Aimed for Florida folks but useful for other locations too.
What do they mean by open pollinated?
It was always my understanding that potato leaf tomatos were pollinated
by insects and the varieties that had regular leaves were self pollinating,
to the point of being pollinated before the blossom actually opened.
Is this incorrect? Does it mean that you can't save the seeds from a regular
I have alot of varieties of tomatoes planted and would like to save seed
but I don't want to waste my time with a lot of (probably bad) crosses
break of day
and a couple more that I am having trouble
remembering right now.
Some of these are fairly close together, within a 100 feet, but all
are within 200 feet.
What say you wizards of the gardens.
Essentially it means that there is no human intervention in the
reproductive process in order to maintain a relatively pure strain.
Check out this. And, once again, I highly recommend Suzanne
Ashworth's "Seed to Seed".
Yes you can save seeds from these.
If your plants are seperated by that distance you are more than good
to go on saving seeds. I save seeds from varieties growing next to
one another and have no crosses yet, though possible it is unlikely.
Just as with beans. They are self fertile and rarely cross on their
Potato leaf varieties will do fine if separated by the length of the
garden. Don't save seed from any double fruits.
<Charlie> wrote in message >>> Aimed for Florida folks but useful for other locations too.
this confirms what I believed, this is going to be my first year saving
tomato seed, I have been starting my own plants from seed for several
years now and enjoy the great variety available from seed.
Besides the limited variety of nursery raised plants they have been costly,
as I try to set out about 100 tomatos a year.
I always save a few squash seed and plant a couple of hills from them,
it's always fun to see what they have cross pollinated into.
Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable
by Suzanne Ashworth and Kent Whealy
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
(Reference to Amazon isn't an endorsement. You may find the book
cheaper, somewhere else.)
POLLINATION, CROSSING AND ISOLATION
The extent of cross-pollination in tomatoes has been a controversy among
seed savers for a long time. Some say that crossing is rampant, while
others have reportedly never seen crossing after years of growing
different varieties next to one anollicr. Charlie Rick, whose tomato
breeding accomplishments are legendary, describes the evolution of the
tomato in Potential Genetic Resources in Tomato Species (1952). "The
ancestral tomato species could not reproduce by self-pollination.... .
It had a long style, extending far beyond the anther tube, to facilitate
cross-pollination by insects. . . . .As this ancestral species evolved
into the wild predecessor of the cultivated tomato it developed the
ability to self-pollinate. . . . .With this development, the style
became shorter but still protruded beyond the anther tube. . . . .As the
tomato migrated northward, the style continued to shorten and in some
species totally retracted inside the anther tube, precluding any
possibility of insect crossing. . . . ,"
Tomatoes are inbreeding plants. Most modern tomato varieties have
totally retracted styles. Such flower structure severely limits (and may
totally preclude) any crossing between these varieties. Three groups of
tomato varieties have been found to have protruding styles, however:
currant tomatoes, L. pimpinellifolium; all of the potato-leaved
varieties of L. lycopersicum', and any fruit formed from double blossoms
on beefsteak types of L. lycopersicum. Potato leaved tomatoes have
rampant vines and smooth-edged leaves that resemble the leaves of a
Although not all tomato varieties have been examined. most modern
varieties available commercially will not cross with one another due to
their retracted styles. Seed savers should therefore have no problem
with cross-pollination when growing one currant tomato (or one
potato-leaved variety) and any number of modern varieties with styles
covered by their anther tubes. Caging can be used to prevent crossing
when more than one variety of L. pimpinellifolium or more than one
potato-leaved variety of L. lycopersicum are grown in close proximity.
Double blossoms, commonly seen in amongst the early flowers of beefsteak
tomatoes, often have exposed stigmas, making them more prone to insect
cross-pollination. Seeds should not be saved from double fruits for this
To determine the style position for any given tomato variety, choose
10-20 new blossoms from several different plants. Examine each blossom
with a magnifying glass to see if the style is recessed or protruding.
The anther tube will open as the fruit forms, so it is important to
choose newly opened blossoms
Most tomato varieties will set more fruit if their flowers are agitated
or tripped. This increases the amount of pollen traveling down the
anther tube. The wind usually provides sufficient agitation, but fans
are often used to simulate the wind in greenhouse situations. Daily
shaking can be used to increase flower set in caged plants.
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being
Thanks, good information
I have three areas that I garden in, well seperated from each other
but I didn't give it a lot of thought before I set my plants out,
I will need to be a little cautious about what I save this year.
Hopefully I'll have my varieties better organised next year.
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