Win a Fokin hoe blade this week in the Gear forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Miles Flansburg
garden masters:
  • Dan Boone
  • Dave Burton
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Shawn Klassen-Koop
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Barkley

Hybrid tomatoes vs heirloom varieties

 
pollinator
Posts: 637
Location: Southern Illinois
116
building cat dog fungi rocket stoves transportation trees woodworking writing
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello,

I am curious as to prevailing thoughts here about the difference between hybrid and heirloom varieties of tomatoes.  For many years I have grown Better Boy tomatoes on the grounds that they produced huge crops of delicious tomatoes.  I did experiment with a couple of heirloom varieties (I think beefsteak) and found that the taste was no different, but the Better Boys produced a heavier crop more reliable that did not split so readily.  I don't think of hybrid tomatoes as being GMO plants.  Am I wrong?  Aside from collecting my own tomato seeds, is there a compelling reason to plant the heirloom varieties.  I am assuming (but don't know) that the hybrid varieties still make all the same microbial associations that the heirloom varieties do.  Am I wrong.

I am asking this because I am thinking (obsessing) more and more about the soils microbiology in my garden and wanting to make all of the biology as copacetic with each other as possible.  I know that GMO corn has been modified to the point where some varieties no longer form the same microbiological connections they once did.  I am hoping this is not the case with tomatoes.  

I am aware of the fact that I can not plant a Better Boy seed and expect to get a new Better Boy plant--I will get a sort of cherry tomato instead.  But aside from that fact, what, if any, disadvantages are there to getting hybrid tomatoes?

Thanks in advance,

Eric
 
Posts: 118
Location:
26
building
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good question. I planted organic heirloom seeds for years because I wanted to keep things "pure", however this year I am going to grow some hybrids to test their disease resistance (one of them being Better Boy). The last few years I have been battling tomato disease problems. There is a big difference between a hybrid that has two or more genetic parents and a GMO whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering technologies.

A hybrid plant is the result of cross pollinating two different plant varieties and growing the seed the cross produces. The plant that grows from that seed is considered a hybrid. The process is natural.

A GMO plant has had it's DNA modified using genetic engineering methods. The process is not natural.

Here is a good article called Heirlooms, Hybrids, and GMOs: What’s the Difference? from the World Tomato Society. https://www.worldtomatosociety.com/heirlooms-hybrids-and-gmos-what-is-the-difference/

 
pollinator
Posts: 370
Location: Montana
91
forest garden trees
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So to try to better answer your question I looked through a few sales pages for Better Boy until I found one that listed its disease resistance: Parkseed

https://parkseed.com/better-boy-hybrid-tomato-seeds/p/05323/

"Alternaria Alternata (Crown Wilt), Fusarium Wilt Race 1, Heat Tolerant, Root-Knot Nematodes, Stemphylium (Gray Leaf Spot), Verticillium Wilt, Bacterial Leaf Spot, Disease Resistant "

Ok so the hybrid Better Boy has resistance to the above and only the above common tomato diseases. I personally would not select this variety in a high disease area because its an older hybrid and probably doesn't have the disease resistances necessary anymore. For instance if you have late blight problems this variety will offer you no resistance. If you don't know what tomato diseases are prevalent in your own area or even your own garden you can probably ask your local county extension agent and find out, then compare the list of resistances in catalogues until you find one that matches the list your extension agent gives you.

