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Old January 7, 2017   #76
KarenO
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The one I have is tiny and seems very slow growing.
Sorry to monkey wrench your program but maybe these slowpokes are different than the fast growers, will find out...

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Old January 7, 2017   #77
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Might be interesting to try a "reverse" cull.... chuck the fast ones up and let the runts grow out. Maybe they are super tiny or otherwise interesting
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Old January 8, 2017   #78
dfollett
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Might be interesting to try a "reverse" cull.... chuck the fast ones up and let the runts grow out. Maybe they are super tiny or otherwise interesting
KarenO
We should be able to get some answers without doing a "reverse" cull. Then, depending on what we learn, the "reverse" cull might be the best way to find the real micros.

The timing of your observation and question was perfect. I have a tray with 40-50 late bloomers that I will be able to grow out and follow. I'll cull the sickly ones and keep everything that is healthy and strong. I have a couple of other trays that are not as far along that I will also watch for the slow ones.

Between you growing out yours and the ones I have, we should know a lot within a couple of months or less.

Again, thanks for the observation and question.
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Old January 8, 2017   #79
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I did pot up some of the slow growers but not the tiny runts. They did not set even a second set of leaves after nearly 9 weeks. -9 weeks from seeding. Probably 5 weeks from germination.

Karen, your runt does seem to be trying. My sunflower runts are struggling. Even the RedRobin that was doing so well, yet half the size of the others, is struggling now.
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Old January 8, 2017   #80
NarnianGarden
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OT, but I have seen miserable tiny runts grow up to fruitful and lush plants
Appearances at the early stages are very misleading..
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Old January 8, 2017   #81
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Very interesting thread, and winter is the time! I have only grown one micro, Red Dwarf. Have grown it twice now, winter and summer, and the summer plant is still with me maybe getting ready to put on some new leaves and fruit again.

The first time I grew it, there were two seedlings and one of them was a "slow poke". I thought it would never amount to anything. But eventually it did grow and actually was larger than my first after it grew into a larger size pot.

One thing I love about the Red Dwarf is the rugose foliage and sturdy growth habit. It never leaned towards the window in my winter grow, just stayed sturdy. And there was no foliage disease until the last of its fruit had ripened. What a huge bonus that is! It seems to have a cycle where, after ripening every fruit, it will withdraw all the goods from its leaves and let them die, then begin afresh with new foliage and buds.

Incidentally, PL leaf curling is a classic response to low light, which I have seen on non-micro tomatoes in house. There are a few varieties that don't seem to do this, but most PL's seem to be prone to it - compared with RL - afaict ime.

I have the wish to try more micros, and I love blacks so excited to read about your growouts. Just talked to a guy this morning who is going to help me finish the job of renewing my window seals and trim, and when that's done i expect plant fever to take over.... Until then I can't get excited about so much as a microgreen, I am that fed up with insects finding their way into the house for a share of my veggies!
In response to original question, my ideal micro is not leggy or a leaner in dark winter, not prone to foliage disease, and the fruit is never "mushy" or bland. Delicious of course is what we all want ... but in a winter window I would find uses for tomato of decent quality for eating fresh ie not bland and not mushy.

I don't know how the segregation of "mushy" goes, but because it's the thing I hate the most and find most disappointing after months of tending a plant I cull anything of the kind, on the reasoning that at least some of its offspring would be the same.
But there's no reason why you can't select a plant with "the best" growth habit and a second plant with the best taste, and then backcross them in the next generation to select for super taste with the right growth habit. I think.
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Old January 8, 2017   #82
javafxnoob
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Interesting thread. It made me think about growing micro variety in pot.

Being a complete noob, i could need some info from experienced growers. I would like to try some red cherry tomato that can grow on windowsill, but to be able to harvest at this time of year. I would like to have my own cherry tomatoes for holiday. Not planing any grow lights however, it would just stand on my windowsill on southeast part of house. I do realize there is not enough light in winter.

Is it possible?

If is I was searching some internet auction sites here. I could easy obtain seed for Vilma or Cherry Belle (I was growing indeterminate version last year, didn't knew there is small pot variety). Any thoughts about those varieties? Or any other suggestion?
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Old January 8, 2017   #83
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Not runts really, slower to germinate. In my own crosses I always go for the fastest but I wonder what I might be missing by always cullung the slower to germinate ones. It is possible they are very different when in early segregating generations
Makes me think too Dan
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Old January 8, 2017   #84
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dfollet... It is very exciting to read about the wonderful plants you micro dwarf breeders are coming up with! I've been in love with the microdwarfs and mini-dwarfs for years, and grow a few each year. For minis, which I start indoors and move outside later, I look for reliable plants that stay around 18 or 24 inches; I like the ease of covering them in inclement weather, and the flexibility of being able to move them to shade later in the summer. Micros, 12 inches or less I usually start and finish indoors. My holy grail mini-dwarf plant is a good tasting, true orange window box roma! Jan

