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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 April 30, 2018   #316
Harry Cabluck
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Default Lofthouse's Big Hill blossoms.

Joseph, am a confused newbie who wishes to help! Here are photos showing blossoms on a Big Hill, the seeds of which were received from you recently. In your description of Big Hill you say: "closed flowers are a dominant trait. Therefore any offspring that have closed flowers are off-type and should not be called Big Hill." The flowers shown here appear to be closed... to this newbie. You say that you would love to receive seeds from any descendants of this variety that are off-type or have closed flowers.

Would like to harvest seeds from this crop, if it makes. Then plant them next spring in order to see if they produce offspring that you may wish to receive.

To better understand "closed flowers," do these photos show the closed flowers to which you refer. Please help someone who would like to help you.
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File Type: jpg Big Hill 2 sq.jpg (440.8 KB, 116 views)
File Type: jpg Lofthouse Big Hill blossom.jpg (254.6 KB, 116 views)
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Old May 1, 2018   #317
PhilaGardener
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Nice pictures! Interesting that the youngest flower on the front truss appears to be exposed by virtue of short petals. Do they grow out as the flower ages, or is that example atypical for this plant?
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Old May 1, 2018   #318
Harry Cabluck
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Default Lofthouse Big Hill Blossoms 2.

PhilaGardener, Thanks for your interest. This is the first year to grow from Lofthouse seeds. Here is a closer crop to better show the blossom on the left, and sequence of opening. Will continue to monitor and photograph the plant. Hope this newbie has answered your question. Still, would like clarification on what a "closed flower" looks like.
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Old May 1, 2018   #319
bower
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Harry, I'm sure Joseph will see this and reply at some point, but afaik his work on flowers makes the distinction between a closed anther cone, vs one in which the stigma is exerted. Looking at your picture of the open flower on the left, you can see that the stigma is 'exerted' ie it sticks out further than the anther cone. you can also see that the anthers are curling back at the end instead of forming a tight or closed cone. So I think you have the right phenotype for "Big Hill", with open anthers.

I'm loving to see your pictures of this cross which is very interesting to me! and hoping to grow it in future. Please keep posting your pics! I can see you have some fruit setting already (those finished flowers are really "closed"! and around some baby fruit I'd say.)
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Old May 1, 2018   #320
joseph
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Harry, thanks for the grow report. As PhilaGardener and Bower mentioned, I would call those open flowers, because the anther cone is exposed so that it could in theory rub against the belly of a bee. Here's a photo I took a minute ago of a Big Hill flower. I've marked two traits that I consider important in a Big Hill flower: The exposed stigma, and the anthers being only minimally connected to each other.

The flared tips of the anthers in your photo is interesting to me. I don't know if that is typical of Big Hill. I guess fruit will be ripening in about 7 weeks. Hoping for another grow report then.

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Old May 1, 2018   #321
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Here are some photos of the vocabulary I use to describe tomato flowers. I am selecting for the trait listed in the caption, and against the industrialized trait which is also shown in the diagrams. In general, I call a flower "open" if the female part of the flower could rub against the belly of a bee.

Loose Anther Cones


Exerted Stigmas


Open Anther Cones


Abundant Pollen


Huge Flowers


Welcoming Petals

Last edited by joseph; May 1, 2018 at 01:17 PM.
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Old May 1, 2018   #322
joseph
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Here is a flower from my promiscuous pollination project (on the left), compared to a typical industrialized tomato flower. I'm pleased with the progress. One of these days, I hope to get those huge flower petals incorporated into Big Hill.

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Old May 1, 2018   #323
bower
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That big petaled flower is awesome Joseph.
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Old May 1, 2018   #324
joseph
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Thanks Bower. I'm also selecting for bold floral displays. Want to attract pollinators.

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Old May 1, 2018   #325
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Here's a photo of a flower from a wild tomato. Some day, I might get a highly exerted style like this incorporated into my tomatoes. It's pretty far away genetically from the species I'm currently working with, and attempted crosses haven't been successful. So for now, I just grow it in my garden.

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Old May 2, 2018   #326
Harry Cabluck
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Default Big Hill lost blossom.

PhilaGardener, Bower and Joseph; Many thanks, sharing your knowledge, prompted one to find an additional book. Now have a copy of "Economic Botany," by Simpson and Ogorzaly, to supplement books by Dr. Carolyn and the one by Bill Adams. Would you suggest some other publication? Joseph's drawings and photos indicate that he would be a very mind-stimulating teacher. Problem, these days, would be for Joseph to find a classroom with minds worthy of his time. Today's photo of Big Hill reveals the loss of one petiole from that cluster of blossoms. Also made a tighter photo of the top left blossom showing its flared anther tips that Joseph mentioned.
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File Type: jpg Big Hill third var ultra.jpg (276.4 KB, 73 views)
File Type: jpg Big Hill third var.jpg (291.7 KB, 73 views)
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Old May 2, 2018   #327
joseph
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One of the most influential books in my life was: Return to Resistance: Breeding Crops to Reduce Pesticide Dependence by Raoul Robinson

I'll be teaching for a week at the Build the Guild Convergence in June 2018. It's the worst possible time to be leaving the farm, but I've become an elder, therefore I feel inclined to act like one.
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Old May 2, 2018   #328
bower
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OMG free pdf. Thanks, Joseph, I'm stoked to read it.

@ Harry that's a great picture! You can see daylight through the gap in the anthers... they are loose!!

Last edited by bower; May 2, 2018 at 08:30 PM. Reason: add
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Old May 2, 2018   #329
hl2601
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So much to learn from all your great pics and project details. Thanks to everyone for sharing. Before this I didn't even know there was something called a closed flower. That exposed anther is really something Joseph! I also poked at your link to Building the Guild. It is fantastic you give back in this way. What are the two veggies you are holding in your profile pic? Amazing!

As an aside- what kind of tomatoes are you looking for with Big Hill?
Heide
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Old May 3, 2018   #330
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Big Hill is descended from my earliest tomato, and from my favorite tasting. Eventually I intend to incorporate Big Hill into the promiscuous pollination project.

Me holding landrace carrots. I have been selecting for carrots that can out-compete the weeds.
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