pining for the south of France & gave up completely  :lol: .

I've gone back to bought heirloom varieties with a known growing season requirement. (We especially like  pepper "King of the North" and tomato "house elf".)

Worth mentioning, if anyone is trying this for the first time, remember to wash tomato seeds well. The gel round them contains a germination inhibitor.

Windy.


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Subversive_plot

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Re: Seeds from your groceries - tomatoes but possibly others
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2023, 12:09 »
Yes, good point, I didn't want to go into the specifics of tomato seed-saving but there is a relatively easy fermentation step that helps remove that gelatinous layer surrounding the seeds.

Here is a how-to: https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-save-tomato-seeds-1403292
« Last Edit: June 26, 2023, 12:59 by Subversive_plot »


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