Gardeners' World: Monty Don explains how to store tomato seeds
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Monty Don is a horticulturist and host of BBC Gardeners’ World. The presenter often shares tips with viewers on the best tasks to do in the garden every week.
In one of his most recent videos, shared on the Gardeners’ World Twitter page, Monty showed viewers how to save money on tomatoes.
Although tomatoes are not usually sown until the spring, it is a good idea to prepare for their planting in advance.
Monty advised saving tomato seeds now ahead of next year.
The gardening expert said: “Now is a good time to collect seed from your favourite tomato varieties.
“And particularly if they’re heirloom, it’s save you a lot of money.”
Monty cut a large juicy tomato in half and scooped the inside out with a spoon.
He advised: “Make sure the choice is fully ripe, and if it’s damaged – so much the better.
“Cut the tomato in half, scooping out the seeds, and discarding the flesh.”
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Monty put the inside of the tomato in a sieve before pouring water into it to get rid of the flesh.
He explained: “Put the seeds into a sieve and wash them thoroughly under a tap to remove the gelatinous covering.
“Then spread them out onto a kitchen roll, label them, and put them somewhere to dry.
“And then when they’re thoroughly dry, they can be stored in a paper bag or an envelope ready for sowing next spring.”
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) recommended growing tomatoes from late February to mid-March if you’ll be growing them indoors or in a greenhouse.
Meanwhile, it’s best to grow them from late March to early April if they’ll be outside.
The easiest way to sow tomatoes is to fill a small pot with seed compost, water it well, then sow three or four seeds on the surface.
Cover with a clear plastic bag and place on a warm windowsill.
As soon as seedlings appear, which is usually within a fortnight, uncover the pot and place it in as much light as possible, to prevent the seeds from growing leggy and thin.
As for now, mid-September, other tasks Monty recommended doing in the garden included deadheading agapanthus, propagating strawberries, and clearing sweet peas.
“Sweet peas have by and large finished flowering now,” Monty explained.
“When there is more brown than green, it is time to cut your losses and pull them all up.”
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