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Old December 3, 2016   #1
AKmark
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Default Mat-Su Express

Sherry AK and I have been working on several crosses of great tasting heirlooms with good tasting early varieties to make varieties that work well in northern climates. One of these is called Mat-Su Express, a cross of Brandywine and Bloody Butcher that is now at F6.
I sent a few seeds out at F4 and some F5's will be going around from those seeds known as plant (A). I have also sent out several batches of F6 from plant A - A was a selection in the F3.
Here is the important part of this post. I had a heck of a time finding good selections that were close to as early as the F1. At F4 about 25 percent were very early, F5 was about 50 percent. ALL I ASK is if you plan on passing around seed, please grow a few plants to make sure you get an early selection, taste is pretty stable, just a little variation. We call it Mat-Su Express because they are early. There are plenty of late season types floating around that tastes great, less early ones that taste great. I am growing over a 100 per generation to make good selections for the next generation, and will have it at F8 this next season.
I will send out some plant B (a selection in F3 also) next season, they are called Mat-Su Super B, they yield a lot of very tasty tomatoes

Enjoy, many will really like this strain.
Mark in the frozen north
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Old December 3, 2016   #2
Jimbotomateo
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AK Mark , really looking forward to this season and growing your Matsu Express! Hope it does well in my area . It's getting great reviews and brandywine was very good this, my first year. Tomatoes seem to be pretty forgiving for complete novice like myself.lol. Don't know which generation I have but if I have success I'm sure they'll taste great! Thanks for bringing M E to tomatovillers and shortened DTM is huge plus! Your workin awful hard up there and prolly enjoying it. Rock the maters in 2017! Jimbo
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Old December 3, 2016   #3
Labradors2
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Those of us who live in the north really appreciate your hard work in creating an EARLY and TASTY M.E. I have some seeds and will attempt to grow more than one plant in 2017.

Linda
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Old December 3, 2016   #4
Cole_Robbie
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Everyone getting their seed from me has F5. I only had three plants, but I could not tell them apart. It's my favorite red tomato to eat, and I have grown a lot of red tomatoes. Yield was good, too.

My plants last year were in the high tunnel, which is not heated, and I had May weather that was ridiculously cold and wet, some nights in the 40's. My early Mat-Su were cat-faced from the very cold weather. That was the only downside I saw in it. I'm going to grow a lot of Mat-Su Express next summer, but I'm not going to try to make an early tomato out of it, because in my climate that means exposure to unpredictable weather.

Thank again, Mark. I hope everyone else likes Mat-Su as much as I did.
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Old December 3, 2016   #5
Jimbotomateo
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I just finished salad with my last brandywine tomato. Gonna grow couple extra M E this year in place of brandywine.
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Old December 3, 2016   #6
bower
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Kudos, Mark! I really enjoyed the F1 parent of Mat-Su this summer. It did very well in spite of challenging conditions and a late start. It set every blossom afaict, and when I put the plant outdoors it lost most of its leaves but it kept on sizing up those fruit and most of them ripened before the season was over. They were salad sized beefs, quite tasty and the plant wasn't fazed by our crazy weather. Thanks for sharing.
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Old December 3, 2016   #7
AKmark
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Cole, you don't have to expose them to weather conditions, you can simply choose seed from the first several plants that bear tomatoes, the tastes are all about the same as the later bearing plants. What someone like yourself gets from that is being one of the first guys at the market with tomatoes.
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Old December 3, 2016   #8
KarenO
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sounds great! How many DTM are you looking at for the early selections Mark?
Karen
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Old December 3, 2016   #9
AKmark
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Karen, in my near perfect environment I am getting the first ripe fruits from 102-108 days from seed, some are a week or so later, but I will fix that in the next few generations. I will grow a bunch this year, I have a lot of space to grow them. I also have some seed from outdoor plants to select for cold tolerance, but I have not put as much time into those, YET
I am meeting with Sherry Monday to discuss where we are going with this. She has several semi stable and stable crosses that she has been working on for many years, I think many people will really like them too. I will let you all know what we come up with. I can say this, there are some great genetics in the crosses, most will grow outside in AK, they taste great, some are superior tasting too.

Last edited by AKmark; December 3, 2016 at 08:31 PM.
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Old December 3, 2016   #10
Gerardo
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Hi Mark,

I'll be putting Mat-Su Xp through the gauntlet right next to my other winter warriors (M. Alla, Maya & Sion AC, S. Ponchik, 0-33, G. Altai, and a few others) to see how they handle large swings in temp. During our "winter" evenings can be in the 40s with days in the high 80s, sometimes 90s.

Mat Su XP is growing strong, on par with Maya & Sion AC.
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Old December 3, 2016   #11
AKmark
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Great to hear Gerardo, that was the plan, I want to see how they are doing elsewhere than here. I have some others I have not sent out yet that people are really going to like too. At the end of next season, I will unleash several. LOL
Just thank Sherry, she showed me how to do this, and donates a lot of her time tinkering in my GH's with the varieties. She is pretty darn sharp and detailed, and simply has a knack for dreaming up great combinations. If you guys like the tomatoes, make sure to thank Sherry AK
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Old December 3, 2016   #12
greenthumbomaha
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKmark View Post
Karen, in my near perfect environment I am getting the first ripe fruits from 102-108 days from seed, some are a week or so later, but I will fix that in the next few generations. I will grow a bunch this year, I have a lot of space to grow them. I also have some seed from outdoor plants to select for cold tolerance, but I have not put as much time into those, YET
I am meeting with Sherry Monday to discuss where we are going with this. She has several semi stable and stable crosses that she has been working on for many years, I think many people will really like them too. I will let you all know what we come up with. I can say this, there are some great genetics in the crosses, most will grow outside in AK, they taste great, some are superior tasting too.

Thank you for sharing this important (to us northerners) cross with us, Mark and Sherry. I am excited to try it in the future.

I am wondering if in a less than perfect growing environment (such as mine) are the results that Mark achieved dependent on continuous fertilizing and watering? I am sometimes remiss with regards to both. Is the earliness purely genetic, or could I get the same results with slightly neglected plants. I'm more of a plant it (with fertilizer) and let it be for a while due to my schedule. A small reduction in production is okay, but I hope the lack of continuous fertilization would not slow it down initially. Those first few tomatoes really stand out and get a lot of attention until they are ready!

Any pics?

- Lisa
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Old December 3, 2016   #13
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Mark, there will be some F5 Mat-Su Express growing in Texas. They will be started on January 1, 2017. Then planted out sometime in March. I could grow one in a 5 gallon bucket too.
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Old December 3, 2016   #14
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Mat-Su Express will be growing in Florida this winter. Seeds from Cole_Robbie so F5s, have been sowed - 100% germination.

Very excited to try this.
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Old December 3, 2016   #15
AKmark
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Lisa, great question. They have been grown outside in AK. In my greenhouses every variety gets the same environment, so when we see stuff that is earlier, or yields better, we can safely assume it is most likely genetic, and I grow about a 100 varieties a year. Lisa look in the crosstalk thread section at a thread called expectations.
Robert, good luck, I have no idea how they will perform in the Texas heat, you can certainly let us know though. I have a couple of other crosses, I will have to send you next year, they are later season, but the taste I cannot get enough of.
Awesome Barb, I hope they treat you good.

Last edited by AKmark; December 3, 2016 at 10:13 PM.
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