opabinia51
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Seed Saving

Around this time of year the rains start falling, the temperature starts to drop and the tomatoes start to decline. So, what to do? Two words, one answer: SEED SAVING.

Here is the seed saving method for tomatoes that will give you the best results:

Cut the tomatoe in half and squeeze the seeds and pulp onto a plate or plastic dish.

Let the seeds sit for a few days. (A mold will develop on them, don't get excited. This is a good thing)

Wash the seeds with warm water and pat dry with paper towel. Allow to dry on the paper towel.

Store in some sort of airtight container (ziplock bag, tupperware, used plastic containers)

Be sure to label your containers.

The other way to save seeds and not have to worry about any sort of storage is to just drop the tomatoes that you really like into the area that you want to grow them next year. You will have a tonne of "freebees" pop up next spring.

Though, with this method; you won't have any seeds to trade with. You will, however, have seedlings to trade with in the spring.

The Helpful Gardener
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Ah the lazy mans method; I like it (but can't do it; the 'Matt's Wild Cherry' would take over the whole garden...)

Scott

opabinia51
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Oh, I have tomatoe plants that infest my garden every year as well. I just turn them into the soil in the spring with the Rye.

opabinia51
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Wow, you want to talk about seed saving. Bagged up to little bags of tomatoe seeds last night and bought some tomatoes from a local market that I am going to try and grow next year.

One of the coffee tables at my house is covered with plates containing the seeds and pulp from a yellow tomatoe, some grape tomatoes, a roma, some of my small yellows and... some others that I have forgotten about.

And not that it fits in this thread but, i've been saving winter squash seeds as well. I will have tonnes of seeds to plant and not to mention trade at Seedy Saturday this coming February.

(Did I mention that I dried all the heirloom corn that I harvested this year?)

Bob
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I do believe that seed saving is only logical with open pollinated varieties.

Seed saving of hybrid types I do believe will result in your saved seed crop reverting back to a parent plant variety, and might well not produce what you had hoped for.

Hybrid plants are crosses of two dissimilar varieties, for purposes of size, earliness, disease resistance, and a variety of other useful factors. Saving seed and replanting same will eventually result in undoing what the plant is hybridized for.

The Helpful Gardener
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But what exactly was it hybridized for? The Big series went for size. Early girl went for timing. Jetstar was selected for shipping, so why are so many backyard gardeners growing it? Could it be that industry darlings get preference?

There are countless genes that could be buried by commercial selection; if they are preserved in hybrid plants, isn't that better than growing just a few varieties like the same four I see in every garden center...?

opabinia51
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With regard to hybrids:

a hybrid is just to unlike phenotypes of an species being crossed. Of course, when saving seeds from tomatoes (like grape tomatoes or anything else that is wierd and wonderful and not specifically grown to ensure no cross poolination) there is always the risk that the tomatoe plant itself was crossed with something different and therefore you may not get the tomatoe from which you took the seeds from.

Also, a hybrid is not necessarily a bad thing. If it weren't for recombinant DNA there would be next to no genetic or for that matter phenetic variation in the world as mutations only account for some thing like 1 in ten the minuse 9 or minus twelve of beneficial attributes. All other mutations are deleterious.

The problem that inlies hybrid crossing is when we (human beings) "select for" certain attributes and start outcrossing like mad or inbreeding like mad and therefore destroy the genome of the plant.

And when you save seed from a hybrid plant, the phenetics can revert back to the wild type phenotype. That is a possibility, but provided that the plant the parent plant was crossed with a "like" parent plant, the seeds should have a similar genotype as the parent plants and therefore should have the same phenotype as the parent plant.

Of course, there are a many many factors that affect phenotype other than genetics.

Bob
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Certainly gardening is a hobby that can always be enlightening and entertaining as well as it’s other attributes such as exercise and providing the freshness and glorious effect it has on our taste buds.

But even gardeners have different taste and desire for experimentation.

Saving seed a re-growing it can surely be a means of satisfaction and interest, even from hybridized plants. Like the box of chocolates, never knowing for sure what your going to get is always part of the fun of it all.

I simply thought that it was worthy to note that saving and planting hybrid seed moist likely won’t reproduce what you had from the original hybrid, if that’s what you expect.

While local garden shops usually don’t provide a huge selection of tomato varieties, they usually offer varieties that are established for particular areas as doing well in those localities, but that’s the beauty of the seed catalog. I have at least 10 seed companies that provide me with some wonderful wintertime reading and dreaming of the spring to come. They provide me with a multitude of varieties and offer hybrid, open pollinated and even heirloom types.

opabinia51
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Hi Bob,

:idea: thanks for your input. :idea: What heirlooms do you usually grow?

Bob
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I don’t grow any, I’m much to adapted to the seemingly never ending varieties of hybrids that are available these days. I try a couple of new ones every year for evaluation.

I like the disease immunity aspect of the hybrids, and knowing with some certainty how my crop will turn out.

I have a new one for this year bred for earliness and size called “Ultimate Opener.â€

opabinia51
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Just to let you know Bob that hybrid plants that a bread for resistance to certain diseases and temperature regimes can be lacking in genetic components for other diseases, etc.

So long as you enjoy growing what are growing and you have good results but, tried tested and true the heirloom varieties have the most diverse genetic compliments and therefore, have the best chance in growing in different climates and under different pathogen regimes.

Happy Growing and feel free to post any information you have.

Bob
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I’ve never tried heirlooms and I might get into them someday. I’ve been very successful for many years staying with selected hybrids.

In years past I grew some open pollinated types and had pretty good success, but found that the hybrids produced for me a more reliable continuous crop that I can pretty much count on knowing what I’m going to get.

I enjoy trying new things though for the experience. Maybe next year I give an heirloom or two a go.

opabinia51
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Have Fun Bob :)

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