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Rez's Grow Reports

 
Posts: 218
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
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I planted both saved and commercial tomato seeds this year, and even from the same parent, some are not the same. Lessee... what do I have here... so far nothing has chewed on any of them, tho the potato leaves are full of holes. No ripe fruit yet, tho plenty in progress

#1 - offspring of last year's pest-proof plant, with the very oily leaves that even starving grasshoppers didn't touch (it was an only child so self-fertilized). Smaller compact upright bush, slow to bloom (no fruit yet) but it's also in the worst spot and doesn't get the deep water the others do. (The large ones are 4-5 feet tall and eat passing children.)

#2 - from super-good storeboughts (the kind that are 5-6 2" fruits set evenly along a stem). Big strong upright plants. One is making round fruit that look like the parent, and the other is making what look like Romas, with a bit over half the flowers setting fruit.

#3 - commercial seed 2004, "Burpee Super Beefsteak" (same seed as last year's pestproof model) large vigorous grower, lot of blooms, few fruit as yet.

#4 - commercial seed 2017, "FerryMorse shish kabob" - smaller strangly-looking plant (trying to grow up the corn like a vine), many small fruit. Initially didn't set well but started doing so once the weather got hot. Accidentally broke off a piece and just stuck it in the ground and it's growing pretty good.

#5 - this space unintentionally left blank, because one of my numbered sticks went missing.

#6 - commercial seed 2017 "Brandywine pink" (heritage supposedly) - very large, upright, and vigorous; world's ugliest tomato plant, big flat leaves (some hand-sized), if I hadn't planted it myself I'd have pulled it up as a weed. Leaves smell like gasoline, but the flowers smell unusually sweet (for a tomato) and are very attractive to bees; I notice they visit it first when they come up the hill in the morning. Stamens are initially completely hidden, then the flower bursts apart and exposes the stamen, which is quite large (not long but thick). Initially poor fruit set but once it got going, setting a bit over half.

#7 commercial seed 2004, "Burpee Heatwave Hybrid" - smaller strangly-looking plant, so far indistinguishable from #4, likewise a slow starter but now setting many small fruit.

Then there are two I bought as started plants:

Bonnie's "Favorite" -- big strong upright plant, probably about 60% fruit set.

Bonnie's "Cherokee Purple" (heritage) -- huge bushy plant, upright center with large strong lateral branches. Started setting fruit by 10" tall, and 100% of blooms set fruit -- it has about 12 pounds on it already. Some are softball-sized and just starting to darken. The biggest fruit are in tight clumps in the middle so despite the weight, don't drag it over. Flowers show a well-exposed stamen, thicker than average, which I expect is why every single blossom sets fruit, so far without exception. (You can tell, because no scars from flowers that fell off.) The earliest 2 or 3 clumps are all self-fertilized (it bloomed weeks ahead of its neighbors). For sheer volume it beats every tomato I've ever seen, so I hope it tastes good!!

And the bees had their way with 'em so other than the early blooms, gods know what hybridized with what. #2's parent was evidently open-pollinated since the offspring don't match at all.

======

Also planted some spaghetti squash seeds from a random locally-produced fruit (which was a good keeper). Four plants was overkill. ONE would have been overkill. Kudzu has nothing on 'em; they've taken over all the open ground and are now invading the corn. And they make zucchini look inadequate. I read that you could expect 4 or 5 per vine... wrong!! Each has around 30 squash-in-progress (about 80% fruit set) and no end in sight. Planted April 14th and the first fruit reached mature size by July 10th. Two types -- one cream-colored like the parent, the other mottled-green.
 
Rez Zircon
Posts: 218
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
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Rez Zircon wrote:Bonnie's "Cherokee Purple" (heritage) -- huge bushy plant, upright center with large strong lateral branches.



And after it froze, the vines and frosted fruit just lay where they fell all winter... and I have dozens of volunteers most likely from this one's seeds (given where they're at and how they look). And they are tough little plants, impervious to everything but being yanked up. All got mixed around when I dug up the dirt in the spring; some have been walked on or are away from water, and we had very late frosts... doesn't seem to bother them, tho those getting more water are bigger and starting to bush up. So apparently you can naturalize tomatoes in Montana, and fall-plant seeds by the simple expedient of burying a fruit, thus letting the seed decide when it's warm enough to sprout. These were up before everything but the potatoes and the leftover onions, and most are bigger than my house-started seedlings..