Your thought that a Better Boy F1 dehybridization project would result in a cherry tomato is probably incorrect. Tomato hybrids tend to be intermediate by volume between their two hybrid parents in size if there is a big size difference. Its hard to make a beefsteak tomato by crossing a cherry with a beefsteak so both the lines used to make the hybrid are almost certainly beefsteaks. Probably the segregates would have less dramatic consequences such as slightly less productivity and perhaps some variation in color, or leaf type, and disease susceptibility might vary if both parents aren't homozygous for all the disease resistances. If you selected from the seedlings the best each year for six years you would probably end up with a dehybridized beef steak fairly similar to Better Boy. There might be a dehybridized version out there somewhere but I couldn't find it with a quick search

So technically, true heirlooms are over 50 years old. That means that all open pollinated modern varieties might also be worth considering and some of them might have considerable disease resistance. Most of Tom Wagner's and Brad Gates varieties are not 50 years old yet (Green Zebra might be), so if you like their work its Open Pollinated not heirloom. Note that almost any Hybrid tomato can be dehybridized simply in about 6 years of simply saving the seed of the plants you like best- it might not be the same tomato when you are done, but if you save the seed from the plants you like best, chances are it will be one you like if you liked the original. So in 56 years you could have your own heirloom tomato just by saving the seed of any hybrid tomato and renaming it.

A lot of heirloom and open pollinated tomato enthusiasts really like the flavor and color possibilities of open pollinated tomatoes. Most hybrids are red and have some genes for uniform ripening and slightly more durable fruit that make them more convenient for commercial growing but cause some reduction in flavor. A few come in alternative colors like yellow and orange (sungold F1 for example). I talked to some customers while working at a local greenhouse that definitely prefer modern tomatoes in their home gardens. Moderns tend to need to be picked less often, and the tomatoes last better when ripe. So you can pick them when dead ripe and they don't turn to mush for awhile. That said, have you tried an ripe heirloom bicolor such as Pineapple for flavor? The productivity boost of hybrids isn't that huge in tomatoes, some of the modern open pollinated varieties probably give the modern hybrids a pretty good run for their money in terms of productivity.

Hybrids are definitely not GMO, it would be hard for an amateur gardener to get a hold of a true GMO tomato I am not even sure if one is currently on the market that you could buy at the grocery store and save seeds from- (there was briefly a GMO Flavr Savr Tomato in the 1990's and may be again) but no gardening catalog has one for sale that I know of.

Bottom line if you aren't saving your own seeds, buy whichever tomato seeds best suit your needs and don't be afraid to save the seeds of any tomato variety hybrid or not, except possibly random grocery store tomatoes that probably arent GMO but would be one of the only places you might accidentally run into a true GMO tomato (they won't say they are GMO). If you don't like seed treatments which seem minimal on tomatoes anyway you may even be able to find organically produced hybrid tomato seeds from places like Johnny's Selected Seeds.

 
Eric Hanson
pollinator
Posts: 637
Location: Southern Illinois
116
building cat dog fungi rocket stoves transportation trees woodworking writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
William,

Thank you, that is extremely helpful.  What I get is that if hybrids work, why not use them.  I know the word “hybrid” can have many different meanings.  On the one hand, any plant or animal is a hybrid of its parents.  At other times, hybridization can mean daughter products that could never possibly exist in nature with qualities completely absent in nature.  

It is good to know that while hybrid tomatoes may not be found in nature, they don’t come with the baggage that may be found in GMO plants.

Thanks for your input,

Eric
 
steward
Posts: 4243
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1265
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
On average across the industry, hybrid tomatoes produce about 50% more fruit than heirlooms under disease free growing conditions. Many hybrids have an additional advantage over typical heirlooms, because they may have additional resistance to diseases.

As far as I know, there are no GMO tomatoes currently available.

The offspring of hybrids tend to resemble their parents, therefore I wouldn't expect cherry tomatoes to be showing up in a Better Boy dehybridization project. And if they did, it would only be on some plants.

If one's definition of heirloom, is a variety that has been around more than 50 years, then it is a variety that is trapped in the past: It was ideal for a particular farm in a particular age. Current growing conditions are much different.  Years ago, I was growing varieties with a somewhat greater than average ability to naturally cross pollinate. That allowed my tomatoes to slowly move towards local adaptability.  Another option in addition to heirloom and hybrid would be modern open pollinated varieties.


