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General Category => Nightshades => Plant Breeding => Tomatoes => Topic started by: William S. on 2018-10-13, 09:10:08 PM

Title: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2018-10-13, 09:10:08 PM
This is sort of an effort to start recreating threads I've started elsewhere so here is a summary of what I think of as my direct seeded tomato project.

In 2016 two volunteer varieties of tomatoes produced a few ripe tomatoes at the end of the growing season.

So I thought to myself: What if I planned this? Bred a tomato for this?

So in 2017 I tried about 70 kinds of tomatoes including grexes and modern landraces. Everything worked and you could call that the end of the story or ask and answer more questions. I should say though that I did identify some really interesting varieties for further breeding.

To me those further questions are:

Can I breed tomatoes using exserted stigma varieties like corn? (This idea comes from Joseph).

I eliminated transplanting. Do I need to water?

Can I create fancy tomatoes that do this? Fancy to me = shape, colors, stripes, blue skin, and flavor.

Can we extend the season with cold/frost tolerant genetics?

So in 2018 I focused on direct seeding the offspring of the most exserted stigma domestic tomatoes a yellow/orange tomato with a blue blush called Blue Ambrosia itself an unstable experimental line from a breeder's website J and L gardens. I did indeed find many hybrids and have saved their seed. Some of the offspring will hopefully be larger, earlier, and fancier!

I watered less in 2018. I think watering less creates smaller, earlier plants that produce far less. Watering not at all, could work in my climate. Might be a spacing and or a breeding problem- but does seem possible.

I think the wild tomatoes are the best source of frost and cold tolerance. This seems to be a longer term project and deserves its own threads. If any good results occur they will be incorporated back in.

Some of the stops on the way of this project may be varieties that are really good breeding tools. I plan to create a short season potato leaved yellow tomato with extremely exserted stigmas for this purpose. Using exserted varieties for breeding allows me to bypass hand pollination which I don't feel like I have time for in the growing season which is when I am busiest professionally and with my gardening hobby. Using an exserted potato leaved yellow variety as the mother would allow me to easily find hybrid offspring as they would likely be regular leafed reds. Eventually by recursively back crossing to the shortest season reds in existence we should be able to create a yellow tomato as early as any other tomato known.

So in 2019:
 I have promising F2 seed to grow out from F1 regular leaf plants from an exserted potato leaf mother. One of the F1s was modestly exserted itself.

Promising F2 seed from Blue Ambrosia.

Potential F1s amongst saved seed of Blue Ambrosia and Big Hill

Then I want to cross in or allow to cross the following:

Yellow descendents of Joseph's Brad x Yellow Pear cross.

Coyote (flavor and early)

Earl's Strain of Jagodka (early)

Amethyst Cream (flavor)

Amurski Tigr (stripes)

Forest Fire (early)

42 days (early)

Sweet Cherriette (earliest cherry I know of)

My simple plan is thus. Direct seed everything. Alternate small rows of the pollen parents with the exserted stigma varieties Blue Ambrosia and Big Hill. Save seed, be on the lookout for F1s.



Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: Lauren on 2018-10-14, 07:15:27 PM
The tomatoes I've always grown seem to have a level of frost tolerance because I keep planting them out in March or April (one year as early as February) with wall-o-water. Those that survived this treatment of course produced seeds for the next generation. For the most part they don't even flinch when they get snowed on, at least in the spring.

For cold tolerance, maybe you could do something similar? It would take several years of additional work early in the season but might give you the results you want.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2018-10-15, 07:34:55 AM
The tomatoes I've always grown seem to have a level of frost tolerance because I keep planting them out in March or April (one year as early as February) with wall-o-water. Those that survived this treatment of course produced seeds for the next generation. For the most part they don't even flinch when they get snowed on, at least in the spring.

For cold tolerance, maybe you could do something similar? It would take several years of additional work early in the season but might give you the results you want.

Hi, Lauren

I think probably what is going on with your tomatoes is some epigenetic change that gives them a little more hardiness.

Darrel Jones is kind of the Guru on this. He has done a lot of research and is about 4 years away from his own development. So in 2017 I grew a number or varieties mentioned in Dar''s threads. Especially when it came to frost results were really random. For instance a single individual of Brad Gate's variety Blue Gold did great and survived a frost most tomatoes had to resprout from the base from including many other Blue Gold plants. The supposedly frost tolerant plants did no better. So epigenetic might let us grab temporarily enduced frost/cold tolerance on lots of varieties. Though this year it never frosted after I planted even though I seeded and out planted early again. So the effect might be hard to keep going.

There might be better genes for cold and frost tolerance in some of the wild tomatoes. Darrel is woeking with those. This topic deserves it's own thread, but it sounds like we could potentially have tomatoes almost as frost tolerant as tomatillos  which would give us a few more weeks on either end of the season. For direct seeded tomatoes that could make for a more productive season. Like this year an unexpected light frost killed much of the tomato plant tops over two weeks before the next frost. Solanum Peruvianum and Tomatillos were fine in my garden whole the regular tomatoes were pretty much gone.

One mystery in my garden is I have quite a bit of LA1777 derived habrochaites and descendents and it's known for frost tolerance. They haven't shown that yet in my garden whereas the Peruvianum seems to. Though I might just need to do a larger grow out of the LA1777 derived material I've received from Joseph. Darrel is working with a introgression line derived from LA1777.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: reed on 2018-10-15, 07:50:53 PM
I don't give cold tolerance much thought since my season is plenty long and warm enough for tomatoes. I have however noticed some things in volunteer tomatoes of which I have tons, in both fall and spring. All the fall ones eventually freeze of course but they don't do it uniformly, always one here or there, still alive after the first frost or two.

Same in spring, the occasional one that keeps growing after late frost. Also they and other later sprouting volunteers when left in the spot the sprouted in seem to have better tolerance to disease and to produce better.

Is it possible those things are due to never having had any root disturbance because they were never set out or transplanted? I think I'll try direct sowing some next year ans see if I can find out.

I'll also keep any spring volunteers that survive frosts and keep the seeds in case anyone wants them.


Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2018-12-29, 01:08:19 PM
2019 Tomato Plans

Wishlist from transplant if get

Weight in Gold (4 seeds)
Wild Child (4 seeds)
Black strawberry (4 seeds)
Black Bumblebee (4 seeds)
Muchacha! (4 seeds)
Fairy Hollow (4 seeds)

To grow again: Direct Seeded

Sweet Cherriette (4 seeds)
Jagodka (Earls Strain seems earlier 4 seeds)
Anmore Dewdrop (4 seeds)
Krainiy Sever (4 seeds)
42 Days (4 seeds)
Coyote (4 seeds)
forest fire (4 seeds)
Blue Ambrosia ( large amounts as hybrids likely)
JL potato leaf exserted blue skinned RL exserted offspring F2 (large amounts as will segregate and hybrids possible)
Blue Ambrosia X Unknown F2 (large amounts)
Brad (4 seeds)
Big Hill (large amounts of home saved seed as hybrids likely)
Amurski Tigr (4 seeds- will replace with Black Strawberry if it performs well)
Dwarf Hirsutum Cross "jeepers" (4 seeds)
Brad x yellow pear (rest of original packet in search of short season yellow pear)

To grow again from transplant

Amethyst Cream (4 seeds)

Wild Species grow from transplant or just in pots in some cases.

Peruvianum (4 seeds as backup to volunteers)
Pimpinillifolium (4 seeds)
Galapagense (4 seeds)
Penellii X domestic (all homegrown) + 1 seed
Cheesemanii (4 seeds)
Arcanum (24 seeds)
Chilense (24 seeds- will grow in pots)
Habrochaites x domestic (all homegrown)

New Must Grows from transplant

Stress Tolerant Strain from Darrel Jones (4 seeds)
Blue Speckled Favorite of Andrew’s (4 seeds)

Possibly others
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2018-12-29, 01:51:10 PM
I have an inkling both from recent experiences with under watering and reading about dry farming and dry gardening that it might be possible to not only dry farm tomatoes here but direct seed dry farm them and breed varieties for that.

 I think there is both great variation in the suitability of habitat for that within gardening areas available to me and the genetic ability to withstand the growing conditions within the tomatoes I am growing.