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Old January 8, 2017   #85
dfollett
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dfollet... It is very exciting to read about the wonderful plants you micro dwarf breeders are coming up with! I've been in love with the microdwarfs and mini-dwarfs for years, and grow a few each year. For minis, which I start indoors and move outside later, I look for reliable plants that stay around 18 or 24 inches; I like the ease of covering them in inclement weather, and the flexibility of being able to move them to shade later in the summer. Micros, 12 inches or less I usually start and finish indoors. My holy grail mini-dwarf plant is a good tasting, true orange window box roma! Jan
I have some F3 seed from an F2 plant that was very healthy and only reached 7" in height. It produced 12-15 fruit that were red and about the size of a large cherry tomato. Based on its pedigree, there is a 67% chance that some of the F3s will be yellow. I have some of these F3s growing now, but it is too early to know if they will stay that small.

I could send you a few if you wanted......
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Old January 8, 2017   #86
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Cool, I have windowsill planters for growing out six plants that size. What crosses are they? What are you most interested in selecting for at the early stage? I will pm you! jan
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Old January 8, 2017   #87
dfollett
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Originally Posted by javafxnoob View Post
Interesting thread. It made me think about growing micro variety in pot.

Being a complete noob, i could need some info from experienced growers. I would like to try some red cherry tomato that can grow on windowsill, but to be able to harvest at this time of year. I would like to have my own cherry tomatoes for holiday. Not planing any grow lights however, it would just stand on my windowsill on southeast part of house. I do realize there is not enough light in winter.

Is it possible?

If is I was searching some internet auction sites here. I could easy obtain seed for Vilma or Cherry Belle (I was growing indeterminate version last year, didn't knew there is small pot variety). Any thoughts about those varieties? Or any other suggestion?
I can't give you any help with information about those varieties. I know nothing about them. I've grown several different micros, but not found any I was impressed with. That's why I'm playing with these crosses and sending seeds to whoever wants to help look. Looking for some that are worth growing.

As to growing with only window light, I have grown quite a few tomatoes through the winter with only window light. I turned a south-facing patio beneath a deck into a sun room by glassing it in. The first ones I grew were normal indeterminates in Earthtainers. They actually did fairly well, but were too cumbersome and difficult to work with. I grew a few dwarfs, but have since worked with these micros - some under lights, and some without lights.

I am at about 41 degrees north latitude and our shortest day is just over 9 hours from sunrise to sunset - your day-length may vary. My experience is that here, many produce through the entire winter. However, some don't do so well. They all seem to slow down, both in the quantity of blossoms they produce and definitely in how fast they mature. Some seem to shut down fruit production completely from late November until late January. The plant still grows, but they don't produce fruit.

Most of those I've grown recently keep producing. Those that quit producing were primarily large-fruited indeterminates I grew the first winter. That might be just coincidental. It certainly isn't anything scientific. I'm sure there is a latitude further north at which none will do well without supplementing the light.

i don't have anything stable at this point. I only have unstable F2, F3 and F4s that may or may not produce what you hope for. They're fun to grow, though.

Good luck. PM me if you want to try some.
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Old January 8, 2017   #88
dfollett
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Very interesting thread, and winter is the time!...

Incidentally, PL leaf curling is a classic response to low light, which I have seen on non-micro tomatoes in house. There are a few varieties that don't seem to do this, but most PL's seem to be prone to it - compared with RL ....

I have the wish to try more micros, and I love blacks so excited to read about your growouts. ....
Thanks for the information. The PL leaves I referred to are on the micro offspring of a cross with Brandywine Cowlick's. The leaves look way too big for the size of the plant they are on. An indeterminate's leaves on a micro plant. They don't curl in the classic sense you'd picture, nor do they curl up. They seem to randomly bend and twist without any particular consistency in how. I will be interesting to see if they do the same out in the sun.

PM me if you'd like me to send you some seeds for you to try....

Last edited by dfollett; January 10, 2017 at 12:39 AM.
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Old January 9, 2017   #89
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It is a different curl and not at all seeming to be a direct relation to low light. I'm growing other varieties with regular leaf and growing well. Along with micro sunflowers.
My MeyerLemon is down there as well and finally producing fruit. In the past it has done fine in a South window but so much stormy weather it shut down so i moved it down with the toms and micro greens.

Dan's micros showed this crazy curl right away with the first set of true leaves. I have lights at various heights so all have been getting light close 2-3 inches. 16hours.

pics this morning. I brought two upstairs for clean natural light. Have not counted but aprox 9 are around 8 inches. 9 are small 3 inches tall...and all the rest, about 18 plants are in the middle range, 4-6 inches.
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Old January 9, 2017   #90
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I should add that the smaller ones were potted up near two weeks later. I did pot up three separate times due to work but each 6-1 6-2 6-8 were involved in each of those events. And noted.
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