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Forum area for discussing hybridizing tomatoes in technical terms and information pertinent to trait/variety specific long-term (1+ years) growout projects.

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Old March 25, 2015   #1
Tim Cushing
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Hello Everyone!

I'm brand new to this forum. However, last year I began growing different wild Solanum species related to our domesticated tomatoes. I obtained seeds from a few private sources, and a batch of seeds from USDA GRIN. I grew S. Habrochaites, S. Peruvianum, S. Pennellii, S. Cheesmaniae, and S. Galapagense. I also obtained S. Chilense seeds, but I've had terrible results with that species.

In particular, I successfully grew a number of S. Cheesmaniae plants. My interest started over a year ago when I bought seeds from Trade Winds Fruits and grew a couple of plants. I have since learned that the S. Cheesmaniae seeds I purchased from TWF are in fact a hybrid, and not a true S. Cheesmaniae. I also purchased seeds from Dr. Alan Kapuler (Peace Seeds, Corvallis, OR) and grew several plants. And then I received seeds from GRIN and did an experiment using different seed pre-soak methods to determine their effect on germination rates.

I have also had a little correspondence with a member of TGRC UC Davis during this time. Thanks to their help, I was able to discover that the TWF seeds were not true to type. In the meantime, the person at TGRC that I was corresponding with was surprised to discover that I grew several plants of LA1405, as TGRC thought that LA1405 no longer existed (they had donated seeds to GRIN in the early 70's, but threw out their own seeds in the mid 70's when they failed to germinate). TGRC has since ordered some of those seeds from GRIN.

I had an 89% germination rate with my LA1405 seeds. According to TGRC, S. Cheesmaniae seeds are notorious for being next to impossible to germinate. I, on the other hand, didn't seem to have a problem sprouting seeds of LA1405. I use rockwool cubes in a tray with water, and I keep my seedling room at a constant 90F degrees. Because of this, I requested more seeds from GRIN in order to test my method with other lots.

I received my order a couple of weeks ago, and I planted ten seeds of each lot into rockwool cubes on March 17, 2015. In addition to S. Cheesmaniae, I ordered and planted other species as well, particularly those that are known to cross with S. Lycopersicum. As of this morning, I have multiple sprouts. Here are my results so far:

S. Cheesmaniae
LA1404 7/10 (7 sprouts out of 10 seeds)
LA1405 8/10
LA1406 8/10
LA1407 2/10
LA1411 9/10
LA1412 8/10
LA1405A (seeds I saved from my LA1405 growout) 9/10
SS (Sacred Succulents) 8/10
PS (Peace Seeds) 9/10

S. Galapagense
LA0317 7/10
LA1401 0/10 (I had trouble sprouting these last year as well, and only have one plant)
LA1403 6/10
LA1410 4/10
SS 2/10
Note: Last year I found that it took much longer for the seeds of LA1401 (the only S. Galapagense seeds I had) to sprout.

S. Chmielewkii
LA1326 9/10
LA1330 6/10
SS 0/5

S. Neorickii
Kitea Tomati 8/10
SS 1/5

I will write a report later on my experiment (one of the conditions of GRIN). I will also experiment with sprouting them in fine coco peat, rather than rockwool to compare results.

I hope to learn how to breed my own varieties using these wild plants in the near future. But even if I don't get around to that this year, I will definitely save as much seed from my grow-outs as possible. I hope to have enough seed saved up from these in order to share with other breeders.

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Old March 25, 2015   #2
heirloomtomaguy
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Awesome job. I too purchased seeds from trade winds and have several sprouts. I guess i may have been had also. Only time will tell.
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Old March 25, 2015   #3
Salsacharley
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This is excellent. Thanks for your info.
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Old March 25, 2015   #4
Tim Cushing
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Here are a couple of pics I took earlier today. I picked a few ripe fruits a few days back. Today I ate one so that I can report back to Tatiana Kounareva (Tatiana's Tomatobase) about the flavor. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't fantastic. It was sweet, but not much else other than a bit of a salty flavor. It reminded me of a Peruvian S. Pimpinellifolium variety I grew last year called 'Rimac' (seeds from Sacred Succulents). Small, sweet (10 Brix), but not much flavor. Was the lack of flavor due to its small size?



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Old March 25, 2015   #5
Sun City Linda
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Welcome to TomatoVille! You fit right in here. What is rockwool btw, have never heard of it before.
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Old March 25, 2015   #6
Tim Cushing
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Rockwool is a growing medium used in hydroponics. I use it (even though I don't grow hydroponically) because it works great for germinating seeds. I use rockwool for tomatoes and Oasis Grow Cubes for peppers. In the picture at the top of my recent sprouts, you'll see a whole slab of rockwool cubes. I just break apart or cut apart the cubes when I'm ready to plant them in soil (I use coco coir). Another reason I use rockwool is because I sell hundreds of plant starts to a local plant shop that has a large number of hydroponics customers.

