Author Topic: Tomatoes for the Central Ohio Valley  (Read 565 times)

reed

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Tomatoes for the Central Ohio Valley
« on: 2019-01-19, 05:41:57 AM »
I'v never tried to hand pollinate to tomatoes before but because of the need to get some better disease resistance into the mix I'm gonna give it a go this year. I'm not going to do meticulous record keeping nor really commit to an ongoing project of back crossing and the like. I'm more interested in just doing a landrace style project and  just select for good segregates that show up future generations, assuming of course I am able to successfully make the initial crosses.

I'll start with some I already have that although they don't survive till end of season they still make an early crop sufficient to fill our canning jars, which is our primary goal although we certainly do enjoy fresh tomatoes too. These include:
Utah Heart - an extremely good juice and sauce tomato, from an "early all kinds" mix from Joseph Lofthouse.
Hoosier Rose I and II - Large slicing tomatoes that vary a little, one has more green shoulders and seems a little more disease resistant, they are F 4 or so from a commercial  F1 called Red Rose (Brandywine x Rutgers)
Particularly Productive Rutgers -  A more productive and more determinate form that showed up in my Rutgers patch a few years ago. 
Mr. Stripey - A large red and yellow beefsteak type heirloom that is more disease resistant then most. It is often confused with Tigerella a terrible tasting variety in my opinion. I wasn't sure which was truly which but am going with the Cornell University description...
Quote
Open pollinated. Main season standard beefsteak type. Indeterminate plants produce fruit that is up to 2 pound, golden yellow with reddish-pink vertical stripes. Disease resistant variety. Resistance to late blight. About 80 days to maturity. Not to be confused with bicolor 'Tigerella'
...especially since it is consistent with my experience.

I'll also be including my own diverse population from a pimpinellifolium cross that showed up a few years ago. These are the most blight resistant tomatoes I have and pretty much the only ones that still produce up to frost but they are prone to other foliage diseases to varying degrees. This year I will plant several of them and select for the less diseased ones to cross with the others. I might have to wait a while in the season to see which are most resistant, I'm also hopeful that the ones with larger fruits might be the most resistant. If I could get a ping pong ball sized fruit from a more resistant pimp cross that I'm confident was pollinated by Mr. Stripey, that would be a treasure.

I may get some Iron Lady and some Skykomish for added LB resistance but LB is far from the only disease issue I have so not sure how that will work out.

I'll also use two more commercial hybrids I already have, both as the original purchased F1 and my own F3 or 4. Plum Regal and Mountain Merit. They both have at least some LB resistance but also just as importantly to me are reported to have considerable resistance to other diseases. Mountain Merit is productive and blends good in juice and Plum Regal seems to be easy to sun dry and I'm interested in learning to do that. They are neither one the best flavored tomatoes I'v ever tasted but they are not terrible, certainly better than store bought.

I'm just going to try to make lots of different crosses between all these various ones and then see what happens when I grow out the F1s.  I'll keep good track in the first year of F1 parents. Any good things that show up in F1 will be either dehybridized or maybe crossed some more, will see how it shakes out but I think some good things could show up and at very least I'll have good supply of seeds for future season that at least have some chance of having both good fruits and disease resistance. 

I'm taking a more "nature finds a way" over a more scientifically grounded approach not because I think the second is flawed but because I know I don't have the discipline to pull it off.   
 
« Last Edit: 2019-01-19, 06:04:26 AM by reed »

William S.

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Re: Tomatoes for the Central Ohio Valley
« Reply #1 on: 2019-01-19, 09:21:33 AM »
Sounds like a plan, except if you have an F1 with known parents, even if the F1 dissapoints, it would be important to plant the F2 and select in the F2 not in the F1. The F1 could be weak or small or combine badly, but still produce a superior F2. Say you cross Mr Stripey x Reed's Ping-pong sized pimpinillifolium. The F1 might not be that great. So you might pass it over. The F1 is probably going to be heterozygous for the disease resistance that carries the pimp through to frost and the large fruit size of Mr. Stripey. However F2 is where you might start to have a chance at some offspring with some homozygosity for desired traits. So nonselection and record keeping might be more important until you collect the seed of the F1. Once you have those F2 seeds planted selection can begin.