Wild species and hybrids thereof seem to have tremendous potential for this. My favorite species complex so far the Peruvianum complex seems to have the ability to volunteer here. Moreover at least the Arcanum accessions I intend to grow in 2019 come from very dry deserts. My most successful Pennellii x domestic F2 plant in 2018 ultimately succumbed to overwatering which makes me think it retained some of the water sensitivity of its Pennellii grandparent. When I was gone recently for a month and did not water, only the domestic potted tomatoes looked stressed by not being watered. Habrochaites x domestic, habrochaites, peruvianum, and pimpinellifolium seemed fine.

Without watering for a month potted domestics Blue Ambrosia and Golden Tressette suffered but Amethyst Cream and Sweet Cherriette did not.

Generally it seems to me that my wild tomatoes and crosses are not ready for direct seeding. I don't have adequate seed stocks and they are still too long season. Therefore I hope to include them in dry farming experiments by transplanting. In my initial direct seeding experiment in 2017 they did not germinate adequately. However in 2018 Peruvianum and pimpinellifolium volunteered. My 2018 wild bed was watered minimally.

I have several potential sites for direct seeding experimental plots. One thought would be to use my entire outside the fence garden, though this may be excessive for an initial foray. Other sites could be a deeper soil moister area at the base of my hill, a dry shallow soil site on a small hill, and an intermediate site, then an even more mesic site at my parents hayfield. My backyard could work for a couple unwatered plants but I wouldn't have space for a full rep.

Another thought would be to do 20 foot x 5 foot reps with 3 plants each. Direct seed 10 seeds then thin to one. Transplant in wild species. Each rep might get something like 1 wild species transplant, and two individuals from my F2 Blue Ambrosia x unknown population.

It would also be interesting to test a number of varieties dry farmed direct seeded including:

Indeterminate
Blue Ambrosia
Brad
Sweet Cherriette

Determinate (this list could be shortened)
Big Hill
Forest Fire
42 Days
Jagodka

Wild
Pimpinillifolium
Peruvianum complex

Another related thought is to plant a few plants of pimpinillifolium and Peruvianum on pocket gopher mounds out in the wild grassland of my hill. If successful, they should reseed themselves.

There would be lots of room here for subsequent experiments or sub experiments. In fact 2019 might just be a few pilot plots I'm uncertain about the scale of the dry farming experiment just yet. Success with a pilot even partial, could inform scaling up in 2020.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2018-12-31, 07:04:07 PM
http://members.efn.org/~itech/

Found a couple of the same opensource instructions in a book on gardening. At the bottom of the page there is a list of root system sizes for various crops. 5.5 feet lateral for tomato by 5 feet deep for the variety John Bauer. This was in 1927.

https://www.seedsavers.org/john-baer-organic-tomato

That would suggest starting a tomato plant every four steps in a grid (my strides are about 1 yard). Probably say 10 seeds, thinning to one. (Note edited this to 4 steps)
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-01-01, 09:03:41 AM
I've been hearing about double digging a bit the last 20 years or so. Keep thinking about trying it. I got a meadow creature broad fork as a gift which is a somewhat similar procedure and considering at least using it some to test out this deep digging thing.  Actually would like if time allows to test a number of gardening techniques I've heard about but not done including Double digging, broad forking, Ruth Stout mulching, and Hugelculture. Though current methods seem adequate.

My main technique is to pick out a patch of ground and rototill it shallowly with my BCS rototiller (not the largest size). I repeat until the pasture grasses are killed. Then plant. I have enough space to move the garden around if need be though I have one small fenced area.

I have 8 acres, with my parents owning another 8 next to mine that shares a well. So 16 acres between us divide by 2.5 is about 6 hectares. Of that though only about two hectares is previously farmed and the rest is sort of my wildflower preserve. So I only garden a small fraction of that perhaps a fifth of a hectare. There was a large lake here during the last ice age which laid down a large deposit of clay. Though I've also purchased some sand about eight large perhaps eight to ten cubic yard truck loads over the years so I have some spots I've amended well. When I water I do so with a garden hose and a sprinkler from my well. Sometimes I use soaker hoses. My garden soil according to the US government is 7 inches deep on average. In the fenced garden I dumped sand with a wheel barrow and formed my raised beds from it. So basically have an artificial soil horizon. Which is actually sandy subsoil not proper road sand as a Farmer I know just digs it up and delivers it to people. He discovered years ago that one of his alfalfa fields was too well drained. It's finer sand then they sell if you go to a quarry to buy it and unwashed.

Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-01-02, 08:40:25 PM
2019 Tomato Plans

Wishlist from transplant if get

Weight in Gold (4 seeds)
Wild Child (4 seeds)
Black strawberry (4 seeds)
Black Bumblebee (4 seeds)
Muchacha! (4 seeds)
Fairy Hollow (4 seeds)

To grow again: Direct Seeded

Sweet Cherriette (4 seeds)
Jagodka (Earls Strain seems earlier 4 seeds)
Anmore Dewdrop (4 seeds)
Krainiy Sever (4 seeds)
42 Days (4 seeds)
Coyote (4 seeds)
forest fire (4 seeds)
Blue Ambrosia ( large amounts as hybrids likely)
JL potato leaf exserted blue skinned RL exserted offspring F2 (large amounts as will segregate and hybrids possible)
Blue Ambrosia X Unknown F2 (large amounts)
Brad (4 seeds)
Big Hill (large amounts of home saved seed as hybrids likely)
Amurski Tigr (4 seeds- will replace with Black Strawberry if it performs well)
Dwarf Hirsutum Cross "jeepers" (4 seeds)
Brad x yellow pear (rest of original packet in search of short season yellow pear)

To grow again from transplant

Amethyst Cream (4 seeds)

Wild Species grow from transplant or just in pots in some cases.

Peruvianum (4 seeds as backup to volunteers)
Pimpinillifolium (4 seeds)
Galapagense (4 seeds)
Penellii X domestic (all homegrown) + 1 seed
Cheesemanii (4 seeds)
Arcanum (24 seeds)
Chilense (24 seeds- will grow in pots)
Habrochaites x domestic (all homegrown)

New Must Grows from transplant

Stress Tolerant Strain from Darrel Jones (4 seeds)
Blue Speckled Favorite of Andrew’s (4 seeds)

Possibly others

2019 Tomato Plans Revised after seed inventory. Joseph sent me some more wild and half wild seed. I inventoried my wild seed including some Andrew sent. Revising thoughts on 2019 grow outs to grow more wild seed.

Wishlist from transplant if get:

Weight in Gold (4 seeds)
Wild Child (4 seeds)
Black strawberry (4 seeds)
Black Bumblebee (4 seeds)
Muchacha! (4 seeds)
Indeterminate child of Big Hill (4 seeds)


To grow again: Direct Seeded

Sweet Cherriette (4 seeds irrigated 4 dry)
Coyote (4 seeds irrigated 4 dry)
Blue Ambrosia (8 seeds at least)
JL potato leaf exserted blue skinned RL exserted offspring F2 (large amounts as will segregate and hybrids possible)
Big Hill (large amounts of home saved seed as hybrids likely I interplanted with Blue Ambrosia)
Dwarf Hirsutum Cross "jeepers" (4 seeds)
Chariot Cherry (8 seeds)
Indeterminate child of Big Hill (12 seeds)

Wild To grow direct seeded

Wildling Bulk Hab x domestic and Domestic x penellii (large amounts)
Peruvianum complex (lots)
Penelli x domestic (12 seeds including 4 homegrown)
Fairy Hollow (12 seeds)
Gnome (12 seeds)
Nymph (special 12 seeds, special area)
G3 Fern x LA1777 (might add to wildling bulk)
BC1 (10 seeds)
BC1? 3 Locules (10 seeds)
Neandermato (10 seeds)
Joseph's Pimpinillifolium (12 seeds plus berries I moved to wild tomato section last fall)

To grow again from transplant

Amethyst Cream (4 seeds)

Wild Species grow from transplant or just in pots in some cases.

Peruvianum complex (8 seeds as backup to volunteers)
Pimpinillifolium (4 seeds)
Galapagense (4 seeds)
Penellii X domestic (all homegrown)
Penellii x domestic Andrew new strain (1 seed)
Penellii x domestic Andrew & Joseph (4 seeds)
Cheesemanii (12 seeds)
Cheesemanii x? (4 seeds)
Arcanum (24 seeds)
Chilense (24 seeds- will grow in pots)
Habrochaites x domestic (all homegrown)
Nymph (12 seeds)
Fairy Hollow (4 seeds)
Solanum pennellii (12 seeds- will grow in pots, mist and water sparingly)


New Domestics from transplant

Tastiheart Stress Tolerant Strain from Darrel (4 seeds)
Aft LA 1996 (4 seeds)
LA 4454 High Sucrose (4 seeds)
2-625 prolific leaves (4 seeds)
Anazasi? (4 seeds)
Golden Tressette (4 seeds)
LA0214 (1 seed) dark anthers

Possibly others inventory may be incomplete and I may change my mind.