Today, in my own garden, I am moving towards completely self-incompatible beautifully promiscuous tomatoes, so that every seed will be a self-generating hybrid in every generation. That aughta help a lot with local/modern adaptation, with disease resistance, and with productivity.

chariot_640.jpg
[Thumbnail for chariot_640.jpg]
Chariot tomato
 
Jim Guinn
Posts: 118
Location:
26
building
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Not sure if this is pertinent to the discussion, but from Reimer Seeds regarding disease resistance in Better Boy Tomatoes....

A – Anthracnose
Scientific Name: Colletotrichum lagenarium
Type: Fungus
Anthracnose is a world-wide fungal disease that affects the growth of cucumbers, tomatoes, and watermelons. This disease is most common in the southern, mid-Atlantic, and mid-Western parts of the United States. Symptoms include lesions on the leaves and then yellowish circular spots begin appearing on the leaves. On watermelons the spots are irregular and turn dark brown or black. The most striking symptom is circular, black, sunken cankers appear on the fruit. When moisture is present, the black center of the lesion is covered with a gelatinous mass of salmon colored spores. With tomatoes, the disease mainly affects the tomato, but also can infect leaves, stems and roots. Sunken water soaked circular spots appear on the tomatoes. Leaves show symptoms of small circular spots with yellow halos. It can cause significant yield loss and even total crops losses. The diseased tomatoes are usually unmarketable. The infected plants should be removed to avoid further infestation. Increase space between the plants to maximize air flow and drying of the leaves. The disease is favorable when temperatures are 75-82 F and usually occur when moisture and humidity are very high. Plan on using a 3 year crop rotation and avoid planting in the same location, year after year, as the disease can survive in over winter on crop debris. Proper tillage practices may be helpful in managing the disease. Fungicides can help manage the disease. The best option is to use disease resistant varieties.

F – Fusarium Wilt (Race 1)
Scientific Name: Fusarium oxysporum
Type: Fungus
Fusarium Wilt, Race 1, is a fungal disease that affects the growth of tomatoes. It is one of the most devastating of all soil-borne diseases. Race 1 is the most widely found throughout the United States, especially in warm regions of the country. It attacks the roots of the plants and moves up the stems. Symptoms include yellowing and browning of the older bottom leaves, stunting, and wilting. Often the entire plant will die. Usually little or no fruit develops. The infected plants will produce inferior and unmarketable tomatoes. It can cause significant yield loss and even total crops losses. If you stick with Fusarium Wilt Resistant tomato varieties you don’t have to worry. Many of the older heirlooms don’t have any resistance to the disease, so if you grow these then you should keep an eye out for it. The infected plants should be removed and burned to avoid further infestation. Plan on using a 5 to 7 year crop rotation and avoid planting in the same location, year after year, as the disease can survive in the soil up to 10 years. The best option is to use disease resistant varieties.

LB – Late Blight
Scientific Name: Phytophthora infestans
Type: Oomycete
Late Blight is a fungal disease that affects the growth of potatoes and tomatoes. Symptoms include large dark brown blotches with a green gray edge on the leaves resulting in large sections of dry brown foliage. Stems become dark brown. Dark brown circular spots cover most of the tomato. The entire field turns brown and wilted as if it was hit by frost and die.It can cause significant yield loss and even total crops losses. The diseased tomatoes are usually unmarketable. Late blight was responsible for the Irish potato famine of the late 1840s. The air-borne disease can destroy an entire field in a short period of time. The infected plants should be removed and burned to avoid further infestation. If you stick with Late Blight resistant tomato varieties you don’t have to worry. The disease is favorable when temperatures are 60-70 F and usually occur when moisture and humidity are very high. Plan on using a 3 year crop rotation and avoid planting in the same location, year after year, as the disease can survive in the soil for 7 years. Fungicides are available for management of late blight on tomatoes. The best option is to use disease resistant varieties.

