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New to growing your own tomatoes? This is the forum to learn the successful techniques used by seasoned tomato growers. Questions are welcome, too.

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Old February 14, 2018   #1
murihikukid
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Default Cross Pollination -saving pollen..

Hi ..Clearly I am wasting my time trying to find a medium size tomato that I really like apart from a variety known to me as Tasty Tom...so I am going to try cross pollinating and see what happens...

I have read articles on what to do but I am always open to tips etc ...So as I understand this is basicly what I have to do ...Choose two varieties ..I have chosen Tasty Tom crossed with a Purple cherry......
To do this I require Pollen from my Purple cherry flowers..Although this is said to be the easy part I really need some tips... My Purple cherry is high and the good flowers are right at the top...for safety reasons I understand I can break off flowers from the top and then get pollen from them into a small jar and actually store it under certain conditions so that it lasts a reasonable time.....

I then apply the pollin ...wait for a fruit to grow and if successful I use the seeds from the fruit to grow a cross?

I have not used the proper terminology so as to keep it simple...I have emancipated a few flowers on a tasty tom plant and it was no problem ...so on with the pollin?? or is it not quite as easy as that....

Regards Ron
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Old February 14, 2018   #2
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Without trying to freeze(deep),and hoping to get input some day from the cryogenic crowd(seed bank Norway) all my pollen collections seemed to fail.Thanx for bringing it up.
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Old February 14, 2018   #3
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You can just pinch fresh opened flowers from the donor, throw them in a small baggie and let them dry there (don't agitate the bag). When time comes, take one out and and shake the pollen on a piece of glass or something. Trying to shake pollen from nondry flowers is not very productive, not much will come out (depends on variety, I find some are suspiciously stingy especially beafsteaks), and hard to store.
I think the emasculating part is the more difficult part.
Not sure how long the pollen should be viable though.
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Old February 14, 2018   #4
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Everything I have read is that the longer it is stored (properly) the less viable tomato pollen becomes. 6 months seems to still be an acceptable length of time for 60-80% effectiveness, quickly dropping to <50% at a year. At 2 years under proper storage, it was very hit/miss <10%.
Proper storage looks to be at 32F with low humidity. Let pollen dry out for a few days prior to storing. Desiccants can also help to keep moisture at bay. Short term storage <1 month, it was not recommended to refrigerate, just keep it in a cool dry place. Also I saw in several references was to use the smallest container possible so the pollen is stacked/layered and not spread out.
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Old February 14, 2018   #5
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Hi..Thanks for comments ..everything helps....I have a scalpel kit,Tweezers and nearly ready to go ...but cannot find my headband magnifier..?
I will read all the notes again that I wordpadded from google and give it a go ...Here in NZ we are unable to order seeds from overseas so we have basicly stagnated tomatoes...IE what used to be a beautiful popular fruit variety ,great tasting when I was young (Popentate) is now tasteless...There are a lot of great tasting cherry Tomatoes but I love my sandwiches so I will have a go at getting a slicer and see what happens ...
I have faith in the Tasty Tom which is supposedly Campari but with 3 times the taste...and if I can get some cherry taste into some seeds...Well who knows..IMO its worth a try ..I am learning in my old age and I might get lucky...As a diabetic I keep the small containers used for "test Strips" for my seeds so they could be great for pollen also...Regards Ron

Last edited by murihikukid; February 14, 2018 at 09:09 PM.
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Old March 1, 2018   #6
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Default Difficulty getting Pollen? Would this work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zipcode View Post
You can just pinch fresh opened flowers from the donor, throw them in a small baggie and let them dry there (don't agitate the bag). When time comes, take one out and and shake the pollen on a piece of glass or something. Trying to shake pollen from nondry flowers is not very productive, not much will come out (depends on variety, I find some are suspiciously stingy especially beafsteaks), and hard to store.
I think the emasculating part is the more difficult part.
Not sure how long the pollen should be viable though.
Hi..I am having difficulty getting pollen due to my eyesight etc...Instead of breaking the anther apart and cutting it etc .....I wonder if one can pull the ANTHER from the donor flower and try and place it over the emasculated stigma of the mother plant??

I presume it will not work as I have not come across anything written but I thought it worth while asking the experts...Thankyou Ron...
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Old March 1, 2018   #7
zipcode
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murihikukid View Post
Hi..I am having difficulty getting pollen due to my eyesight etc...Instead of breaking the anther apart and cutting it etc .....I wonder if one can pull the ANTHER from the donor flower and try and place it over the emasculated stigma of the mother plant??
Yes, it will work, if there is some pollen on the anther. Be careful not to break the stigma.
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Old March 1, 2018   #8
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Hi..Thanks ..Thats great? I did think about the stigma as regards it breaking ..I did a couple of trials emasulating some flowers and that went straight forward so hopefully I will have some success ...I will try and use large anthers that will go easily go over the stigma...Regards Ron
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