I intend to plant some tomatoes without supplemental water (dry farmed). I may however keep the dry farming experiment a little smaller so I can grow larger numbers of plants direct seeded using my seeder in the same area as last year. I would like to hasten the selection of short season individuals from the wildlings if possible. I may be able to add back in something like the F2 population of Blue Ambrosia descendents depending on how much space is left.

Highest priority is growing out Arcanum and Chilense successfully, saving lots of seed, and making crosses with them to the peruvianum complex and domestics. A number of the domestics listed have a small amount of peruvianum or chilense dna. Including Golden Tressette, LA 1996, and LA 0214. Though I would prefer crosses with exserted stigma short season strains of domestic like Big Hill and Blue Ambrosia as I think that might prevent obnoxious problems with self incompatible closed flowered offspring.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-01-27, 12:12:40 AM
Thought in regards to doing a dry farmed direct seeded experiment. I would like to do it as a publication quality experiment needed for my portfolio (I am working on a second bachelors to be a science teacher as botany has been a bit unstable and now I have a dependant toddler) my advisor likes the idea. I could use some mentorship on the experimental design. Would anyone here of the ecologist, professional plant breeder, or perhaps masters or PhD persuasion be interested in mentoring me a bit on this? I have many questions. Botany is not ecology or plant breeding and when around ecologists I've been a data collection grunt. I need to spend more time on research as well, there are some great publications about doing trials I've run across in the past I need to dig back up.

The basic question is pretty simple: does dry farmed direct seeding work here? That's kind of a yes or no question.

Then some more details:

At what spacing? The Oregon dry farming folks have some spacings they use in their trials.

With which genetics?
     Domestics? Can I use a segregating population (without which it's kind of a worthless trial for my purpose)

      Determinate vs. Indeterminates?

      Wild Species and half wilds?

      Can I test multiple species, multiple packets?


In which location? I can come up with two different fields and multiple microsites within them.

What population size or sizes is needed for a proper trial of this? Assuming in my brain currently that at least part of the experiment should have a large plant population.

Could I do one large area for large population size and good data and then some smaller plots for some yes no data?

What data to collect: ripe yield?

Do I need a randomized block design?

How best to irrigate the control? I'm thinking the most affordable option would be a sprinkler set so as to spray towards the irrigated portion and away from the dry farmed portion. I filled an amazon shopping cart with about $350 in soaker hoses, valves, and connector hoses while wondering what it would cost.

I suspect that Indeterminates may do better than determinates. That some of the wild species like Peruvianum and Pimpinillifolium that already volunteer for me need less water perhaps than any domestic and should do fine. I bet amongst domestics that Coyote should perform pretty well, it's very Pimpinillifolium like. Sweet Cherriette might do well, it's got a lot of Pimpinillifolium genetics.

My other big garden experiment for 2019 is going to be trying to make some crosses with the Peruvianum complex. There are certainly some scientific papers on that I'm trying to replicate. Not sure if a replication would be publication worthy (or if it even needs to be publication worthy as long as I found a way to collect some data and write it up for my portfolio). My main thought here is breaking down some barriers to working with Peruvianum hybrids for us amateurs and sharing the resulting seed. If that could be enough it would be a potential alternative project for the paper. In which case I might scale it up, and scale down the dry seeding.

My summer is also still a little uncertain. My two year seed collection contract is ending and I need another income source. So not yet sure how much time I have for the experiment. It might just be a large portion of my 2019 gardening hobby. Or work might interfere and I may need to do something different for an experiment.

Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: reed on 2019-01-27, 04:54:26 AM

The basic question is pretty simple: does dry farmed direct seeding work here? That's kind of a yes or no question....not yet sure how much time I have for the experiment...

Sounds fairly simple to me. I'd plant all of the varieties in a single location as close to home as possible. Map and neatly sketch the planting area and simply observe and document with regular photographs and notes, also tracking and documenting the weather and other variables. This alone would tell IF tomatoes will grow this way and IF and which do better than others. I don't think population size even has to be all that large.  I think this approach would answer the basic question and provide enough data and content for a good write up.

If I was sure I had the time and resources to commit to it I would would grow a second, otherwise identical but irrigated patch in the same location. Although it isn't really needed to answer the basic question, it would give interesting comparison data on growth and yield. I would also carefully track the extra financial and time resources going into the watered patch and consider that in any yield comparisons.

I haven't had a single minute of formal study related to plants, but it sounds like a pretty easy experiment to me. Hardest part might be finding time to be out there every day watching and documenting. 
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-04-07, 01:31:12 PM
Got seeds planted in 288 cells for transplanted tomatoes. Started last Sunday, and finished this.

Planted lots of Nymph, Penelope, and a exserted indeterminate Big Hill X unk F2 all that Joseph sent me.

Planted 24 of my seed saved Big Hill and a full 72 cell tray of an F2 from a regular leaf exserted blue skinned offspring of a potato leafed exserted mother I pulled out of a JL landrace.

Planted the TGRC tomatoes after bleaching procedure.

Planted at least a few seeds of just about everything else I previously mentioned growing from transplant. Those cells will need to be split apart and transplanted if they all come up.

I have them all out in the normally unheated greenhouse. Though have been unplugging the fan and plugging in a tiny blue heater I got at Walmart instead at night.

Today I moved the overwintered plants out there as well. I've recently lost the last of my Solanum peruvianum. Everything has lots of whiteflies. Maybe there will be predators now that they are outside. Or maybe I should order some Encarsia formosa quick. I transplanted most of the survivors into bigger pots. We will see soon if it's warm enough out there.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-04-12, 05:21:13 PM
Overwintered plants are thriving in the greenhouse. Encarsia formosa should arrive by tuesday. The first three seedlings to germinate in relatively cold soil in the new trays are from an extra early Peruvianum from last year. The penellii hybrid desegregant Joseph calls Penelope, and a pimpinillifolium I think Andrew sent from a 2017 grow out and he mused about possible hybridization.

Edit: since earlier today another pimpinillifolium "Josephs" sprouted and Joseph's large fruited Peruvianum from 2018 sprouted.

I'm thinking about combining a bunch of packets for the direct seeded area this year. I would also simplify the division between direct seeded and direct seeded with no irrigation into two large blocks.

Packets included would be heavy on those with open or potentially open flowers. Including all my segregating offspring from Blue Ambrosia. Would include quite a bit of just strait Blue Ambrosia. Big Hill. A segregating Big Hill hybrid Joseph sent. Perhaps the remainder of the F2 F3 F? Segregating wild hybrid seed including Fairy Hollow. Then maybe quite a bit of Sweet Cherriette. This would allow for maximal outcrossing of the interesting genetics. So my randomization would be largely shaking up the seed bag then pouring it into the seeder.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2019-04-13, 09:40:44 PM
This spring, I started a wheat breeding project. I had originally contemplated a grid, and record keeping. In the end, I just dumped all the seed together in a bag, shook it up, and planted.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-04-14, 05:39:56 PM
Went out to my garden land and checked my seed there. Lots more Big Hill seed from my 2018 grow out and lots more Blue Ambrosia segregants and descendents. I'll be planting a lot of what did well last year back into the same field. Plus some very interesting additions. Lots of F2 seed.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-04-16, 12:57:48 PM
 My Encarsia formosa wasps arrived today. Five little cardboard pieces With little hang tags and the egg clusters glued in the center. I hung one on the lemon tree inside in case some of the whiteflies are still inside somewhere. Then I hung the other four on various tomato plants out in the greenhouse.