N – Root-Knot Nematode
Scientific Name: Meloidogyne spp.
Type: Parasites
Nematodes are soil dwelling parasites that feed on plant roots and affect cucumbers, okra, peppers, squash, and tomatoes. Symptoms include yellowing of the leaves, wilting, and stunting of the plant. The plant will have galled and decayed roots. Nematodes are most active when soil temperatures are 85 - 95 F and usually occur when the soil is moisture. Plan on using a 3 year crop rotation and avoid planting in the same location, year after year. Nematodes are most active in warm soils and they need water to thrive so take advantage of summer’s heat to wither them away. Withhold water from nematode infested areas of the garden and turn or till the soil every 7-10 days during the summer to expose nematodes to the drying effects of the sun. Proper tillage practices may be helpful in managing the disease. Certain types of marigolds work by excreting a substance that is damaging to nematodes as well as trapping them in their roots and preventing reproduction. Elbon rye is an effective nematode control that can be planted as a cool season cover crop that is turned under in early spring. The use of soil fumigants like Vapam has been helpful and a fungicide called Actinovate can also be helpful in managing the lowering of the nematode population. Using transparent plastic mulches for 4 to 6 weeks have been shown to kill nematodes. The best option is to use disease resistant varieties.

St – Stemphylium Gray Spot Leaf
Scientific Name: Stemphylium solani, Stemphylium floridanum, and Stemphylium botryosum
Type: Fungus
Stemphylium Gray Spot Leaf is a fungal disease that affects the growth of tomatoes. It is found in warm regions of the country, and is common in the Southeastern part of the United States. Symptoms include brown to black specks on leaves. As the lesions grow in size, they develop a gray center surrounded by a yellow area. The spots may dry and fall out, forming a shot hole in the leaf. The disease may cause the entire leaves to turn yellow, then brown, and drop off, and the plant may be stunted. The tomatoes are not usually affected unless there is severe defoliation, where sunburn damage can occur on the tomatoes. If you stick with Stemphylium Gray Spot Leaf Resistant tomato varieties you don’t have to worry. Many of the older heirlooms don’t have any resistance to the disease, so if you grow these then you should keep an eye out for it. The infected plants should be removed and burned to avoid further infestation. Plan on using a 5 to 7 year crop rotation and avoid planting in the same location, year after year, as the disease can survive in the soil for many years. Stake tomato plants for better circulation. Give plants extra space to allow air to move among leaves to keep leaves as dry as possible. Use soaker hoses and avoid overhead watering. The best option is to use disease resistant varieties.

V – Verticillium Wilt
Scientific Name: Verticillium dahliae
Type: Fungus
Verticillium Wilt is a soil-borne disease that affects the growth of lettuce, peppers, spinach, and tomatoes. This disease is most common in the United States and Europe. In lettuce symptoms include wilting of the lower leaves and then the outer leaves turn yellow, wilt and die. Brown and black streaks appear on the taproot and crown The disease can cause substantial yield loss and total crop loss. It is a seed-borne disease that is spread by farm equipment, wind, and water. The infected plants should be removed and burned to avoid further infestation. The virus can live in weeds, so use weed management techniques. The fungus is very difficult to eradicate once it has been introduced into a field. Plan on using a 4 year crop rotation and avoid planting in the same location, year after year, and can survive in the soil for 14 years. Keep the fields weed free. Deep tilling may be helpful in managing the disease. Thoroughly clean equipment after working in a field. Fumigate fields with methyl bromide. The best option is to use virus-free seeds and disease resistant varieties
 
Eric Hanson
pollinator
Posts: 637
Location: Southern Illinois
116
building cat dog fungi rocket stoves transportation trees woodworking writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jim,

Thanks for the post on disease resistance.  I was basically aware of the disease resistance of most hybrid tomatoes, but this is good info to have on this particular thread anyway.  Although not directly relevant to your individual post Jim, I will add here that when I plant tomatoes I usually do so with live plants.  I do this out of habit as I used to be able to get small tomatoes for a mere $1 per plant for the smallest ones.  Now I am having to pay more in the range of $3-$5 for a medium one (I can't find the small flats anymore) and planting by seed is looking more and more like a good option.