Same is true for adding in foreign genes like Skykomish and Iron Lady. They might succomb to other things in the Ohio River Valley. So might the F1, but that F2 has the possibility to bring in something better to the gene pool in the form of better late blight resistance.

I noticed also that some of the resources say which late blight gene some of the heirlooms might have. It would be handy if Mr. Stripey had one and pimpinillifolium had the other and explain much. The F2 might have both homozygous and do great but the F1 might not do well being heterozygous for both.



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reed

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Re: Tomatoes for the Central Ohio Valley
« Reply #2 on: 2019-01-19, 03:42:25 PM »
Thanks William, I do tend to forget about how the genes line up in an F1. Even if one parent is homozygous for something the child might not be unless the other parent also was.

I'm betting on different helpful genes coming  together from different parents. If I do get Iron Lady it might croak before it even gets a chance to resist LB but as long as it manages to bloom I might still be able to mix it in by crossing on to the pimps. The pimps bloom early and don't stop so they can be a catch all for pollen from anything else. I'm curious but guess I'll never know who the other parent of the original pimp cross was.

My biggest obstacle will be growing large enough populations to find the good plants but I remember in one of Carol's books she said if all you want is to test for disease resistance you can grow them very crowded. 
« Last Edit: 2019-01-19, 03:44:21 PM by reed »

reed

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Re: Tomatoes for the Central Ohio Valley
« Reply #3 on: 2019-02-07, 06:45:01 AM »
Well, I think I will go ahead and gets some Iron Lady to throw in my mix and also some Celebrity hybrid. I think I remember growing it years ago and it wasn't terrible flavor wise. It isn't advertised as having any LB resistance but lots of resistance to other tomato problems.
I think I will do my anti-disease project separately from my production patch. I have a bunch of big tubs that I'm not going to use for sweet potatoes this year so I have moved them out of the fenced garden and started filling them with compost and soil. It will be easy to wrap some fence around them to keep out critters and provide supports and it won't take away from the production space that way.  I'll have a tub per variety and trim off most flowers except for those I do the crosses on.
I haven't made any effort over the years to save any particular one of the pimps so my seed is all mixed up. I'll have to wait and see which ones are more disease resistant and which ones have biggest fruits. Fingers crossed those both show up in the same one.
Interesting I'm seeing the variety Red Rose advertised as an OP. I found the pack from when I first got them several years ago and it says F1 and mine did segregate into two phenotypes. One green soldered and a little more disease tolerant, the other solid color. (actually now that I think about it they segregated at first into potato and regular leaf, mine now are all regular) I do have those seeds saved separately but will probably plant both anyway.
Don't know about Iron Lady but none of those I'm starting with are bad tasting and my Mr. Stripey is very very good. I'm looking mostly to getting lots of different crosses with it. If I can pull that I should have material to work with for years to come.
« Last Edit: 2019-02-07, 06:54:41 AM by reed »

reed

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Re: Tomatoes for the Central Ohio Valley
« Reply #4 on: 2019-03-06, 09:39:14 AM »
I went ahead and got the Iron Lady and Celebrity plus I traded for some Crimson Crush and Oh' Happy Day.  All kinds of possibilities for crossing I have:
Mr. Stripey
Utah Heart
PP Rutgers
Hoosier Rose(s)
my pimpinellifolium crosses
Plum Regal F5

New ones are:
Iron Lady
Oh' Happy Day
Crimson Crush
Celebrity

Does anyone have opinion on which way to do the crosses in order to maximize the chances of getting the resistances into my favorites. For example Mr. Stripey, would it be better to use it as mother or father? Of course I could do both ways but I don't really have room to grow out too many different ones the next year. Maybe I'll try several different crosses and just give a lot of them away.

William S.

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Re: Tomatoes for the Central Ohio Valley
« Reply #5 on: 2019-03-06, 09:06:01 PM »
I would cross using your current favorites as the mothers. Large sturdy flowers of your large fruited types will be easier to emasculate. Short season varieties as mother if time or season is short.
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reed

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Re: Tomatoes for the Central Ohio Valley
« Reply #6 on: 2019-03-07, 07:57:10 AM »
That's what I was thinking too. Especially Mr. Stripey and Utah heart, get a whole bunch of them crossed to the new ones and go from there. Probably too much to expect that any of the new ones will have great flavor but if any do I'll keep them for hybridizing and more crossing.