One seedling of Solanum chilense the strain from Sacred Succulents is germinating in the grrenhouse. Seeds were very different on this strain to the TGRC strain. 
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: Lauren on 2019-04-16, 08:40:25 PM
The first three seedlings to germinate in relatively cold soil in the new trays are from an extra early Peruvianum from last year.
When you say relatively cold, what do you mean? I never use bottom heat and the house remains between 68 and 70 degrees. Is the the kind of temperature you're referring to? Colder?
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-04-16, 09:34:06 PM
Hmm, hard to say with no thermometer in the greenhouse. Definitely colder than the room temp they would have if I moved them back inside. Definitely hasn't frozen, none of the adult tomato plants has been nipped.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: Lauren on 2019-04-17, 07:45:00 AM
OK. I have close to 100% germination with no bottom heat, so I wonder if I could do even colder? :) If I can start them IN the greenhouse, perhaps in a closed bin, that would clear up space inside. When I started the tomatoes greenhouse temps were in the high thirties/low forties, so a bin might bring that up to mid forties. Something to think about, anyway. Perhaps a test next year.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-04-17, 08:00:43 AM
In 2017 I put the seedling trays in the unheated greenhouse when it was very cold. Some warm weather hit and germination began then cold weather hit again so I brought them back indoors. That may yet happen this year. Have you heard of winter sowing?

I try to do something similar with the direct seeding. In 2017 I direct seeded one iteration of my experiment in March. It germinated about may fifth and the last frost was May 15th. The ten day old seedlings mostly survived. Too much weeding of bare ground though! In 2018 I direct seeded sometime late April or early May thinking ten to twenty days before last frost and it never frosted again. In 2018 some volunteers were earlier than the direct seeded and they were never frosted. However in 2018 fall frosts were earlier than in 2017.

So far this year the trend is cool but moderate. Highs in the fifties, lows around or above freezing. I haven't been able to work the ground yet.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-04-19, 01:02:07 PM
Just walked out to the greenhouse and my Golden Tressette plant has set its first flower. Interestingly it is modestly exserted. This makes sense given what we know of it.

Also along that line Golden Tresette is the first domestic tomato to sprout. Sweet Pea Currant has joined its pimp brethren. The penelope I seeded last Sunday is emerging to join that seeded two Sundays ago. My own saved seed from that same cross is still MIA. The single seed of LA 4488 is trying to germinate but the leaves are stuck in the seed coat. LA 1932 chilense has some action starting in its cell.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-04-21, 11:18:10 AM
Greenhouse stuff: New seedlings are up include both TGRC arcanum accessions and the TGRC Chilense, my own 2018 hab x domestic seed has one, I see a radicle on my own 2018 penellii x hybrid saved seed, prolific leaves mutation from Andrew, a cheesemanii x from terrior seed Andrew sent, a Big Hill F2 Joseph sent, Big Hill from my 2018 grow out, the F2 from a RL blue skinned exserted F1 of a PL exserted from JL landrace, one Skykomish, Nymph from Joseph, and a Chariot from Joseph. So quite a lot, and most of the important things have a few sprouts at least.

My own seeds from the 2018 grow out of wild hybrids are interesting to me because only one plant of each cross produced seed for me. So fairly strong selection for something! Just not sure what!

Also fertilized today. Used omri listed organic miracle grow.

Just a note: greenhouse stuff is for raising enough seed to direct seed and making crosses to things short season enough to direct seed in subsequent years.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-04-28, 11:49:38 AM
Got my direct seeded tomato field rototilled this morning. Little snow on the ground. Suspect I should wait a couple weeks then rototill again the day I seed. Many years this would not be too early to seed, but this year is running late so far. Average date of last frost is may fifteenth. In 17 it was on may fifteenth. In 18 it never frosted in May. This year I wouldnt be surprised if the last frost happens late. Ideal seeding time is anywhere from ten to twenty days before to on or about the date of last frost.

Noticed some tomato skins on the ground from last year. Any volunteers won't matter much. Putting alot of the same genetics back down. Volunteers are pretty informative as to when to start seeding too. If a volunteer is up the soil is warm enough for tomato germination

Transplant seedlings are back inside. Supposed to get down to about twenty fairenheit tonight and tomorrow night. Have a few additional kinds germinating. Some need transplanted already but it won't happen for a few days at least.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: ImGrimmer on 2019-05-06, 11:02:19 AM
First seedlings emerged around 1st of May . All survived one night with -1°C so far. Seed were sown last year direct after harvest.
This is the 3rd season I am doing it that way but it is the first time seedlings experienced frost.
I am excited how they grow this season. It might become a late blight season ....
Volunteers are a different strain than my late blight tolerant strain, fingers crossed.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-05-07, 08:12:09 AM
In my garden yesterday I observed no germinants from volunteers. Not from tomatillos, Solanum peruvianum, S. Pimpinillifolium, or domestic. Some of my beds have a lot of grass this spring. I plan to do my intentional direct seeding on Saturday May 11th if all goes well.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-05-11, 07:33:52 PM
Just finished seeding. Same area of the garden as last year but planted about twenty days later and with 250 more row feet. There are 10 rows. I think they are about 70 feet long. So about 700 row feet. I weighed the seed. Will report the seed weights when I get back to the house. It was about 3/4 of an ounce at 0.71 oz. A site I just found selling an oz of tomato seed said 11,250 seeds per oz. That would suggest I just planted 7,987 tomato seeds. Though direct seeded germination and survival is lower than flat seeded and I had both some smaller and larger seeds in the mix.

Mostly will be F2 generation plants.

Blue Ambrosia descendents red with various sizes. Probably with a tiny bit of contamination from a suspected Brad cross
0.46 oz

Descendents of purple skinned exserted regular leaf child of potato leaf exserted plant in Lofthouse land race 0.07 oz

Half wilds from Joseph mostly x habrochaites 0.04 oz

Sweet Cherriette 0.07 oz only nonsegregating seed. I wanted it as a control for earliness and to see if it would cross naturally. May also be a parent of some of the F2's

Big Hill cross F2 exserted from Joseph 0.07 oz

Should be lots of exserted plants. Will be interesting. I plan to only water about a third or less of the total area. The squash will get watered.

Also planted maxima and moschata squash all around the edge.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-05-12, 10:21:11 AM
Last year a few pimpinillifolium types volunteered in my garden. At the end of the season I smashed one of the berries to plant some for winter breeding. They just opened and the fresh flowers are moderately exserted.

We've had past discussions about how it would be nice to have exserted pimpinillifolium types.

These aren't really that. It seems like modest to moderate exsertion of the stigma is more common in early season fresh flowers.

Modestly exserted varieties though may be useful for breeding with more extreme forms.

In 2017 when I first started looking for this complex trait after reading some of Joseph's threads I think I grew well over 70 kinds of tomato and found it in three. In 2018 saved seed from those three produced zero, a few, and many hybrids respectively. Thus only the more extreme forms seem very useful in terms of higher natural out crossing rates.

I have quite a bit of Blue Ambrosia and Big Hill seed from 2018 I won't have space to grow out much of. Blue Ambrosia has a decent rate of exsertion and Big Hill was breed by Joseph for open flowers. I interplanted them in 2018 hoping for hybrids. Though I am growing some of both and I really just need one hybrid.

The most promising exsertion is with some of the wild species. Habrochaites, Peruvianum, and Penellii.

The traits involved do seem to segregate so the half wilds I grew last year were somewhat dissapointing. It would be nice to start with an exserted or open variety when crossing too them.

I have one half wild that survived the winter that is the worst of both worlds. It neither pollinates itself nor accepts pollen from others without intervention. I'm keeping it around though as intentional crosses should be obvious!
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2019-05-18, 01:37:31 AM
Thanks for the updates William.

I sure know that feeling of the worst of both worlds (self-incompatible, and closed up flowers). I sure had a lot of beautiful plants last year that didn't set fruits, until very late in the season when the bumblebee population was high, and they were particularly interested in working the flowers.

So far, I have planted about 900 seeds for the promiscuous pollination project. I'm intending to grow them in sibling group clumps containing about 25 plants, and then cull, cull, cull.

I would feel happy about growing a pimpinellifolium that shed pollen when vibrated. That seems easier that fussing with such minuscule flowers.

I'm intending to direct seed tomatoes in about a week. I haven't found any volunteers yet. We are expecting about ten days of  rain/cold, so maybe they'll sprout when it warms up again.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: ImGrimmer on 2019-05-18, 02:08:53 AM
@Joseph When do you expect first ripe fruits from your direct seeded tomatoes? Yours seem pretty short season compared to common varieties. My volunteer plants have their first true leaves now. From last year experience I expect first fruit in August maybe in late July.

Next week I will do intended direct sowing. Main goal is to select for late blight resistance than for crop. I expect only a few ripe fruits from it but many infected plants and hopefully again some survivours....
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: reed on 2019-05-18, 04:09:05 AM
I'm getting more interested in direct seeding tomatoes. Save the hassle of starting and transplanting. And I have a theory that volunteers that are left alone to grow in the spot they came up are healthier than any transplant, so direct seeded may also be.

