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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
dfollett
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Default I'm looking for a BLT worthy micro tomato

I’ve not been online much lately but have been keeping busy. I’m still working with micros – in fact, more so than ever. What started as a “I wonder what would happen if I crossed these with a micro” has turned into more options than I can possibly follow up on.

One of the primary objectives I’ve settled on is to find a micro that will produce a tomato worthy of building an off-season BLT with REAL tomato flavor. I am convinced I’ve now laid the groundwork to accomplish that but need help to get there.

I’ve made crosses with several different micros, including Mohamed, Minibel, Pinocchio Orange, Orange Hat and an unnamed micro multiflora (MMF to me) bred by Chris Kafer (ChrisK). It is a cross between Red Robin X Rose Quartz Multiflora. All of those micros are fun to grow, but only MMF is worth growing for production and flavor. Those named varieties I have grown are cute but not worth eating. Chris’ MMF is a multiflora that produces literally hundreds of great tasting red cherry sized fruit on a plant that stays under 15” and does well indoors under lights. I grew it out for him from F3-F9. I hope Chris names and releases it soon. If he does, try it.

I didn’t find any micros in those early crosses with very large fruit or real tomato flavor. Everything has been relatively small and taste more like cherries than real tomatoes. So…. I took the best and largest of micros from those initial crosses and crossed them back to other large fruited indeterminate varieties with great flavor, colors & stripes. I’ve found and grown out micros from several of those crosses – and crossed them with each other resulting in F1s that are both micro and fairly large fruited. I am processing the F2 seed from those crosses now.

I am convinced the BLT micro is in there somewhere waiting to be found. I am growing out as many as I can but I have F2 seed from 20+ micro-micro crosses that I don’t have the space and time to grow out. I am looking for folks who would like to grow out some of those micro F2s to help look for the BLT worthy micro.

There shouldn’t be much ‘micro hunting’ involved in these like there is with F2s from the micro X indeterminate crosses. These should nearly all come micro – although they will probably vary in height and will certainly not be at all the same. They will be unstable because both parents were themselves unstable. There will be a lot of variability. No one should plant 10 seeds expecting to grow 5 plants. There will be quite a few that won’t do well in one way or another. There are some that will be exceptional. That’s part of the fun. I try to start at least 10-20 seeds for each one I plan to grow out – more if I can. Plant heavily and cull mercilessly at the seedling – final planting stage.

I grow them indoors under lights in 6” pots. They should be fine in anything that size or larger.

Many of these crosses have the possibility of being multiflora – or not. All have the possibility of different colors and stripe options. Many also have the possibility of both regular leaf and carrot leaf – some with fuzzy leaf.

What I would ask is that anyone who helps grow any of these out report back on successes and failures and send back seed from those that show promise. If anyone is interested in growing please PM me your mailing address and let me what you are interested in.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
greenthumbomaha
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That is a mighty but eagerly awaited project. Always appreciate the work put into this. PM being sent.

Question on spider mites, which have taken down my last two winter micro trials. Do you think the the fuzzy leaf would be more resistant or more tempting to the annual mite invasion? Same with carrot leaf.
I may need to do a little experimenting.

- Lisa
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
dfollett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenthumbomaha View Post
That is a mighty but eagerly awaited project. Always appreciate the work put into this. PM being sent.

Question on spider mites, which have taken down my last two winter micro trials. Do you think the the fuzzy leaf would be more resistant or more tempting to the annual mite invasion? Same with carrot leaf.
I may need to do a little experimenting.

- Lisa
I don't know. I have never had a spider mite problem. I really like the look of the fuzzy leaf when the plant is small but haven't been as impressed with them as the plant matures. They don't seem to age that well. However, I like the carrot-leaf more all the time especially under lights.

My theory as to why they carrot leaf plants do well is this.... Outdoors the sun starts low on one side and gradually moves overhead and across the sky, shining at one time or another on all the leaves, top to bottom. On a shelf under lights, the light never moves. When a plant has large leaves, the bottom leaves are continually shaded and may never get direct light. With the carrot leaf, there is much better penetration of light to the lower leaves.

The biggest pest problem I have struggled with having lots of crowded plants indoors has been white flies. Once they get a foothold they were nearly impossible to get rid of (I used to think). I've not found a spray or fogger that works. I killed and maimed lots of plants trying different spray solutions to white flies until I finally found a solution that works.....

Yellow sticky traps.... They aren't the prettiest things to have, but they eliminate white flies for me. I fought white flies for years and always had to eventually empty the room of plants and fog to get rid them. I now use the sticky traps (1/2 a strip for each pot) and haven't seen a white fly under a leaf in over a year.

I'll send some seed next week. Good luck with the spider mites!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
Tormato
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Fusion Power once showed a pic with one very large tomato on one tiny plant. Contacting him may help you.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #5
HudsonValley
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Have you made any crosses to a microdwarf named Moment? Heritageseedmarket has it. Description says some plants throw small slicers. Maybe it would be interesting. Or Lime Green Salad? Or a PL variety? (I’m working on a Brandywine Sudduth x probable Black Cherry cross and the cherry fruit size seems linked to RL. The PL ones are closer to a small beefsteak version of Brandywine. Not a dwarf, though... just sharing a few thoughts and hoping they might be helpful.)
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
Greatgardens
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Just curious -- did you ever try those Linda seeds? (Heritage carries them now.) Those are the largest tomatoes I've found on the smallest plant to produce them. For me, about 15" tall in a 12" hanging basket. I have not tried growing it in a really small pot. Have you ever tried to grow F2's of Patio hybrid? It is bigger than you are looking for, but there might be something interesting in the parents.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #7
Nan_PA_6b
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Bajaja is a small dwarf or large micro that gives a 1-month, very productive, harvest of good-tasting cherries. Could be a good addition of genes to your project.



