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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 October 1, 2015   #61
drew51
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I admire you guys who try to earn a living at this. I just could never do it. Too much work, not enough profit. I could not maintain my lifestyle selling produce. I would really like to, but as a med tech I just make so much more moneys, it is not realistic. So I stick to backyard growing. I'm retired now, and still feel the payoff is way too small. Jobs have kept me in the city too. The closer to Detroit, the more one is paid. I can double income working 8 miles from the city, versus 80 miles. My wife is a nurse and makes the same i did as a lab rat. She is still working. So the tomatoes remain on my table only.
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Old October 4, 2015   #62
joseph
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Ha! I definitely don't earn a living by plant breeding or farming. But it gives me something to do to occupy my time.

Last growing season I made a hybrid between a huge yellow/red indeterminate beefsteak (Hillbilly or Virginia Sweets) and a small red saladette determinate tomato (Jagodka). I grew it out overwinter and planted F2 seedlings this spring.

Some of the fruits have ripened. Here are photos of what they look like:



HX-3: Early bi-color fruits. Determinate. Industrialized flower. I'm likely to grow this one again as a breeding line due to the bi-color fruits and early productivity. It will definitely be added to my landrace tomatoes.


HX-6: Early red fruits. Indeterminate. Industrialized flower. None of the traits I was looking for from the cross. I intend to drop this line.


HX-9: Large early fruits. Determinate. Loose/open flowers with exerted stigma. Big petals. Nice floral Display. Bi-color fruit. This is the phenotype that I was hoping to get out of this cross!!! The first time I evaluated the patch, this plant had set twice as many fruit as any other plant in the clade. I intend for this to be a high priority grow-out next year.


HX-13: Small early fruits. Indeterminate. Industrialized flowers. None of the traits that I was looking for. Unlikely to grow this one again.


HX-15: Early small red fruits. Determinate. Vigor somewhat lacking. Open flowers, but stigma not excerted. The open flowers and determinate growth habit are interesting. I'll roll this one into a landrace due to it's open flowers and determinate growth, but don't intend to do line-breeding on it. Even though I'm calling the fruits small, they are larger than Jagodka, one of the progenitors of the cross.


HX-16: Early extra large red fruits. Determinate. Marginal vigor. Industrialized flowers. The early large fruit and determinate growth habit are nice enough to get it rolled into the landrace, but I don't feel inclined to pursue it as a breeding line.


I have a lot of blemishes (bacterial speck/spot) on tomato fruits and leaves in my garden right now... I walked my garden yesterday looking for any plants that were resistant. Most of this clade, and a bi-color indeterminate beefsteak that looks like the father of the cross showed minimal spotting. Hmm... I'll have to watch that in coming years.

Last edited by joseph; October 4, 2015 at 01:37 PM. Reason: fix photo
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Old October 4, 2015   #63
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Here is what the year-to-date harvest looks like for this clade. Each vertical line of tomatoes is the harvest from one plant. HX-9 is the most productive so far, that's nice because it is also the phenotype that I was after. Of the new plants that are starting to produce fruit, only HX-14 has an open flower structure and an exerted stigma, but it's indeterminate and red, so meh.... All the newly producing plants are indeterminate, so not all that interesting to me.

HX Clade:

Last edited by joseph; October 4, 2015 at 02:54 PM.
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Old October 4, 2015   #64
drew51
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I would like to breed as a hobby, not tomatoes though, fruit trees, and brambles. I do a small amount of new crosses every year. I lost some seed when my mother-in-law was in my garden and ate one of my hand pollinated raspberries! Argh! Well at least I had 3 others left of the cross. I'm trying to make a good orange raspberry. The only color I don't have.




I had high bacterial spot this year myself, good luck with the hybrids!

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Old October 7, 2015   #65
yardn_gardn
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Joseph, the H-3 bicolor is fantastic. The combination swirl reminds me of candy.
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Old October 9, 2015   #66
joseph
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph View Post
HX-13: Small early fruits. Indeterminate. Industrialized flowers. None of the traits that I was looking for. Unlikely to grow this one again.
I've changed my mind about this tomato... The full season productivity has been very good. I expect to grow it next year, just to see if anything cool shows up among the offspring, and because even though it is indeterminate, and has small red fruits, and has industrialized flowers, it was so early and so productive it might be worth growing just for that reason. If promiscuous flowers don't eventually show up in the line then I can drop it later on.

Last edited by joseph; October 9, 2015 at 10:27 PM.
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Old October 9, 2015   #67
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To honor the plant breeders who have gone before me, I'm fermenting tomatoes this year in a birdhouse gourd. There are seeds from hundreds of varieties of tomatoes in there. And I tasted every fruit before committing its seeds to the fermentation vat.