I keep the tray filled with water. The cubes remain moist, which aids in the germination and subsequent growth. I did an experiment of different pre-soak methods, with no pre-soaking as the control, and found it unnecessary to pre-soak my seeds when using either rockwool or oasis grow cubes.
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Old March 25, 2015   #7
heirloomtomaguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Cushing View Post
Rockwool is a growing medium used in hydroponics. I use it (even though I don't grow hydroponically) because it works great for germinating seeds. I use rockwool for tomatoes and Oasis Grow Cubes for peppers. In the picture at the top of my recent sprouts, you'll see a whole slab of rockwool cubes. I just break apart or cut apart the cubes when I'm ready to plant them in soil (I use coco coir). Another reason I use rockwool is because I sell hundreds of plant starts to a local plant shop that has a large number of hydroponics customers.

I keep the tray filled with water. The cubes remain moist, which aids in the germination and subsequent growth. I did an experiment of different pre-soak methods, with no pre-soaking as the control, and found it unnecessary to pre-soak my seeds when using either rockwool or oasis grow cubes.
I use rockwool to germinate my peppers works great. This year i tried Root Zone peat plugs and they work even better for the tomatoes than when i used rockwool. Another brand is Root Riot either way they are pretty much the same and are also used in hydroponics.
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Old March 25, 2015   #8
Tania
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Great to see you here Tim!



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Old March 25, 2015   #9
Tim Cushing
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Thank you, heirloomtomaguy. I'll have to give those a try sometime this year and see how they do.
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Old March 30, 2015   #10
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What are your breeding goals ? You want to cross the wild with cultivated tomatoes ?
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Old March 30, 2015   #11
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They are so tiny! I wouldn't think anyone would bother growing unless just as a novelty.
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Old April 2, 2015   #12
Tim Cushing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicollas View Post
What are your breeding goals ? You want to cross the wild with cultivated tomatoes ?
My first goal will be to learn how to cross. After that, I would like to concentrate on crossing some of the wilds with domesticated varieties that are considered heat and cold tolerant. Here in Tucson, our tomato plants stop producing about mid-May until about mid-September due to the extreme heat. The goal at that point is to keep the plants alive.

I grew a couple of "S. Cheesmaniae" plants from seed I obtained from Trade Winds Fruits that were very productive. Sharing my photos and results with a staff member of TGRC UC Davis, it was determined that this was not the true S. Cheesmaniae, but rather a cross. Still, these plants continued to produce new tomatoes even in the triple digit heat, although the fruits had very few (if any) seeds in the heat.

I mention cold tolerant varieties of domesticated tomatoes because I have found that many of the so-called cold tolerant tomato varieties do quite well here in Tucson, and seem to survive our extreme heat (even though production stops in the heat).

Even though the Galapagos Islands don't appear to get as hot as Tucson (according to what I read), the two species of wild tomato (S. Cheesmaniae and S. Galapagense) are more drought tolerant and salt tolerant. Those would be benefits for tomato varieties here in Tucson.
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Old April 2, 2015   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Cushing View Post
My first goal will be to learn how to cross. After that, I would like to concentrate on crossing some of the wilds with domesticated varieties that are considered heat and cold tolerant. Here in Tucson, our tomato plants stop producing about mid-May until about mid-September due to the extreme heat. The goal at that point is to keep the plants alive.

I grew a couple of "S. Cheesmaniae" plants from seed I obtained from Trade Winds Fruits that were very productive. Sharing my photos and results with a staff member of TGRC UC Davis, it was determined that this was not the true S. Cheesmaniae, but rather a cross. Still, these plants continued to produce new tomatoes even in the triple digit heat, although the fruits had very few (if any) seeds in the heat.

I mention cold tolerant varieties of domesticated tomatoes because I have found that many of the so-called cold tolerant tomato varieties do quite well here in Tucson, and seem to survive our extreme heat (even though production stops in the heat).

Even though the Galapagos Islands don't appear to get as hot as Tucson (according to what I read), the two species of wild tomato (S. Cheesmaniae and S. Galapagense) are more drought tolerant and salt tolerant. Those would be benefits for tomato varieties here in Tucson.

I'm in the same boat as you with the wild/domestic thing, but my climate is the polar opposite of yours.


Either way, good luck!
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Old April 5, 2016   #14
Keen101
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I too am trialing several Solanum Cheesmaniae and Solanum Galapagense accessions and may use them in breeding projects. This is the year of my big tomato growout, not just for wild tomatoes. And the first year i have grown any tomatoes in several years, but i think it will be a good one. The good news it will be a good growing year. The bad news it will be one heck of a hot, dry, wildfire year!

Solanum Cheesmaniae:
LA0428 - heavy anthocyanin, exerted stigmas
LA0429 - antho, flowers large, exerted stigmas, visited by carpenter bee
LA0437 - orange, anthocyanin, carpenter bee

Solanum Galapagense:
LA0530 - orange-brown fruits
LA1137 - Aromatic?
LA1408 - only one reported as having RED fruit (cross?)
LA1410 - purple fruit

Some of these i've had good germination, others i've had a hard time. I'm using the 3% bleach method to help the seeds. In my second batch i planted some without the bleach treatment just to see if the tortoise germination myth had any merit. One accession sprouted fine without the bleach treatment, the others did not. I am now resowing those with bleach treatment.

I am out of seed for LA1137, but i have ONE seedling growing, so i guess i will just have to take care of that one plant.

I will try to take some pictures of my seedlings at some point.
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Old April 5, 2016   #15
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Great projects! Looking forward to hearing more about how they go! Good luck!
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