I don't care about specific varieties or uniformity but I do want three basic classes. Large juicy tomatoes for fresh eating, I call them slicers. Big firm tomatoes for juice and sauces, I call them canners. And small sweet tomatoes for salads or in the garden snacks.

The wild pimpinellifolium crosses already got that last one covered so not worried about them except as material for more crossing. Wonder what will come from a Mr. Stripey x pimpinellifolium cross, should be interesting.

Woody Gardener

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Re: Tomatoes for the Central Ohio Valley
« Reply #7 on: 2019-03-07, 12:03:53 PM »
I don't care about specific varieties or uniformity but I do want three basic classes. Large juicy tomatoes for fresh eating, I call them slicers. Big firm tomatoes for juice and sauces, I call them canners. And small sweet tomatoes for salads or in the garden snacks.

Last year I planted 18 varieties of small tomatoes, in a hot and dry summer, and on poor, heavy soil. Only 4 produced much and they produced abundantly. 3 were great garden snacking tomatoes.
Indigo Pear Drop
Coyote
Matt's Wild Cherry

reed

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Re: Tomatoes for the Central Ohio Valley
« Reply #8 on: 2019-03-07, 03:23:52 PM »
Matt's Wild Cherry gets mentioned a lot and comes up a lot in searches. I haven't tried it myself, I started to get some but decided I have more than plenty little sweet tomatoes already. I actually have lots of the the pimpinellifolium crosses. I haven't planted a one I don't think cause more than enough come up volunteer but I save some from the best each year anyway.

I don't keep them separated and haven't tried to stabilize any particular one but it might be an interesting project for folks that like little sweet tomatoes, if anyone is interested in some seeds, let me know.   
« Last Edit: 2019-03-07, 03:51:39 PM by reed »

reed

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Re: Tomatoes for the Central Ohio Valley
« Reply #9 on: 2019-04-27, 06:29:43 AM »
My tomatoes are all looking good, just starting to get some true leaves. I think I'll move them out to the garden today or tomorrow under a little hoop structure so I can easily toss a blanket over them if it gets cold again. Tempted to just go ahead and set them out but it isn't quite warm enough and also very wet right now.

Iron Lady had poor germination only two of five came up but that should be enough. I don't want to get too involved with keeping records and stuff with my tomatoes. I'm just gonna try to get lots of crosses with, especially with Mr. Stripey and the pimp crosses as they are the most disease resistant and longest running in my own garden.

I have;
Mr Stripey
Volunteer Pimp mix (various sizes and colors, most very sweet)
Iron Lady
PP Rutgers (also my own strain for a long time, more determinate and productive than other Rutgers)
Utah Heart
Canner mix (mostly Oxheart types)
Hoosier Rose ( a green shouldered more disease tolerant variant from the commercial Red Rose)
Celebrity F1 (supposed to be tolerant/resistant to about everything other than blight)
Plum Regal F5, maybe 6
Tasty Wine (a dwarf tomato project release)
Bush Early Girl F1, I think (will see how it does)
Cherokee Purple, (crappy production but we like them)
And a couple others, LB resistant, whose names escape me right now

I hope to bring more disease tolerance into my own collection from the Iron Lady and Celebrity, or flavor into those two from mine, don't care which but I'm not gonna put a lot of effort into good record keeping, just gonna try to make the crosses and go from there. If I'm successful at emasculating tomato flowers which looks to me more difficult than is described and am reasonably sure of success; in future I'll just plant the offspring in a basic landrace style and see what eventually turns up.

If I had a website about tomatoes it might be called tiredoftomatoes.com, not that I don't like tomatoes cause I do but I just want my three kinds, slicers, canners and snackers, well and I may add a fourth, dryers. I eventually hope to have just those three or four containers of saved seeds, not the dozens I have now.  In fact if I am successful in making my crosses most all of my older seeds and notes will just be pitched.







« Last Edit: 2019-04-27, 06:34:59 AM by reed »