I will have to keep some heirloom varieties in mind with my future plants.  At this moment, I am not certain that I want to start a mini-indoor greenhouse, though the idea is nonetheless tempting.

Eric
 
gardener
Posts: 5851
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
864
books chicken dog duck fish forest garden fungi homestead hugelkultur hunting pig
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We plant both hybrid and heirloom varieties of tomatoes and this year I will be planting some of Kola Lofthouse's tomato which he sent me seeds for.

We use Early girl hybrid for sauce making.
We use Cherokee purple for everything else, the flavor to us is superior to most other tomatoes.

Funny thing about any vegetable or fruit, if you let it open pollinate, you are creating a type of hybrid if you have more than one cultivar type growing close by.
I like to call that opportunistic hybridization since you can't really know what will come from the new seeds until you grow them.

I am planning on doing some crossing of my Lofthouse tomato pollen with some Cherokee purple and that means two crosses, L x C and C x L, I'll be using glassine papers and paint brushes to do these crosses.
Next year I will plant some of those seeds and find out what happened. Of course these will be in addition to our "regulars".
 
Eric Hanson
pollinator
Posts: 637
Location: Southern Illinois
116
building cat dog fungi rocket stoves transportation trees woodworking writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Very informative as always Redhawk.  Thanks for the post.  I am certainly pleased to see that a common hybrid is nowhere near the category of GMO corn.  I really assumed that hybrids were basically benign, but I did not know for certain.  Also interesting that you are planning on making your own hybrids of hybrids.

Thank you very much,

Eric
 
Posts: 100
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Go for the heirlooms if you ask me, tried growing hybrids, didn't taste half as nice, didn't yield any better, didn't last as long into the fall. They'd probably sit on a shelf for longer but that's about it. Who cares anyways because you can always can/dry them. Plus with heirlooms you can save seeds, and you are eating a little piece of history. I don't think the soil cares, but think of the nutrition, if the taste isn't there what does that say about it?
 
Posts: 89
Location: Missouri Ozarks
14
building goat homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

If one's definition of heirloom, is a variety that has been around more than 50 years, then it is a variety that is trapped in the past: It was ideal for a particular farm in a particular age. Current growing conditions are much different.  Years ago, I was growing varieties with a somewhat greater than average ability to naturally cross pollinate. That allowed my tomatoes to slowly move towards local adaptability.  Another option in addition to heirloom and hybrid would be modern open pollinated varieties.


Open pollinated is probably a better term as heirloom makes one think of a family heirloom aka antique. If you plant open pollinated tomatoes, save the seeds to replant for the next several years, saving only from the plants that produced well and didn't succumb to diseases, you have in fact changed that "heirloom" to fit your local growing conditions. So, no, not trapped in the past really. Selective breeding of the same variety is what you're doing and if it still has the same shape, color and flavor, it's still the same variety. If it's changed quite a lot, I guess you can call it your own.

That's why it's best to buy seeds from your region as the seed producer will have the same climate, pests and diseases to deal with and will already have selected for resistance, hopefully. I'm lucky enough to be within 100 miles of Baker Creek aka rareseeds.com and I plan to buy from them this year. If I was in New England, I'd buy from High Mowing Seeds in Vermont.

Hybrids don't really seem like a problem as long as we don't have some sort of societal collapse but selectively saving year after year is probably a more permie thing to do.(permaculture=permanent agriculture) That and seed trading.

We've lost corn almost completely. If things continue down this path, all food will only come from the big corporations. Imagine when/if all veggies become gmo.

I guess my point is, the more we rely on companies and their secrets, the further we'll slip into complete reliance on them.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
steward
Posts: 4243
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1265
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just cause a seed company has an office/warehouse nearby, doesn't mean that the seeds were grown nearby. Unless a seed catalog specifically states that they only sell seeds that were grown on their own farm, then it's extremely likely that they are buying seeds from all over the world and reselling them. The seed catalogs that I enjoy most, specifically state the grower's name and location for every variety offered in their catalogs.

