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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 May 6, 2016   #151
joseph
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loulac: The market is held in Logan, Utah. My patrons are mostly people with small gardens that just want to grow something....
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Old June 1, 2016   #152
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I planted more than 100 cherry tomatoes today. They are part of the promiscuous pollination breeding project, so I planted high numbers of F2 - F4 segregating plants so that I can have lots of variety to select from. Oh NO!!!!!!! Last year I felt overwhelmed with about a dozen cherry tomatoes. Oh No. Oh No! OH NO!!! Here's hoping that there is a great market for cherry tomatoes this summer, and that I can find the time to pick more than I usually do.

I've already found two plants among the Sungold F2 with exerted stigmas.
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Old June 1, 2016   #153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph View Post
I planted more than 100 cherry tomatoes today. They are part of the promiscuous pollination breeding project, so I planted high numbers of F2 - F4 segregating plants so that I can have lots of variety to select from. Oh NO!!!!!!! Last year I felt overwhelmed with about a dozen cherry tomatoes. Oh No. Oh No! OH NO!!! Here's hoping that there is a great market for cherry tomatoes this summer, and that I can find the time to pick more than I usually do.

I've already found two plants among the Sungold F2 with exerted stigmas.
This is where the wives and children come in... many hands make for light work. IF you can let them in your garden.
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Old June 2, 2016   #154
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I really should weed out the thistles more carefully. Then barefoot people would be more inclined to help me in the garden...
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Old June 2, 2016   #155
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Quote:
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I really should weed out the thistles more carefully.(...).
Thistles can sure be a nuisance.
I remember your innovative technique of planting tomatoes at a tremendous speed without leaning forward. It reminds me of a technique used by my grand father long, long ago. Farmers used a steel blade fixed on a wood stick and cut the thistles in wheat fields below the leaves so they couldn't grow again. Why not make that kind of tool and give it a try ?
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Old June 21, 2016   #156
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Originally Posted by joseph View Post
ALittleSalt: Thanks. Can you believe that I'm only about 77 days away from the start of my fall frosts? I am pretty much limited to 60 DTM or less tomatoes even when I start them way early... In my garden 70 day tomatoes take 100 days to mature, and some years my frost free growing season is only around 85 days long.

Today is the anniversary of the last spring frost in the previous two growing seasons. This year is warmer.
Just out of curiosity, do you know the zinc and phosphorus levels in your soil? I know you don't like to use synthetic fertilizers and are breeding with low fertilizer requirements, but I'm curious. I think phosphorus may play a role in fruit-ripening speed (and phosphorus is less available when it's cold), and zinc deficiency can stunt plants. I think our yard generally has been pretty zinc deficient; I'm starting to see the classic signs on some plants, but I think that might be one reason plants seem to grow slower in our yard than a lot of people's. I'm not saying you should add phosphorus or zinc to your soil, even if you are deficient, especially if you're wanting to breed stuff that does well with when those nutrients are less available, but it might be cool to know.

If you were to test it, it might be interesting to test the fruit or plants instead of the soil (compare the levels to a fruit or plant in another region). Maybe I'm wrong, but I suppose testing the soil will probably just tell you what's in it (not what's available), although I'm sure that's good to know, too. The PH of the soil would be good to know, since that affects availability.

Last edited by shule1; June 21, 2016 at 10:47 PM.
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Old June 22, 2016   #157
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I don't know the chemical composition of my soil, other than. It is mostly derived from limestone, and was at the bottom of a lake during the last ice-age. pH tends to be high in this area. One of the local farmers fertilizes only with a micro-nutrient blend.
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Old June 22, 2016   #158
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That's interesting. I have a fondness for high pH soils and plants that grow well in them. However, we're using a lot of peat moss this year to help acidify the soil. There was too much wood ash in it (and it seemed like it would be a good buffer to allow me to use some rockdust without raising the pH too high).

I hear mulberries grow well in caliche, which has a high pH. Have you ever grown mulberries? They're pretty good. I eat dried white mulberries a lot. The white and black species have different health properties, in my experience. They both taste good, and about the same, but the black ones are fruitier—at least with the varieties I've tried. I've never tried the red mulberry species, red/white hybrids, Pakistan mulberries, etc. There are a whole bunch of species in China and other areas that aren't so well known in the USA.

Oh, since I mentioned zinc and phosphorus, I should probably also mention that both pH and phosphorus levels are said to affect zinc availability. It probably depends on what kinds of zinc salts they are, and what is in your soil, as to whether it makes them more or less available. I'm using zinc sulfate monohydrate, and the bag says to use more if the pH or phosphorus is high (so, that might account for that kind of zinc).

I think my lettuce has appreciated zinc more than anything, though. It seems greener and is growing faster. It's probably too early to tell with everything else I gave it to.
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Old July 3, 2016   #159
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I spent an hour this afternoon attempting to make tomato crosses. Female listed first. The crosses that I was able to at least go through the motions with are:

Sun4 X Solanum corneliomulleri
Sun4 X Solanum peruvianum

Sun4 is a descendant of Sungold. As a domestic tomato, neither of the above crosses is expected to be successful, unless there happens to be enough wild genes running around in Sun4.

S. corneliomulleri X S. peruvianum
S. peruvianum X S. corneliomulleri
S. habrochaites X S. corneliomulleri

I didn't have enough S. habrochaites flowers to attempt other crosses... More are expected within a week.

