I haven't done much propagating in the last 3 years so my collection of saved seeds is getting old.
I have collected quite a lot of varieties of tomato seed and I want to grow them again andsave some fresh seed.
A storage container with many of my seeds in it was accidently moved to our shed. The shed gets warm in Summer, so is not an ideal place for storing seed.
When I finally tracked the container down and rescued it I found that mice had got in and eaten some of my seeds too.
I was very motivated to sow some of my tomato seeds and see if they are still viable.
My most recent seed was saved in 2012 .
I spread the seed pulp on kitchen towel paper, leave it to dry, then label and store it.
I chose some varieties that I really wanted to have and sowed the seed in seed raising medium. I sow into recycled plant punnets in rows of 10 seeds. I label carefully so that I can identify my seedlings when i transplant them.
I often just tear off seed on a small piece of paper and plant it all. The paper doesn't seem to make any difference to the process.
I put the punnets in an unheated propagator tray in my glasshouse. Every day i check the punnets and dampen the soil with water from a spray bottle set so that it is a gentle mist.
The first seedling appeared after 11 days. The weather had become very cold so I brought the propagator into the house and had the punnets on a windowsill during the day.
After 14 days all the varieties have germinated at varying rates of success but mostly over 80%. It is easy to work out the percentage of germination for a variety if you sow 10 seeds for a test.
I read some interesting comments on this web page about people having tomato seed germinating for years longer than what is expected
The information about length of viability, on this page, is interesting too.
I am encouraged by my first batch of propagating.
I have sown some older seed to see if i can save some other varieties too.