The term "open pollinated" implies that we don't necessarily know who's the daddy, but the seed corporations use every trick known to humanity to insure that there is no promiscuity. On my farm, I use the term promiscuously pollinated, cause I don't know who's the daddy, and I don't care, and chances of cross pollination are pretty good.
 
Eric Hanson
pollinator
Posts: 637
Location: Southern Illinois
116
building cat dog fungi rocket stoves transportation trees woodworking writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the input and discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of heirloom vs. hybrids.  Perhaps I should add some heirlooms varieties back into the mix.

Eric
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 5851
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
864
books chicken dog duck fish forest garden fungi homestead hugelkultur hunting pig
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Most people I know prefer to eat the heirloom varieties but if you want to keep the strain pure you will need to do your own pollination by hand and use covers to be sure those seed fruits are not contaminated by any of natures pollination methods. (most folks aren't going to take that type of time and trouble).

If you grow more than one variety of tomato, odds are that you are going to have cross pollination occurring, Unless you have a minimum of 1000 feet between the varieties.
Most of us that garden end up with saved seed that is open pollinated and in some cases we can create new species of some fruits (Squashes particularly, I'm told are prone to this) when we plant various varieties of the same species near each other.
We can still get Old Varieties of Corn but you have to really look for these (except for the Native American colored corn species which have been purpose saved), almost all of the newer corns are bred to be "super sweet" types.

"Hybrids" are not "Genetically Modified Organisms" (which actually refers to gene splicing between species and is normally done in laboratories for the specific purpose of increasing resistance to certain chemical applications).

Man has been creating hybrid plants and animals since humans began farming and caring for dogs.
That is how most of the "heirloom" varieties came into being way back when they were first developed.
Creating your own localized variety of anything you like to eat is the best way to ensure your plants will grow best in your location.

Hybrid tomatoes that are grown in good soil will have more flavor than anything you buy at the grocery store since most of that produce is hydroponic or greenhouse grown these days.
Grow your soil into a vastly diverse microbiome containing medium and you will have superior nutrition and flavonoids in all the foods you grow.
(I did a test with a couple of friends, I provided the Cherokee purple tomato plants, we all grew them, the friends didn't have the soil microbiome I have and that resulted in marked flavor and nutrition value differences. Thus they came to the conclusion that soil does indeed matter.)

Redhawk
 
gardener
Posts: 1158
Location: mountains of Tennessee
344
bee cattle chicken homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Perhaps I should add some heirlooms varieties back into the mix.  



Sounds like a good idea. As Dr. Redhawk mentioned, Cherokee Purples have excellent flavor. Somewhat hard to grow due to blossom end rot issues but worth a little extra TLC. I always plant those plus a few other known varieties. Some heirloom, some hybrid. Some from my own saved seeds which by now probably contain 50 varieties of genetics. Also some new varieties from purchased plants &  seeds are added each year. Some determinate, some indeterminate. It seems to insure a reliable steady crop no matter what the weather or diseases do that year. I just want to eat quality food & the next generation deserves to have quality food. That's what I strive for. Don't care what someone else chooses to name it.
 
William Schlegel
pollinator
Posts: 370
Location: Montana
91
forest garden trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I see those isolation rules as rules to be broken because hybridization is desirable. Among closed flowered varieties I can plant them side by side and my rate of crossing will still be very low. To have a decent chance of crossing naturally tomatoes need to have open flowers. I would suggest purchasing some seed for Big Hill from Joseph Lofthouse as it seems to be the most reliable domestic tomato I've encountered so far for the trait. Most tomatoes with the trait tend to have it part of the season on part of the population. It seems consistent in Big Hill. Joseph is working on something even better for this but it involves half wild tomatos that stir joy in my heart, but may not be the thing for everyone yet.
 
I've never won anything before. Not even a tiny ad:
It's like binging on 7 seasons of your favorite netflix permaculture show
http://permaculture-design-course.com/
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!