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ReptileAddiction
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Separating Seed Tomato Blossoms

So it's that time of the year again when I am starting to think about saving tomato seed. I was wondering how important you guys think it is to separate the blossoms you plan on saving seed from such as putting a small jewelry bag or something over the blossoms. Do you guys separate them? I have tomatoes that I would like to save seed from but I did not separate the blossoms. I think the risk of cross pollination is fairly low because I have never even once seen a pollinating insect on any tomato flowers. What do you guys think?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Separating Seed Tomato Blossoms

tomato pollen is wind borne. If you are growing different plants next to each other, they can cross pollinate.
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digitS'
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Re: Separating Seed Tomato Blossoms

It is that some are vulnerable to crossing - as I understand it. Some varieties have such tight petals that they are all but completely closed to outside pollen.

I began growing my grandmother's tomato and saving seed from it about 25 years ago. When I started doing that, I never gave cross-pollination a thought. Those plants have never been alone in the garden. At first, there were a couple more varieties. About 10 years ago, I began to grow about 60 plants and as many as 30 varieties each year. I have never noticed a change in the plants grown from Grandmother's tomato seed.

There are usually multi-year seed stored from several dozen varieties on my shelves. I'm not selling it. If plants turn up in my garden that are different from what I expected, I can fall back on a previous year's seed or buy new (except for Grandmother's :)).

I was once given seed for Kellogg's Breakfast. One of the plants had red fruit that ripened early! I saved seed. The next season, half of those plants had red fruit and half had yellow, showing that their parent was indeed a cross. I saved seed from the red fruit and am anxiously awaiting fruit to ripen on this season's 4 plants (grandchildren ;)). I hope I don't lose the earliness while stabilizing the fruit color. Fun!

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

pow wow
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Re: Separating Seed Tomato Blossoms

I've never had a case of cross pollination, yet.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Separating Seed Tomato Blossoms

Yeah, I said they can cross pollinate; I didn't say they will. Depends on variety, structure of the flowers, timing of the blossoms, wind conditions, etc etc:

"Under normal conditions, most tomatoes have a natural cross-pollination rate of about 2 to 5%. Under some conditions though, this can be much higher - maybe as high as 50%. The incidence depends on the types of insects active in the area, the existence and types of inter-planted crops, the wind, the blossom structure, and the blossom timing of the varieties involved. " https://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/toma ... 04159.html
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ReptileAddiction
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Re: Separating Seed Tomato Blossoms

I read that same thing. I guess it is worth it then to bag the blossoms.



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