Author Topic: Direct Seeded Tomato Project  (Read 3681 times)

reed

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Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
« Reply #30 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. 

William S.

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Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
« Reply #31 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.
« Last Edit: 2019-05-18, 06:03:55 AM by William S. »
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

spacecase0

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Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
« Reply #32 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.

reed

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Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
« Reply #33 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.
« Last Edit: 2019-05-19, 02:25:36 AM by reed »

William S.

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Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
« Reply #34 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.
« Last Edit: 2019-05-25, 11:06:54 PM by William S. »
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

William S.

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Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
« Reply #35 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!
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

reed

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Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
« Reply #36 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.

William S.

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Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
« Reply #37 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.
« Last Edit: 2019-05-24, 05:18:40 PM by William S. »
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Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
« Reply #38 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.

reed

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Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
« Reply #39 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.

Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
« Reply #40 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,


William S.

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Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
« Reply #41 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.
« Last Edit: 2019-05-26, 06:59:52 AM by William S. »
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Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
« Reply #42 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. 




William S.

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Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
« Reply #43 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.
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

Andrew Barney

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Re: Direct Seeded Tomato Project
« Reply #44 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.