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Old May 30, 2015   #16
joseph
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Today I planted two patches of tomatoes. The first was a production patch so it contained plants that I'm intending as food for my family, the food pantry, and the farmer's market. It contained my saladette landrace, my slicer/canner landrace, some romas, some yellow slicing tomatoes, some dehybridized Sungolds, and DX52-12 as a standard reference plant.

The second patch was a breeding and selection patch. It contained things that I may use as pollen donors or mother plants for making hybrids this summer. It contained all of the varieties that are new to my garden this year. It contains 3 species of tomatoes. One of them isn't directly cross-compatible with domestic tomato so I hope to try a cross, but don't have much expectation of success. The other is current tomato. Fully compatible with domestic tomato, but it is also self-compatible, so I may not use is in any crosses. This planting included "Pollen Donor Group" which are seeds I collected last fall from plants that were super-late-season. I collected them due to having open flowers or loose anther cones. I'm also curious if mere selection can shorten the days to maturity of this population.
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Old May 30, 2015   #17
Idahowoman
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Joseph,
I am about to plant my tomato plants next week. We have received approximately 3 inches of rain from the 13 of May until the 28th.
I am glad you are on the quest for a good earlier tomato for our valley.
I can grow the heirloom ones with longer DTM in the hoophouse but it would be nice for myself and my neighbors
to be able to grow tomatoes that produce well in our short season.
I will be following your progress with interest.
Susan
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Old May 30, 2015   #18
joseph
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Susan: I grew a thousand or so tomato plants for the farmer's market this spring. I've been sharing the heck out of them... I expect to take them 2 to 3 more weeks.

My three favorite varieties are:

Ot'Jagodka, a super early red saladette tomato, with 2-3 ounce fruits. I even had ripe fruit from this to take to market today -- so I could show off what the fruits look like.

Joseph's Earliest Landrace, red saladette tomatoes.

Joseph's Slicing Landrace, which are about 8-10 ounce red fruits.

I've also been taking 6-packs which are a mix of the above plus a yellow slicing tomato. Those have been very popular.

I really like having just a few varieties that really thrive here... I'm not very happy at all the Brandywines and Beefsteaks I see the nurseries offering around here.

All are determinate. They ripen most or all of their fruit before the fall frosts. I trialed hundreds of varieties and dehybridized dozens to arrive at these populations. I'm getting much more clever about selecting for traits that thrive in the valley.

Alas, people ask what they taste like: I have to say like any other (gaggy) tomato.


Last edited by joseph; May 30, 2015 at 10:16 PM.
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Old May 31, 2015   #19
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*waves back at Joseph & his folks*
Looks good at the table! Hope that none of your seedlings produce what you describe as 'gaggy'.

Your philosophy is interesting and no doubt works for your needs, but I would be bored to have the same every year - trialing different heirlooms and some hybrids is what motivates me every summer.
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Old June 11, 2015   #20
joseph
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph View Post
Here's what the hybrid fruit looked like, compared to the pollen donor line.
The seeds from the tomato on the right were fermented for a couple of days and then planted. They germinated today.

Last edited by joseph; June 11, 2015 at 09:43 PM. Reason: Add Photo
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Old June 11, 2015   #21
jmsieglaff
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Joseph when your tomatoes are all growing and intermixing their genetics should you notice something that stands out as useful in a particular plant will you self it and try to stabilize or just let everything continue to go as it may? Seems like the randomness could produce something useful to you and the only way to maintain that random combination of genes is to isolate it and stabilize it.
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Old June 11, 2015   #22
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Promiscuous pollination is among the most important goals in my garden. Therefore, I don't do stabilization by inbreeding generation after generation until I get a highly inbred line in which almost every allele is homozygous.

But I often stabilize traits that are important to me by planting more plants that have the desired trait, and fewer plants that have traits that I don't like. If the desired trait is recessive, such as orange fleshed tomatoes, then once I select for that trait it will continue in all of the offspring unless cross-pollination occurs. If I was selecting for a dominant trait such as red-fleshed fruit, and there were other colors hidden within the genetics, then there might always be some chance of an orange/yellow tomato showing up.

I tend to select for whole suites of genes that end up being mostly stable... For example, all of my landrace tomatoes mature in the available growing season. Super long maturity plants don't just appear in my garden. Beefsteak types don't appear. Cherry tomatoes don't arise spontaneously. None of my tomatoes get blossom end rot when grown in my garden. None of my tomatoes are preyed on by Colorado Potato Beetles. They survive the early spring flea beetle predation. Offspring tend to resemble their parents and their grandparents, so the tomatoes in my garden are pretty similar from year to year.