A late frost/freeze was absent here this year so all the volunteers, well except those I removed are still there, way past their first set of true leaves with short strong stems, they actually look better right now than many of the transplants. 
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-05-18, 05:52:08 AM
I still don't have a single volunteer. Not even a tomatillo. Too cold and dry despite a high spring melt water table I suspect. Currently getting cold and rain. The direct seeds haven't been in long enough to germinate yet. I suspect that when this cold and rain departs I will get seedlings. I set out some transplants yesterday. They are small but It seemed a good idea to flirt with the cold on some of them. Then transplanted some of the remainder into larger pots. Lots of fun plants penelli x, habrochaites x, peruvianum, chilense, and arcanum. Lots of seeds Andrew and Joseph sent are seedlings now. Hopefully will get seeds and hybrids back from many of them.

In the best year I had some fruits ripening on August 1st direct seeded. Depends I think on how many heat units between then and now.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: spacecase0 on 2019-05-18, 10:04:58 AM
I'm getting more interested in direct seeding tomatoes. Save the hassle of starting and transplanting. And I have a theory that volunteers that are left alone to grow in the spot they came up are healthier than any transplant, so direct seeded may also be.

A late frost/freeze was absent here this year so all the volunteers, well except those I removed are still there, way past their first set of true leaves with short strong stems, they actually look better right now than many of the transplants.
I have run tests on this in years past, so here is what I figured out over the years, I hope it also applies to where you live.
direct seeded are about a month ahead from any transplant seeded at the same time.
other way to say that is that it seems to take a month of growing time to recover from transplanting.
so if I can start the tomatoes at least a month before my last frost, then I get somewhere, if not, then I don't bother.
also, transplanting from a seed tray to a larger pot also slows them down, so I only bother transplanting if I start them in fairly large pots in the first place.
the pots can't be that small if they are 2 to 3 months old by the time they go in the ground, and even then, I have only gained 1 to 2 months.
I usually do this with one or 2 plants a year so I get something early, but don't do it for most of the plants.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: reed on 2019-05-19, 02:15:47 AM
I'v wondered if anyone has done an actual side by side test of this, I never have but think I will this year. It cuts in to one of my corn patches a little but I'm going to leave a couple nice volunteers where they are and just mulch around them and let them sprawl; I'm also getting tired of staking and caging tomatoes.

I don't use cell packs, I put about twenty seeds in a good sized pot in the cold frame, one pot for each kind. Time to set out, I just pull them up and plant in the ground. In the old days here everybody grew tobacco. In spring you piled up a big bunch of brush and burned it, raked it out smooth and planted the tobacco seeds, always some tomatoes on the edge somewhere. The "tobacco bed" was covered with thin canvas, then plants were just pulled up and transplanted.

That, minus the tobacco is how I did my tomatoes for years before switching to the pots in cold frame method. Anyway it would be pretty easy to just make long narrow beds, sow the tomato seeds and then thin them out. I may switch to that entirely next year.

I'm not sure I even need the canvas cause another thing I'v noticed is while I'm worrying over those in the frame, making sure to close it at night and so on the volunteers are often doing just fine out there in the open.

One thing that might be different for me is my season is plenty long enough for tomatoes and I don't care about the local, who has the first ripe one thing, so no real need start them artificially while it is still cold anyway.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-05-19, 06:14:24 AM
I reckon I have done this side by side each of the last four years.
2016 two kinds of volunteers. Barely set ripe fruit by frost. Transplants did much better. But gave me the idea. Bad tomato year with late start.

2017. Volunteers plus lots of direct seeded. Extreme short season varieties got ripe august first direct seeded. Inundated with tomatoes. Transplants were generally ripe one month earlier. Despite largely resprouting from the ground after frost. Good tomato year despite smoke.

2018. Large intentional field plus volunteers. Transplants much faster. Direct seeded ripe about one week later, but did not seed most extreme types. Was looking for hybrids. Not inundated with tomatoes. However got a decent amount of seed for F2 generation. Nor a great tomato year- frost a little too early.

2019. Cold spring, later start. No direct seeded or volunteer germinates yet.  Planted F2 seed. Also mixed in some of earliest type as a standard. Have already set out some transplants.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-05-22, 06:21:07 PM
My indoor plants have just enough blossoms to start trying a few crosses. Dabbed some pimpinillifolium pollen onto the worst of both worlds hab cross and onto a Golden Tressette I managed to emasculate with just my fingers. Though why I roll like that I don't know- it's when I forget my forceps case but grab the pollination tool right next to them. If I had grabbed the case a fourth flower one on Sweet Cherriette wouldn't have been destroyed. 


I expect seedlings the next time I get a chance to look. Schoolwork!
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: reed on 2019-05-23, 08:23:49 AM
Turned out about a dozen nice volunteers were all in one fairly small area so I thinned them down to six nicely spaced and mulched heavily all  with weeds form around the yard and garden.  I'm just going to let them sprawl on top see what comes out.  Two are potato leaf and one is pimp, don't know what the other three might be. If this turns out well I may switch to direct seeding next year.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-05-24, 05:12:51 PM
First batch of transplants survived the week. Planted out three more flats. Checked on the direct seeded area. Found some seedlings. One of the transplants a Penellii cross from Joseph struck me as a possible Penellii x habrochaites x domestic.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2019-05-25, 10:45:08 PM
That's a sweet looking plant William! Just the kind of thing that I was hoping would emerge from this project.

This year, I am doing the Luther Burbank method: Planting lots of seeds (1200 so far in the greenhouse), intending to pay close attention to them to see if anything useful comes of it.

I'm intending to direct seed more than that in the next couple days.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: reed on 2019-05-26, 02:42:06 AM
Wow, that's a lot of tomatoes. I reckon you'll mostly just let them decide to grow or not and then save the good ones?  I was sorting some old seed last night and came across those from that fern looking plant I had a few seasons back that came from your seeds. I thought I had lost them. My gardens are about full but might see if I can find a spot to direct seed some.

My volunteers and transplants are all doing very well. Having spent time in the cold frame the transplants were actually a little behind the volunteers in some ways but they have mostly caught up. Volunteers at first were not as tall but had thicker stems and darker green color. Since some of the volunteers are potato leaf and I only have one kind like that I know what they are and will be able to compare them to the same kind transplanted, see if here is any truth to my theory that volunteers are stronger overall including more disease tolerant.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2019-05-26, 03:34:32 AM
I'm  planting tomatoes in clumps. That worked really well for me the past few years. A simple way to screen lots of plants/varieties with little space, effort, and materials. There are about 25 to 50 sibling group seeds per clump which I start in 2" to 3" pots. About 50 clumps. I cull early on for slow germination, and weak growth. When they flower, I'll cull plants without promiscuous flowers, or that seem self-compatible. Then I intend to cull based on taste. And to cull red fruits. 

For the direct seeded part of the trial, I'm intending more than a thousand seeds into about 15 row-feet. Only the descendants of inter-species hybrids. A couple days ago, I planted some Jagodka seeds, cause people that got them from me previously were asking. They are the only mainstream domestic tomatoes that I am growing. Volunteering tomatoes would seem really clever for me. I'll gladly deal with tomato weeds!

I love close interplantings for the sake of promoting promiscuity.

My strategy with the mass selection is do another culling for slow growth a few weeks after transplanting. Then spread the plants out in a ray pattern to suggest which direction they might start growing, and add some dirt to hold them in place,

Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-05-26, 06:33:27 AM
Growing our own tomato seeds sure gives us options. Like my 3/4 oz of direct seeded seed. Probably direct seeded a similar amount last year and the year before. Though this is the first year I felt I had enough half wild seeds to add some in.

Most of my half wilds grow slow compared to domestics and peruvianum. My thought is that domestics and peruvianum are R selected field weeds. Then Hab and Pennellii are K selected wildflowers. Probably are roots first strategists.

I found a couple really domestic looking and growing plants in the cells devoted to my saved half wild seed from last year. Last year which shoulda coulda produced enough half wild seed for my whole project this year only produced enough for a couple flats. I think the bed I had them in might be low N. I was digging it up and found some sawdust. So maybe I selected for short seasonality in a low N environment last year with my two producing plants.
Those seedlings sure are segregating a lot though.