I had a micro this year with medium sized fruit on it from a project of mine, but it had very unacceptable taste & I didn't save seeds, alas.



The thing you're looking for has two different dwarf genes (=micro) and at least one non-cherry genes (= full sized fruit). That's 3 recessive factors. On average, one will show up in 64 plants, if you're lucky enough to get the plants in "average" proportions, in the F2.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
shule1
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I had a couple off-types that seemed to be micros with good flavor in 2016. One was supposed to be Mexican and the other was supposed to be Tropic. I'm not sure what they'd be like on another grow-out, but I saved seeds from 'Mexican', and have the initial seed pack for Tropic, which may or may not produce the same type. Neither were in good conditions, though (so they didn't produce much), and I grew them outdoors in the ground.

The fruit size of the Mexican one was about the size of a medium to large cherry (larger than a Red Robin tomato's fruit). It had perfectly round fruit with thick walls and impressive flavor. It was early. Tropic's fruit was smaller and I remember the taste less.

The plants were maybe a foot in diameter or less … but remember, they were not in good conditions. Mexican was rugose, though, I believe. I don't think Tropic was.

I also had a Husky Cherry Red F4 or so that was tiny (like smaller than a micro). Not the taste or fruit-size you'd want for a BLT, but it had a lot of good flavor. The fruits were tiny and firm. The next generation had a plant similar in plant and fruit size and flavor/texture to Snow Fairy (so, quite a bit different, and not a micro), except it kept growing larger until the end of the season, unlike Snow Fairy.

Last edited by shule1; 3 Weeks Ago at 05:15 PM.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
hl2601
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Always love to be a part of your micro projects Dan! PM sent!
Heide
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #10
Idahowoman
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Hi Dan
I am still working on your 64X, 20X,40x,19x,11/12x, 60X,19x and 73x.
I am getting ready to submit reports soon.
I would like to help you with this project also. I will send PM.
Susan
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #11
oakley
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I'll play. I started a tray a couple weeks ago with good germination.
(The four varieties I've been growing the past few years). One is Angora
leaf. I have room to start another tray. Dence planting/culling.
Sending pm
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Old 2 Days Ago   #12
SeanInVa
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Dan,
Thank you for sending me some seeds! Would you mind providing a quick background on these two:
150x-F2
113x-F3-3 - assume this one is ~10" tall, fuzzy leaf multi-flora, 2oz pink with green shoulders fruit, based on the writing on the packet?

I will report in from time to time - info below is probably more than you need right now - but I'm tracking it so here you go

Sowed in seed trays 11/3

150x-F2
73 total seeds sowed
Currently at a 75% germ rate with the following distribution:
4 days - 1.3% (1)
5 days - 10.9% (8)
6 days - 47.9% (35)
7 days - 15% (11)
One of these has produced a tricot, along with some unknown seedling that has popped up - fresh Jiffy seed mix from the store - so we'll see what this intruder is!

113x-F3-3
37 total seeds sowed
100% germ rate with the following distribution:
4 days - 32.4% (12)
5 days - 32.4% (12)
6 days - 29.7% (11)
7 days - 5.4% (2)

Not sure what you did to these seeds, but the germ rate is impressive
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Old 2 Days Ago   #13
dfollett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanInVa View Post
Dan,
Thank you for sending me some seeds! Would you mind providing a quick background on these two:
150x-F2
113x-F3-3 - assume this one is ~10" tall, fuzzy leaf multi-flora, 2oz pink with green shoulders fruit, based on the writing on the packet?

I will report in from time to time - info below is probably more than you need right now - but I'm tracking it so here you go

Sowed in seed trays 11/3

150x-F2
73 total seeds sowed
Currently at a 75% germ rate with the following distribution:
4 days - 1.3% (1)
5 days - 10.9% (8)
6 days - 47.9% (35)
7 days - 15% (11)
One of these has produced a tricot, along with some unknown seedling that has popped up - fresh Jiffy seed mix from the store - so we'll see what this intruder is!

113x-F3-3
37 total seeds sowed
100% germ rate with the following distribution:
4 days - 32.4% (12)
5 days - 32.4% (12)
6 days - 29.7% (11)
7 days - 5.4% (2)

Not sure what you did to these seeds, but the germ rate is impressive
Thanks for the info.

PM me your email address and I'll send their pedigrees. The FL on the 113X package is for Fine Leaf, not fuzzy leaf. I go between 'fine leaf' and carrot leaf (as in Silvery Fir Tree) - not sure which is best. They should all be Fine leaf in that line. The 150X line should be a mix of regular leaf and fine leaf - probably 3:1.

I process all the seeds using Oxyclean. Some lines seem to have much better germination than others.
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Old 10 Hours Ago   #14
hl2601
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Sean and Dan- I also sowed 100 seeds of 150xF2. I agree-the germination rate is really good. Mine is 85%. Will watch to see fine leaf v regular leaf. Too hard to tell yet.

Sean- that cute little seedling by the tricot sure looks a lot like basil... interested to find out!
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Old 1 Hour Ago   #15
oakley
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Thanks Dan for the seed. Seeds sown. A healthy winter tray started from previous seed.
And the new seed.
I have three now going forward I'm guessing stable or close with good flavor. (still working on the Angora leaf)
Nice to have a new batch of seed to play with.

Also not much posting time with work, but always make time for plants.
(probably will post upside down but to tired to care)
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