I'm mixing things up a bit more these days by moving towards orange/yellow tomatoes, and by messing with the flower structures, but I expect some things will stay about the same, such as targeting highly determinate, precocious plants that bear about 3 to 10 ounce fruits. I will never tolerate blossom end rot regardless of whatever other great traits a tomato might have. I can't grow anything that requires a long frost free season. The ability to grow fast in cold/frosty weather will continue to be a very valuable trait in my garden.
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Old June 14, 2015   #23
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Looking good. About 84 days till expected fall frosts, so that's cutting it close... But no guts, no glory.
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Old June 20, 2015   #24
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Today, my mother ate the first tomato that ripened in the open field.

I picked these from the greenhouse to take to market.


Today I planted the F2:[DX52-12 X Ot'Jagodka] plants into the field. It's getting too hot to keep anything in pots these days. Can't keep enough water on them. I sorted them before planting into a lot that has flower buds, and a lot that don't yet. It was half and half. Then I planted the almost flowering plants together.

Last edited by joseph; June 20, 2015 at 02:58 AM.
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Old June 21, 2015   #25
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Joseph,

I have seeds from Valencia Tomato fermenting and soon will have some Golden Jubilee fermenting as well. They are a medium sized tomato. Both look golden/orange to me - like Sungold fully/over-ripe. I will also be fermenting seeds from a cherry tomato called, "Oranje Van Goeijenbier" It is orange with a good "Interesting" taste. I'll ferment some as soon as my wife quits eating them all.

I know our growing times and conditions are very different, but I have little doubt that all three will grow well in your gardens. I'll PM you when the seeds are ready. If you are interested, you'll be the first to get them.
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Old June 21, 2015   #26
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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.

Last edited by joseph; June 21, 2015 at 01:44 AM.
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Old June 26, 2015   #27
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I ordered a No-ID packet of S. habrochaites. It arrived safely today.

The package included a free gift labeled "LA1777 X". It didn't specify the name of the mother, but I'm super hyped about the cross.

There was another free gift labeled "LA1777" but I guess you get what you pay for, because it didn't have any seeds in the envelope...

LA1777 was collected at an elevation of ~10,000 feet, and is famous for it's cold hardiness. According to UC-Davis, it is self-incompatible (Woo hoo! Mandatory out-crossing -- may be on the way!!!) But the label on the packet said, "Self pollinating". Contradictory statements, but I suppose that it has huge flowers either way. It has shown resistance to some strains of late blight.

It's getting kinda late in the season, but I'll plant a few seeds tomorrow, and plant some Jagodka also so that I'll have my favorite mother at about the same age. Might plant them in pots so that I can bring them into the greenhouse in late fall.

Today I planted into the field the F2:[Hillbilly X Jagodka] plants. They are way smaller than I like. That makes them more susceptible to being eaten, but it's getting late and I figure they grow better in the field than in a pot. I'm intending to select for determinate plants, and yellow or yellow/red fruits. So what do I do with the 94% of the patch that won't measure up to both of those criteria? Cull all the off types? Determinate growth habit is a valuable trait in my garden, so I suppose that I could start by culling all the indeterminates. And keep anything determinate regardless of the color of the fruit? I'm only expecting about 3 plants that have both traits that I am looking for. I already started culling. Some plants were growing so slowly that they got culled instead of planted. I arranged them in the row from most vigorous to least vigorous.

Or do I make public posts describing the traits of some of my favorites? And save the seed for sharing. Perhaps someone else would value indeterminate growth... But I'm also looking for open flowers that drop clouds of pollen for the bees. That was the original reason for making this cross... Now I'm throwing orange fruit and determinate into the selection criteria as well? Sheesh!

Last edited by joseph; June 26, 2015 at 03:55 AM.
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Old June 26, 2015   #28
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Determinate plants make the most sense for your climate. There is no way to get full production from an indeterminate with 100 growing days. A carefully chosen determinate can produce a full crop of harvestable fruit.

You will find that LA1777 and most S. Habrochaites are very long season requiring about 180 days from seed to fruit. The flowers are huge and attractive to bees.

Remind me to send you a few of the seed of the LA0417 crosses. I will soon have some F3 seed carefully selected in the F2 for desirable traits.
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Old June 26, 2015   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
You will find that LA1777 and most S. Habrochaites are very long season requiring about 180 days from seed to fruit.
In that case, I'll definitely grow it in pots so that it can be moved inside, and used as a pollen donor sometime during the winter...
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Old June 28, 2015   #30
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I'm posting to make a little brag...

A fellow brought a photo to the farmer's market yesterday. It showed a tomato plant with ripe fruit on it. He said that he got the plant from me. Hee hee hee. It looked like Ot'Jagodka. I took 3 baskets of ripe tomato fruits to the farmer's market yesterday. They were greenhouse tomatoes, but next week I will add to them tomatoes grown in the open field. Woo Hoo!
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