I think all told half wilds and wilds are expanding their footprint to about half or more of my transplant tomato beds. However they are a relatively small proportion of the direct seeded mixture. Though any promiscuous half wild plants that germinate and survive in the direct seeded mixture are liable to take up domestic pollen and produce some 3/4 domestic offspring. That might be ok too. If I find such a plant or plants it may make for some very interesting additions to a 2020 direct seeded project. Maybe that is where those couple domestic looking and growing plants came from this year or maybe it's just segregation.

Even my Fairy Hollow half wild plants are segregating alot. That should be interesting! I only grew a few transplants and added the rest of the packet direct seeded. Got one that's potato leaved.

I'm planting a few clumps but mostly just things I didn't want enough of to divide. Non segregating things mostly. I guess that means I just don't like to thin.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2019-05-26, 03:23:20 PM
It seems to me, like the self-incompatible trait is dominant. Therefore, I expect domestic pollen to only move into that portion (25%) of the halflings that have two self-compatible genes (maybe there are 2 pairs of genes, I didn't keep enough records to do the math). Pollen flow is more likely from the halflings to the domestics.

Last year in my garden, it was easy to observe the self-compatible plants. They set fruits on every blossom. The self-incompatible plants didn't set fruits on the first few clusters. They only set fruits later, when the bumble bees were active.

I find myself in an odd place. Lots of varieties and types of tomatoes are emerging from this project. I am only interested in a very small subset of them. I aim to completely change the way tomatoes are grown, so I'm not much interested in sharing seed from those varieties that could fit into the current inbred tomato model.

I'm growing a bunch of plants this year that are 1/4 wild. I'm thrilled with the 1/4 wilds, because they have finally incorporated my Cold Tolerant project, and my Tasty Beefsteak project into the wild lines.

I'm also growing lots of plants that are 1/2 wild, and some that might be 3/4 wild.

I'm heading out to the garden now to direct seed halflings. 



Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-05-28, 04:43:58 PM
It will be really interesting to see what becomes of the direct seeded halflings both in Josephs garden and my own.

If they do well and produce enough fruit it could really inform 2020's possibilities. 3/4 oz. of seed can seed my whole project. Theoretically one really awesome plant could produce that much. Though I would rather get it from ten.

Tasting may be very interesting this year.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: Andrew Barney on 2019-05-28, 09:46:45 PM
WOW! so much is happening with this project i feel like i'm missing out a bit this year! haha. But with living arrangements having been up in the air i'm just glad to be working on any plant breeding / gardening projects at all! I will need to come back to the tomato stuff later, though i'm hoping to grow at least a few.

Just signed a lease to rent a house. Looks like i may be able to get a small garden area. Still working out the logistics of whether i can put in a raised bed to increase that.

But happy i can still commute to my parents property to grow some things for now. Peas are doing fantastic, will be interesting to see if some of my attempted crosses work out this generation. Working with Pisum fulvum wild relative again. Also hoping to explore other wide pea crosses.

I have two watermelon seedlings growing / emerging today in the cold rain. The early one seems happy. The second one is likely of the same family strain. I'm excited that i planted mostly 1/4 wilds of watermelon this year similar to Joseph with his tomato population! Interesting that my sub-project has eclipsed my domestic landrace project as well! I fully expect both projects to merge at some point!

i've ended planting all my annual teosinte seeds again this year. I mixed in some neandercorn, my purple foliage Indian corn, and some old seed of Astronomy Domine sweet corn. I love corn but i haven't planted any in several years! I just couldn't help myself! There is just something enchanting about corn!

*sigh* so many projects so little space and time to do them all.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-05-28, 10:39:44 PM
True. Haven't yet planted anything but multiple species of tomatoes and two squash species. Have quite a few volunteers of things like peas, favas, lettuce, miners lettuce, and such if I can weed around them or better yet transplant them. Really need to plant allium seeds as they don't keep.

Have another area I rototilled twice. would love to till it again and plant lots of variety. Pretty busy with schoolwork right now though.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: Peter on 2019-05-30, 04:16:10 AM
When it comes to direct-seeding, I recommend looking for the following:

• Seedling vigor (I've noticed some breeds tend to get bigger faster in my unheated greenhouse; I think this is perhaps the most important trait for direct-seeded tomatoes)
• Ability to withstand sudden, and dramatic, temperature changes (as well as sudden changes in rainfall)
• Early breeds (early to flower; quick to set fruit; quick for fruit to grow to size; quick to ripen)
• Those that are able to sprout in colder temperatures than average (and in both wet and dry conditions). This is very important, because tomato plants can grow at colder temperatures than they tend to sprout (normally).
• Prolific breeds (early isn't all that nice if you only get a few fruit overall)
• Wind-tolerant breeds

I've had success direct-seeding my Galapagos Island tomato (S. cheesmanieae), even though I direct-seeded it kind of late. It's the earliest tomato I've grown to date. I'm glad to hear about Sweet Cherriette, though. I definitely want to get it.

I didn't direct-seed these, but this year, the following tomatoes sprouted earlier in the season (when it was cooler):

Black Vernissage, Palestinian, Porter, Sausage. Black Beauty and Nodak Early were the first two to sprout in a much less desirable seed-starting mix (everything took longer to sprout and grow in it).

The following had great seedling vigor:

Chris Ukrainian, Black Dragon, Black Vernissage (much better vigor pre-transplant), Coyote, Matt's Wild Cherry, Marion, and probably others.

Marion had excellent germination (not only rates, but the seeds popped up pretty much perfectly and neatly).

The first plant to flower (of those I grew from seed) was Coyote. Others got buds pretty quickly, too: Bloody Butcher, Moravsky Div, Marion, Black Dragon, and Red Robin.

Last year, the first to sprout were these:

Super Marmande and Large-barred Boar. Neither were early to fruit, though. Frosty F. House, Burpee Gloriana and a number of others sprouted soon after—both of those would probably be good candidates for direct-seeding. Frosty F. House is quite early, with a polite plant, and I like the taste.

In 2017, the first to sprout were these:

Amethyst Jewel, Evergreen, Good Old Fashioned Red, Menehune, North Dakota Earliana, Green Pear, Girl GIrl's Weird Thing, Napa Giant, and Oroma. I don't recommend any of those for direct-seeding, personally. Green Pear seems to make a decent volunteer, though.

Sweet Orange Cherry is an early one with good post-transplant vigor (after it gets a certain size, anyway). It's prolific, too. Seeds have historically taken a while to sprout, though. It does seem to sprout faster every year, though.

One thing you can do instead of direct-seeding the traditional way is to squish a fruit where you want it to volunteer the season before. That seems to work a lot of the time. You just have to remember what it was and where you squished it.

Matina was a favorite for earliness and vigor in 2016. It didn't fruit as well in 2017, with less water, but the vines were still rampant.

If Brandy Boy F1 is anything like the accidental cross of a stabilized Brandy Boy with something else, then it could be a really nice one for direct-seeding). I'm growing out at least eight F2s from the accidental cross, this year. They were all in the less-optimal seed-starting mix (so, they got a late start, but they're looking good).

Sausage might be a good one, if it's not too late. Ask me at the end of the season. I didn't direct-seed it, but I did transplant some seedlings with only cotyledons. I imagine if they do well, direct-seeded ones might do even better.

Chocolate Pear might be a decent one. It's early and reasonably prolific. Sasha's Altai, Mountain Princess, Nodak Early, New Yorker V, Manitoba and others might be good, too.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-05-30, 06:25:37 AM
Most of those I will not try, just because I've already gathered enough germplasm to work with for a few years at least. I would however encourage you to try saving ample seed and direct seed them in your own garden. Also try crossing some of your favorites as that creates variation to select from in a new situation.

Of the tomatoes you mention I tried Matina and Coyote. Coyote made my top 10 list. It is decently early and has a good flavor. I think it also has dry farming potential. A coyote x sweet cherriette cross would be interesting.

Other interesting tomatoes I'm keeping around:

Brad
Jagodka
Big Hill
Blue Ambrosia
42 Days
Sweet Cherriette
Anmore Dewdrop
Sungold and its segregating descendants

Then for flavor I also like Amethyst Cream (not early enough to direct seed here) as well as the aforementioned Coyote, Sungold, and Big Hill. Blue Ambrosia might be a Sungold descendant.

I'm trying Cheesemanii this year for the first time with some seed Andrew sent.

