Saving Tomato seed

I have the book Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth and am going to start saving seed from my garden this year. I am ordering only heirloom open pollinated seed to start with. I am unsure about the tomatoes if I can grow several types and not have them cross. The book says tomatoes are inbreeding plants and that seed savers should have no problem with cross pollination if you grow one currant tomato or one potato leaved variety if the styles are covered by the anther tubes. I want to plant Brandy wine and Black from Tula and Amish Paste all in the same 40' x 100' area. I will probably put one type on each end and one in the middle but just want to make sure since I am going to be saving these seed for years to come. Thank you Kenneth From Lufkin TX
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Tomatoes are very strong self pollinators. You could probably grow them right next to each other and never see a cross. I assume you will grow several plants of each kind. Save seed from a couple of the best plants each year. It's easy to save way more seed than you need. It's easy to keep seed for several years. Plant the fresh seed every year but keep the older seed on file for a few years. If you ever get unlucky and get a cross, you can go back to the older seed (next year) and not loose the variety. Of course you could just buy new seed if that happened but what fun is that? Besides, by taking seed from only your best plants, you might fine tune the variety to your conditions and end up with something slightly better over time. As an alternate plan, if you do get some off type plants, simply don't save the seeds from those plants. Unless you grow only a very few of each variety, I can't imagine you would not always get some pure type plants. As I said, you'll probably never have trouble with them crossing in the first place.
Steve
kenny wrote:

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That puts my mind at ease. For starters I will have to buy the seed so I will probably start 1/2 of the seed in each pack. The ones I ordered from Seed Savers Exchange had 30 seed each. 45 tomatoe plants should be about right for eating fresh and canning. I still have half in case a late frost comes through and wipes me out.

Good Idea I will try that.

I was thinking that also I read about plants adapting to certain areas in The Heirloom Gardener magazine

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If you have a dominant prevailing wind, make sure to plant them so the downwind types are not pollinated by a different upwind type.
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Charles
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