Fermenting tomato seeds in a birdhouse gourd.
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Old November 24, 2015   #68
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I finally finished fermenting the last of the tomatoes about a week ago. Woo Hoo! The rotting tomato smell is finally gone from my bedroom. We are having freezing weather, so I wasn't able to ferment outside.

I grew 3 different clans of F2 tomatoes this summer.

With 2 of the clans, I saved seeds in bulk from the best 20% to 30% of the plants that were grown. The parents had a lot of shared traits between them. Since they were so much alike I figure that it's best to save bulk seed, and not try to do line breeding on them. In addition, the two clans looked so similar that they may have had the same pollen donor so I may combine them at the end of next growing season. These were originally part of my promiscuous-pollination project, but since I didn't find the open flowers that I was looking for, I will give them another screening next year. I'm intending to maintain these as a diverse clan, and to select to maintain variability. I might pull a few plants out to be added to the promiscuous landrace.

With the third clan, I saved seeds separately from 8 of the 18 plants that were grown. Each one had a trait, or set of traits, that I want to explore more next year. The two parents were very different from each other, so the grandkids traits were widely diverse. Most of the plants that I culled were late maturing. That isn't a trait to be encouraged in my garden.

I think that I saved seeds from 5 phenotypes of the (F3 or F4) crosses between wild tomatoes and domestic tomatoes. Two of them were my favorite tasting tomatoes this year.

I grew Lycopersicon glandulosum this summer, and some fruits were produced, but only two plants survived, and I didn't collect any seeds after fermenting the fruits.

I also grew Solanum habrochaites, but due to a family trouble I never planted them into the garden. They sat in pots under an apricot tree all summer. I moved them towards fall, and the pots dried out. Two plants survived and are growing on a south facing windowsill.

I started erecting a new greenhouse today. Hoping to grow tomatoes in it in the spring. This is what it looked like after 3 hours.


Last edited by joseph; November 24, 2015 at 12:54 AM.
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Old November 24, 2015   #69
loulac
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I’m not surprised to see Joseph works in the middle of the night. I always thought days should have at least 30 hours to let him have some sleep from time to time…
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Old November 24, 2015   #70
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I worked till after dark again today, the best photo of the day was just after sunset. This is after 10 hours of labor.

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Old November 24, 2015   #71
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Looks great - second time up must go faster! Got to get it closed in soon!
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Old November 25, 2015   #72
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Snow is predicted by Wednesday afternoon (tomorrow), so I skipped ahead in the instruction manual, and put the roof panels on early to try to keep the snow off a work area inside. The door is complicated, so I'm saving that for last. First thing in the morning I intend to put the glazing on the walls. Then I could be out of the snow AND out of the wind...

The first time I built this model of greenhouse it took 22 hours. I'm way ahead of that schedule, even though there was an error in one of the roof beams that was cut wrong at the factory which caused problems and delays until we discovered what was causing the trouble.

Last edited by joseph; November 25, 2015 at 12:16 AM.
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Old November 25, 2015   #73
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Joseph, I have not seen a greenhouse that looks like the one you are building. I haven't done much traveling in the past 20 years. It does look interesting and more like I would build here. I'm glad to see you are building it.

What I see being built where I live are those hoop shaped plastic covered things. They don't hold up to the wind and storms here. I have it stuck in my head that a hot house or greenhouse is built like a home with 2x6s and fiberglass panels. I guess that's a thing of the past? It probably costs too much nowadays.
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Old November 25, 2015   #74
joseph
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This is the Harbor Freight 10' X 12' greenhouse. It was priced about 2 to 3 times what a hoop house with a plastic covering would have cost. It costs about half of what it would have if built out of 2X4s and corrugated fiberglass. To hold up to high winds or heavy snow it needs additional bracing. I'm planning on adding bottom chords to the rafters, and stiffeners above the doors and on the back wall. I expect to add diagonal chords in the roof to prevent twisting. I already added stiffeners to the base. I expect to glue and screw the glazing to the frame. The supplied clips don't hold the glazing in place during high winds. I expect to add lots of rivets and screws to strengthen connections. I expect to connect the windows to the frame with a short piece of chain to keep them from blowing away. The doors are prone to falling off in high winds. I intend to add some kind of positive latch to keep them in place. The last one I had, I bolted the doors shut if high winds were expected. I expect to do lots of caulking and weather striping to close up the host of air leaks. Last time I built this greenhouse, I spent as many hours on strengthening projects as I did on building it originally.

I really liked my first greenhouse of this model. So I'm building it again in a new location.
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Old November 25, 2015   #75
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The build took 14 hours this time.

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