I'm getting better at making intentional hybrids so I plan to work with this list of domestic germplasm I identified in 2017 and 2018. This year I hope to make some crosses between some of the above. I'm particularly focused this year on the flavor varieties and sweet cherriette. If I could get a tiny bit of hybrid seed of sweet cherriette crosses of each of those plus some of the half wilds that would make for a fun 2021 when the F2s segregate.

I am growing out primarily F2 seed of unknown father crosses of Blue Ambrosia and Big Hill. As well as some F2 seed of a potato leaf exserted from Josephs land race. For pure domestic tomatoes that is.

The habrochaites crosses produce a lot of slow seedlings. We may be strongly selecting for seedling vigour with our short season direct seeding of that.

Because of Josephs ongoing work he has incorporated Jagodka into Big Hill and Brad into Fairy Hollow. So this year I am more likely to do things like cross a Big Hill hybrid with Fairy Hollow. Or cross a Blue Ambrosia hybrid with a Big Hill hybrid. Or just let them cross in the wild as the exserted trait is now pretty common in my mix. There is probably already some crosses of Big Hill and Blue Ambrosia in my 2018 saved seed. All the short season reds have a fairly high degree of similarity so I think a lot of their utility may be in crossing with the more flavorful stuff.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: Peter on 2019-06-06, 05:49:08 PM
So, again, this isn't directly about direct-seeding, but I think the situation I'm about to mention is close enough to where the same principles might apply.

I've been experimenting with transplanting extra-young seedlings (like just cotyledons and/or very small first true leaves). My observation is that if transplanted when the weather is cooler, they take a long time to start growing much (like a few to several weeks). However, if transplanted when it's decently warm, they grow quite fast (and quickly grow at a rate where they can overtake those that were transplanted earlier), as in I notice visible growth in two or three days. So, I'm thinking direct-seeding when it's not too cool can probably be similarly advantageous.

When the daily highs were about 89 or 90° F. and the lows were maybe 55° F. is where I saw faster growth, this year, so far. The cooler temperatures maybe had highs in the 60s and 70s, or maybe even 80s. In both situations, we had black plastic around them.

The ones transplanted early do grow faster when it warms, but at this stage, they don't seem to grow as fast as those transplanted during the warmth.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-06-06, 06:05:27 PM
Lots of truth to that. Especially with the variety Sweet Cherriette. A nice fast growing plant sure outperforms a tortured one.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-06-08, 12:15:13 PM
Checked on tomatoes for the first time in two weeks yesterday. True leaves, starting to take off.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: ImGrimmer on 2019-06-08, 02:56:51 PM
One or two of the volunteers are blooming right now. 5 weeks after germination. (They are intended volunteers. I sow them right after the harvest last year) The seed mother was the first to germinate and the first to bloom last year.  More less the same 4-5 weeks after germination. Other lines are still tiny and struggle to grow. Even in the cold frame.

@William S. I see you have the "horror millet" as well :)
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-06-14, 06:26:45 AM
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JRKSzWSPQnw

Some cooperators on this direct seeding project have had less success direct seeding because of flea beetles destroying the seedlings. Some of my seedlings in weedy beds mysteriously dissappeared last year before I got them weeded. Perhaps just competition.

This video has a specific hab trait responsible for arthropod resistance. That could be a possible solution to flea beetles eating the seedlings during direct seeding. At 13:25: in the video the donor is LA2329 not sure if that specific accession is in our hab x populations.


 Also notably it's been the Peruvianum volunteers that did best for everyone. Maybe they have similar resistances.

On an unrelated but project related note I'm going to be doing some weeding today. It will be interesting to see if any of the half wild proportion in the direct seeding can be located today by leaf traits. If so I may pop on a picture of the seedling later.

Edit update: 1/10 weeded. No half wilds detected. They represent about 5.6% of the seed planted. Next week may be more identifiable.

Decent numbers of potato leaf plants.

Will go back out and resume weeding after awhile. I'd like to get to the 1/3 mark today.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: reed on 2019-06-14, 02:28:04 PM

Decent numbers of potato leaf plants.


What is the significance of the potato leaf plants?
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-06-14, 02:36:07 PM
A couple. I included a segregating population descended from a regular leaf descendent of a exserted potato leaf plant from a JL landrace mix. I'd love to recover a nicely exserted potato leaf because I can then do a messy bee made back cross it to any regular leaf and get easily identifiable hybrids.

Then Fairy Hollow is segregating back to potato leaf and I included the majority of my Fairy Hollow packet amongst the half wilds. 

It's also possible potato leaf DNA could be segregating from unknown fathers to the Blue Ambrosia hybrids from last year.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: reed on 2019-06-14, 06:15:53 PM
Interesting, does normal leaf, potato leaf have a know dominant/recessive relationship? If so it might help me understand origin of some of the plants in my garden.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-06-14, 06:58:52 PM
 Yep potato leaf is recessive to regular leaf.

Not sure what will happen with some of the new leaf types from the wild species though.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2019-06-14, 08:15:58 PM
I direct seeded a couple thousand tomato seeds a few weeks ago. Some of them germinated. Most of those got eaten by flea beetles. I planted more a couple days ago. Flea beetle resistance would be a wonderful thing for me. Flea beetles tend to be less of a problem after my irrigation system becomes active (yesterday). Therefore I made a second planting. And, I did something that I haven't done in like 9 years. I sprayed! Mild soapy water on the ground around the tomatoes. I'm even wondering about diatomaceous earth. A couple weeks head start on the flea beetles would probably be enough.

Volunteer S peruvianum (complex) plants are growing in two of my fields. Solanum physalifolium reliably volunteers in my fields, as do tomatillos. I'm getting more serious about starting a domestication project on Solanum physalifolium.

One of my neighbors has a patch of S pimpinellifolium that has been volunteering for 15 years.

The only potato-leaved domestic tomato that I used in the crosses with S habrochaites was Brad. F1[Brad X habrochaites] was a great pollen donor, and grew robustly and set lots of fruits, therefore contributed well to the F2. Potato leaved plants show up occasionally in the offspring of the half-wildlings. I haven't tried to figure out how the other leaf shapes fit into a dominant/recessive model. Many of them appear to be in some sort of co-dominant relationship, where there are lots of intermediate leaf shapes. Makes me happy to know that fairy hollow is a descendant of Brad! That would explain her earliness, and productivity.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: Peter on 2019-06-14, 10:17:53 PM
I wonder if spritzing the soil with mint or cinnamon essential oil would deter flea beetles.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2019-06-14, 10:24:16 PM
William: You have got me totally excited about selecting for Potato-Leaved Fairy Hollow! Planted more seeds tonight.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: Peter on 2019-06-14, 10:48:18 PM
What's Fairy Hollow? I don't see any information on it off-site. Edit: Nevermind. I tried another search engine and found information (http://garden.lofthouse.com/seed-list.phtml)!
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-06-15, 03:51:06 PM
Found a small Fern/Silvery Fir Tree descendant. Likely from the interspecies hybrids. Percentages are clearly lower than one would expect on the interspecies hybrids even accounting for lower germination. I suspect It's that slow start hab and penellii embue. Must be a rare seedling doesn't have that.

I put a significant amount of a exserted (in the F1) F2 domestic with a potato leaf grandmother in. Over in the transplant garden first couple blooms showing. Not exserted so far. Rather beefsteak type blooms and not exserted. Could have picked up some pollen from the surrounding Big Hills. Though Big Hill is open, but in a different way. Thus earliest blooms could be a hybrid of a hybrid.

Curious about what it would take to purge all closed flowers from a population.

The potato leaf fairy hollow that segregated out of my transplanted ones has changed as it's grown. The habrochaites genes have modified the potato leaf in an intriguing way- elongated, a little extra fuzzy, and neat looking.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-06-23, 05:16:53 PM
Finished the first round of direct seeded patch weeding. Also planted out the last of the transplants this weekend. Tight buds on the oldest/first weeded direct seeded tomatoes. Haven't watered anything yet- need to fix the well controller. Maxima squash looks sad. Moschata much happier.

Over in the transplant tomato garden the Peruvianum are quite pretty and in full bloom at least about half. Half of them are from an super early plant in my 2018 garden, the other half from really large fruited ones from Josephs 2018 garden.. The arcanum are coming along, both accessions. I see one with tight buds. I have one chilense left. The galapagense and cheesemanii Andrew sent are growing. Penellii crosses are all over the place phenology and size wise. Highly variable. Have one F1, one pure, and the rest are F3. Half habrochaites look good. Potential 3/4 habrochaites looks good. Domestics and pimps look good. The pimp from Andrew remains modestly exserted. Exsertion overall is less in domestics than I would have predicted based on parentage.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-06-28, 04:29:09 PM
Well, I have precisely one flower open in the direct seeded patch. If I had to guess I would say it's a sweet cherriette.