I attempted to make crosses using S. pimpinellifolium as a mother. The flowers are tiny, and I was too ham-fisted to emasculate them properly. If I use it in a cross, it will need to be as a pollen donor. I've been using a vibrator to collect pollen onto a spoon. I really like that technique.

A few days ago, I attempted the following:

S. pennellii X S. peruvianum

I don't know the utility of any of these crosses. I'm just mixing things up for now. Later on we can sort out the particulars. I'm primarily interested in these crosses for their genetic diversity, for self-incompatibility, for wide-open promiscuous flowers, and bold floral display. Perhaps we'll find some genetics in this population for cold tolerance, disease resistance, or better taste.

Perhaps a variety will emerge from this project which is suitable for flower gardens.

Last edited by joseph; July 4, 2016 at 03:44 AM.
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Old July 3, 2016   #160
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Today I also planted seeds, directly from the fruits, for a few crosses that were made in the greenhouse this spring. One of them may lead to a determinate yellow pear tomato. One of them was between my earliest determinate slicer, Fern, and S. habrochaites. The other is descended from my best tasting tomato from last growing season crossed with S. habrochaites.
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Old August 1, 2016   #161
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I finally got some ripe fruit and Joseph's HX-9 is among the first. Here's what they look like. They average 3 1/2 oz. The flavor is not sweet at all...acidic to me and very much old time home grown to me. The plants are determinate and low, even with support. They are heavy produces and have endured my spider mite invasion fairly well.
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Old August 1, 2016   #162
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Salsacharley: Thanks for the grow/taste report.
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Old August 8, 2016   #163
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I've been attempting manual pollinations between the wild species: S. pennellii, S. peruvianum, S. habrochaites, and S. Corneliomullerii. In any combination, and in random combinations. I'm not labeling or keeping records. For right now, I'm just interested in getting the genetics mixed up, and in selecting for strains that can reproduce in my garden. Early on, I was marking the attempted pollinations of S. peruvianum by S. corneliomullerii but since none of them took, I stopped marking them. I figure that I can attempt twice as many pollinations if I don't keep records...

There are a lot of flying insects working the flowers, so perhaps some of them are also pollinating them and making random crosses.

I only have one S. pennellii plant, and one S. corneliomulleri plant in the garden where I am attempting manual pollinations. So since they are self-incompatible, any fruits that form aught to be inter-species crosses.

There is also a S. pimpinellifolium plant in the patch, but I am ignoring it. The flowers are too small for me to want to fuss with. I see the digger bees buzzing them occasionally. Mostly they stick with S. peruvianum.

There is one domestic fruit that is well formed that resulted from attempted pollination with S. corneliomullerii. An attempted pollination with S. peruvianum also took, but I was ham-fisted while weaving the plant into the trellis, and broke the fruit off. The mother plant is a descendant of Sungold.

There are three fruits on S. pennellii that resulted from attempted pollination with S. corneliomullerii. The attempted pollination with S. peruvianum on the same plant was not successful.

The S. habrochaites patch is setting plenty of fruit now that they are flowering well, and that the digger bees have found the patch.

I'm attempting crosses between S. habrochaites and LA 1777 which is also S. habrochaites, but has a different growth habit.

Two of the crosses using domestic tomatoes as the mother and LA 1777 as the pollen donor produced seeds that sprouted and are growing very well. Other crosses are doing very poorly.

It's only 4 to 6 weeks till expected fall frosts, and I didn't get hardly any of the crosses made that I wanted to. Matching pollen availability to receptive flowers to my schedule is such an ephemeral event. I've planted things in the greenhouse. Perhaps some of them will survive into the fall or winter and produce offspring.
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Old August 23, 2016   #164
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A few years ago, I made a cross between Hillbilly and Jagodka. Hillbilly is a red/yellow beefsteak type bi-color indeterminate tomato with very long season. Jagodka is a small red saladette tomato that is very short season.

Here is what the F1 fruits looked like:



Here is what some of the F2 fruits looked like:


I called one of the fruits HX-13. (Third from the right in the above photo.) It was red, indeterminate, and had industrialized flowers. Basically a combination of dominant traits that were just the opposite of what I was looking for among the offspring of the cross. However the plant was very productive. Therefore I planted 18 plants to see what they have to offer.

Here is what the year-to-date harvest looks like:

F3: HX-13a-r. Some determinate plants are showing up. Some yellow fruits are showing up. But there were not any open flowers in this batch, which was the goal of the original cross.


Last year, both determinate plants had yellow fruits. This year, there are 4 determinate plants, and two of them are yellow. Makes me wonder if the genes for yellow fruits and for determinate growth habit are somewhat linked?
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Old August 23, 2016   #165
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Joseph, I thought about going back and reading thru several threads, but I'll shortcut that and just ask you here. Have you ever used or considered using the old variety "Bison" in any of your research??

The reason I ask is that I found this history on it and it seems to be applicable to your current endeavors.

Quote: An old fashioned favorite that was developed by Prof. A. F. Yeager of North Dakota University and was listed by Oscar H. Will & Co. in 1937. The 1937 McFayden Seed Catalog also listed this variety as Bison Self-Pruning, stating that it was an “outstanding new development for the dry land farm.” Indeed it is! Bison is one of the most productive tomatoes that I have ever grown and it is my mom’s favorite for canning. The medium size red fruit are 2.5 x 2” and ripen all at once. This tomato is also quite early and has exceptional taste. Great for salads or canning. Determinate, regular leaf foliage. (65-70 days).

Just curious as to whether you've tried it. If you find you need some seed, let me know.
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