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Old November 15, 2018   #1
KarenO
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Default Short and sweet winter project

Working toward a new tomato small enough to grow indoors yet also with a great flavour. There are many micro dwarfs that are fun to grow but not many I have tried that had much to offer in the way of that tangy sweet flavour I personally prefer.
To that end I made several crosses last spring using Andrina, Venus, gold pearl, Aztec crossed to full size OP indeterminate tomato plants that I consider to have great flavour and interesting qualities I would like to see in a small plant. I grew out the original crossed fruit, collected seed and grew out the F1’s over summer.
F2 seed has now been planted and selection has begun for dwarfs as the initial criteria, as expected approximately 25% of the F2 seedlings sown.
4 different crosses are being grown by myself and friend Teresa Smith in NC. Salsa Charley also graciously offered to participate in the F2 growout and is growing out some of the Andrina cross.
As always with F2 and with 4 different crosses in play I would expect a lot if variability which we are seeing already just as very young seedlings
I’ll post photos here once I have made my final selections to grow out and invite Teresa and Charley to do so as well if they wish.
Meantime if interested there is an album called “ The short and sweet micro project” on my northern gardener page
It’s a treat to be growing seedlings here in November.
The goal of this project is an interesting, new and tasty cherry on a small dwarf plant. Suitable to grow indoors or out. Ideally Early as well

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Northern...93656547442198

KarenO
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Last edited by KarenO; November 15, 2018 at 02:28 PM.
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Old November 18, 2018   #2
Darren Abbey
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The micro-dwarf line I've stabilized out after the initial cross manages to produce much larger fruit than the original TinyTim I started with. The flavor is meh, but it showed me the micro plants could work with genetics for larger fruit. There are probably limits, but that will require further experimentation.
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Old November 18, 2018   #3
KarenO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Abbey View Post
The micro-dwarf line I've stabilized out after the initial cross manages to produce much larger fruit than the original TinyTim I started with. The flavor is meh, but it showed me the micro plants could work with genetics for larger fruit. There are probably limits, but that will require further experimentation.
Interesting Darren, how large?
I am not aiming for fruit larger than cherry size but I did use beefsteak parents crossed to the micro in some of them in an effort to bring some flavour into mine. The F1’s all were nondescript large red cherries on non dwarf plants as expected but all of them tasted very good and notably, far better than the micro parent so
I have hope that with a fairly large F2 growout there will be something good to take forward, too early to tell of course at this point. The possibility also exists in my crosses for variety in colour, leaf form and potential for stripes as well so quite a genetic alphabet soup we have going here.
Ideal goal is a fancy striped micro that tastes great.
too much to ask? Who knows, we shall see.
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Old November 19, 2018   #4
Darren Abbey
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The average fruit size in this generation was 20.12 g. (Some plants averaged ~25g, while others ~15g. There was a strong plant-position-effect in the data.) The fruit were roughly twice as big as those on happy Tiny Tim plants I've grown in previous years. The one I grew this year was mostly ignored and had smaller than usual fruit.

I wasn't aiming for large fruit in particular, but the one micro F2 line I managed to recover and stabilize carried some larger fruit alleles along with it.

One plant this year had distinctly purple leaves, with no reduction in productivity compared to its neighbors. I saved those seeds separately. There was no anthocyanin-enhanced parentage in its history, so this was a surprise.
----

My understanding is the micro-dwarfs have two recessive dwarfing loci, so they'll be 1/16 of the F2s. You can get them even smaller if one of the parents was determinate, bringing it down to 1/64. You'll pretty quick get a feel for how to identify the normal/dwarf/micro classes of seedlings. It helps if they're under bright lights. Under less-intense lighting, the dwarfs and micros will stretch up and mimic the normals. (This was very frustrating for me this year.)

I've been trying to cross some of the anthocyanin traits from Indigo Rose into a micro, but no luck yet. I still need more practice with directed crosses. I might have had a F1 turn out last year btwn Tiny Tim and a beta-carotene line I've been growing. I have a bunch of seeds from that plant I need to screen for micros.
----

Too much to ask? Never!
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Old November 19, 2018   #5
KarenO
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Never indeed

It will be interesting to see how many of the dwarfs we are seeing stay small. We are identifying in the range of around 20%
From the four crosses, so far as dwarf but they are small seedlings still at this point.
I culled my group from 150 plants down to 45 at present and expect to cull another half of those. Charley is down to 18 small dwarf plants from his original number and his are further ahead beginning to bloom. His graciously agreed to give this project a go in his winter grow and is growing the cross I did with Andrina.
My friend Teresa in NC, like me is growing all four crosses out and is a little behind me starting to cull obvious non dwarfs so far.
I am not bent on a small micro, rather I am absolutely more focused on flavour and so if the standard definition of a micro is under 14 inches at maturity, I am very willing to stretch that to 18 in this project if the flavour is there. A plant that is attractive, healthy and reasonably early as well if I may ask for more

This one is one of mine from a cross I did with the yellow micr “ Venus”
Time will tell as always. Small rugose dwarf, nice looking so far.

Charley and Teresa, please feel free to chime in or post photos as you wish to.
Karen
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Old November 20, 2018   #6
Salsacharley
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All the F2's of the Andrina cross I'm growing are in 6" pots now. They are all just under 12" tall from their soil line. I see no multi-floral and all the plants look like they will be bigger than micro dwarfs. I included a Gold Pearl in a 4" pot to compare with the Andrina cross and you can see it is considerably smaller, not all due to the pot size, and it has substantially more flowers. The Andrina crosses are starting to flower, but they are not early. The seeds were sown for these on 9/11.
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Old November 20, 2018   #7
KarenO
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Do the Andrina cross seedlings you still have appear to be determinate Charley?
The gold pearl will be indeterminate. Like a miniature replica of an indeterminate cherry. Mine grew from January to fall and got to be about 2 feet tall outdoors. Very cute plant. Flavour fairly tart for me.
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Old November 21, 2018   #8
Salsacharley
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I believe the Andrina crosses to be indeterminate.
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Old November 23, 2018   #9
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My seeds were sown on 10/30. I did serious culling and transplanted to individual pots today. Love the potato leaf on the Gold Pearl cross. Very interesting to see the variability across the F2 selections.
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Old November 23, 2018   #10
KarenO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Americangrams View Post
My seeds were sown on 10/30. I did serious culling and transplanted to individual pots today. Love the potato leaf on the Gold Pearl cross. Very interesting to see the variability across the F2 selections.

This is one Teresa is referring to. This is Her photograph

Teresa I’ll show you how to upload pics here, it’s a bit clunky
Thanks for all the pics you sent, hopeful one among everything the three of us has growing is “ the one”

Karen
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Old November 23, 2018   #11
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Thanks Karen! I couldn’t figure out how to upload the photos!
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Old November 23, 2018   #12
KarenO
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Here’s an odd one I have. Also from the gold pearl cross
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Old November 24, 2018   #13
Americangrams
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Interesting upturned leaves
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Old November 26, 2018   #14
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Great stuff guys, I look forward to the results! I’ll be doing some winter F3 micro leads with the hopefully tomato harvest coming in May again!
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Old November 26, 2018   #15
KarenO
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Thanks , it’s a needle in a haystack I’m looking for this go Around.
Best wishes with yours
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