Over in the transplant patch I found a few fruits. Made a few deliberate crosses too. Big Hill is a joy to work with. Sturdy stigmas!
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-07-05, 09:26:25 AM
Just went out to land. Couldn't find much pollen to work with from prospective pollen parents. Currently 60 fairenheit supposed to hit 80 fairenheit today. Suspect not in ideal temp range for pollen release? Or maybe too much dew. Or maybe just not enough flowers of the right age for good pollen release available. Found a little pollen on a exserted pimp type Andrew sent. Pollinated one Big Hill Stigma with it. Found a little Blue Ambrosia pollen from a single flower. Put that on another single stigma of Big Hill X f2.

In the direct seeded patch lots more flowers showing up. Saw one that's probably a Blue Ambrosia volunteer based on location and exserted stigma, one likely to be a Big Hill X f2, and some likely to be Sweet Cherriette. Interesting. Plants are much larger and sturdier than last weekend.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-07-22, 04:47:36 AM
It will be really interesting to see what becomes of the direct seeded halflings both in Josephs garden and my own.

If they do well and produce enough fruit it could really inform 2020's possibilities. 3/4 oz. of seed can seed my whole project. Theoretically one really awesome plant could produce that much. Though I would rather get it from ten.

Tasting may be very interesting this year.

It seems to me that I'm still a month out from ripe fruit which will confirm or deny identity. However, in my transplant garden I suspect I will get a lot more seed back than last year from the half wilds. Then next year will be able to up the proportion of the direct seeded seed that is high percentage wild a great deal.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2019-08-06, 05:25:21 AM
Dry farmed direct seeded patch is generally doing great. One section with poor soil and small plants is showing signs of drying out. Have some fruit set. Lots of blooms.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2022-02-21, 09:26:19 AM
In 2020 and 2021 I did my direct seeding with promiscuous project plants and didn't save that much seed. Though in 2021 I also did a mix of Big Hill, Exserted Tiger, and Promiscuous project plants that produced one red exserted potato leaf- unless I added some seed from 2017's red exserted potato leaf. I saved a lot of seed from the 2021 version but am probably going to put it in a flat so I can grab out the regular leaf hybrids.

A thought for 2022 direct seeding might be to make a mix of anything that is early generation segregating.

An alternative thought for 2022 direct seeding is to make a mix of only exserted tomatoes similar to the 2021 mix with several components. Maybe MMS, Exserted Tiger, Exserted orange, extra MMS x BH F1 and F2 seed, Salmon fruited bicolor promiscuous project good flavor suspected not to be obligate outcrossing. Then maybe transplant in one of the The One! promiscuous project Fuyu persimmon flavored plants to the same block.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2022-04-24, 05:50:26 PM
I direct seeded my first packet of tomato seed today for 2022. It was "Panamorous direct seeded 2021" which Joseph seeded last year. I put it on about 120 row feet, but it was a relatively small amount of seed so the seeder was struggling a bit. So after two passes I hand seeded the rest and put the seeds about 4-6 next to each of my paced out three big step (roughly ten feet) marker flags. Then when all flags had some I put some in between the flags. So it should have a very decent distribution of direct seeded plants. It is where I had my flint corn stand last year so volunteer tomatoes should be minimal. If any do volunteer they will be Lofthouse packed for 2017 landrace potato leaf, Big Hill or Big Hill descendants, Promiscuous, or exserted tiger or their mixed up descendants but they are more likely to pop up where I grew them and not where the corn was and thus will get weeded out. The goal with this is to support Joseph's direct seeding efforts by doing seed increase here where direct seeding is easier. Then hopefully Joseph can tackle it with big numbers for another round there.

The other bit that I have been working on for some time now is the LA2329 and the third generation includes lots of interesting F1 hybrids so it should be ready for direct seeding trials sometime to see if that arthropod resistance is a key to making direct seeding more viable in places where it is not now. I am also gearing up to do a crossing block with LA 1410 a Solanum galapagense accession that I believe has awesome potential for arthropod resistance as well.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2022-05-17, 01:23:31 PM
The promiscuous project patch of direct seeded tomatoes descended from Joseph's 2021 direct seeded survivors has some germination already I counted seven but accidentally pulled one of them up while weeding. I thought it had been too cold but they've started germinating!
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2022-05-26, 03:22:12 PM
I found 30 seedlings total today in the promiscuous project direct seeded garden the north east garden. They look good and there is a decent rainstorm coming so more will germinate. Even if no more do 30 tomato plants can produce enormous amounts of seed!

In my other direct seeded row a small part of the south east garden the promiscuous tomatoes from last year are volunteering so heavily I suspect they will dominate again this year. I found in excess of 30 seedlings within a six inch span there!
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2022-06-05, 01:53:10 PM
The promiscuous project direct seeded project is now up to forty-five seedlings.

The other direct seeded project row is doing great but has as many plants or more from last year's promiscuous project direct seeding as from this year's and I am keeping them both, should make for an interestingly diverse row.

Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2022-06-10, 01:22:24 PM
Last night and this morning I was looking at and working on weeding a bit the diverse row of mixed direct seeded and 2021 promiscuous project volunteers. It reminded me of a hope I have had: of someday direct seeding leading to really strong volunteers. Perhaps a tomato weed! In fact some of the seeds I direct seeded are descended from multiple years of direct seeding and some volunteers from prior years of direct seeding. Perhaps with the addition of the really thick promiscuous project volunteers from 2021 that is taking a step closer to reality. Also spotted a few potato leaved seedlings as expected in the straight line that is 2022's direct seeding mix.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2022-06-11, 07:03:13 PM
Spent some time weeding.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2022-06-11, 11:06:58 PM
This year, I direct seeded tomatoes about one week before our average last frost date. And I kept them watered well. (Last year I planted two weeks before).  They have emerged thickly. I weeded them once. Now the flea beetles get to do their thing. And two nights of radiant cooling frost are expected this week.

The same day, I planted a row of bok choi seeds on either side of the tomato row. Wondering if they will distract the flea beetles.

I also planted about 50 transplants grown from seeds collected from the direct seeded project last year. That is for the sake of collecting a large amount of seed. Last year, I planted around 10,000 seeds. This year, my seed stash was in the hundreds. If I'm playing a numbers game, I'll generate lots of seeds.



Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2022-06-11, 11:48:30 PM
Joseph the seedling above is a direct seeded promiscuous project seedling from the seeds you sent me that you direct seeded last year. I keep finding a few more germinates every time I weed but the numbers are a little low for a direct seeded patch of mine. Usually, I use a lot of seeds! The seedling pictured above and the earliest of its friends survived a few nights of frost that damaged bigger tomatoes even covered in frost cloth. I think there is something protective about being about an inch high. There is also something a bit protective about having lots of seedlings around them or weeds. So if they are thick and then get hit a bit with radiant cooling some should survive just because they are thick I think.

My other direct seeded row this year is just thickly surrounded by promiscuous project volunteers from last year's direct seeded promiscuous row in the same spot. I tried weeding it a bit as the rain started up again but now, I think I am weeding a four-foot-wide bed instead of my normal thin row! So I didn't get very far before the rain scared me away. The volunteer seedlings over there seem at about the same height as the Chenopodium album for now.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: Adrian on 2022-06-19, 12:06:16 AM
Hy william,
At placements or we expand compost we have often volunteers tomato plants and they are often more strong than plants sow at home.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2022-06-19, 09:01:31 AM
Direct seeding tomatoes has worked well for me now for 6 years. Volunteers have been a little more sporadic, but I think perhaps now they are becoming more reliable. Though I also thought that might be the case a few years ago!
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: Cathy A on 2022-06-20, 08:17:42 AM
The challenge I've had with direct-seeded volunteers is that if they fruit at all, it's at the very end of the season. It might work for me if the varieties were very early, like Sweet Cherriette or Sub-Arctic Plenty.
Title: Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
Post by: William S. on 2022-06-20, 08:28:46 AM
It was volunteers doing that in 2016 that inspired me. Then it wasn't that hard here in zone 6A western Montana. It's definitely a later crop though.