The parent's fruit was big, soft, and sweet like a kiwi, and cracked a lot. Not my favorite, but it produced about 20 pounds.
======

Rez Zircon wrote:Also planted some spaghetti squash seeds from a random locally-produced fruit (which was a good keeper). Four plants was overkill. ONE would have been overkill. Kudzu has nothing on 'em; they've taken over all the open ground and are now invading the corn. And they make zucchini look inadequate. I read that you could expect 4 or 5 per vine... wrong!! Each has around 30 squash-in-progress (about 80% fruit set) and no end in sight. Planted April 14th and the first fruit reached mature size by July 10th. Two types -- one cream-colored like the parent, the other mottled-green.



End count was about 160 squash, and the biggest were over 10 pounds. (16" long, 8" diameter) The green ones averaged larger. I can't say about taste cuz I gave them all away, having OD'd on zucchini all summer.

Last year I planted some very old (2003) pea seeds among the corn, about half came up. Saved some new seed and planted that, but also have volunteers in odd places (how did you get clear over there??)
 
pollinator
Posts: 366
Location: Montana
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I have a pea plant way out in the grass. Rodent planted I'm sure. Not sure which species. Also in Montana.

My tomatoes and tomatillos have volunteered less well this year because of competition from grasses that the rodents keep stockpiling in tunnels under my beds.

 
Rez Zircon
Posts: 218
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
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I get tulips and grape hyacynth way out in the grass... horse chestnut up in the pasture didn't get there by itself... those are probably from squirrels, but I think the peas did it themselves.  I'd let these peas go to harvest seeds and must have missed a few pretty good flingers --several are in a straight line as if they'd been planted.

Speaking of... last year I got a weed in my pasture that looked like a mini tomatillo, with fruits about half an inch big -- except it had rhysomes (and killed everything around it, so I did away with it) and the coverings were more like closed bells. Anyone know what it was?
 
William Schlegel
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Posts: 366
Location: Montana
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Rez Zircon wrote:I get tulips and grape hyacynth way out in the grass... horse chestnut up in the pasture didn't get there by itself... those are probably from squirrels, but I think the peas did it themselves.  I'd let these peas go to harvest seeds and must have missed a few pretty good flingers --several are in a straight line as if they'd been planted.

Speaking of... last year I got a weed in my pasture that looked like a mini tomatillo, with fruits about half an inch big -- except it had rhysomes (and killed everything around it, so I did away with it) and the coverings were more like closed bells. Anyone know what it was?



Three species of Physalis occur in Montana according to Peter Lesica's 2012 Flora Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. To me the coverings look similar on all three from what pictures I can find. Some of the species look more like mini tomatillo plants than others. All are reportedly perennial which is interesting. However none are reported to be rhizomatous.

I have seen the garden plant Physalis alkekengi with conspicuous showy orange coverings on the fruits grow in a Montana garden my parents had.

If it comes back, you might take a picture and post it here. Or, download the Inaturalist app and see if that community can identify it.



 
Rez Zircon
Posts: 218
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
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Boy, that's an expensive book -- lowest price I can find is $92 [faints][eta: well, $55. Still ouch. https://shop.brit.org/products/manual-of-montana-vascular-plants -- they're reading our minds -- take a look at the sample page!] I have Weeds of the West but tho Physalis is in the index, it's not in the book! But anyway, the pic in Wiki of common Physalis looks like it. (I did take pictures but apparently haven't processed and renamed 'em since they are nowhere to be found.) I was surprised by the rhisomes too, as they looked like they ought to behave like any Nightshade-family plant and have normal roots, but when I went to pull them up (cuz it was a discrete patch, about 12 feet across) lo and behold, the roots went on, and on, and had multiple plants arising from them, and appeared to go rather deeper than expected too (could not pull up the entire root). Oddly, this stuff was also new to my pasture -- can't recall seeing 'em there the year before, nor are there any (that I know of) growing in the weedy areas across the road. I suppose a bird brought me some used seeds.

The fruits on these stayed green and enclosed up until I finally killed it, probably in late August -- it withstood a couple ordinary applications of 2,4-D/dicamba, but finally succumbed to the extra-strong mix I used on the neighbor's marching army of giant thistles, and I think I also hit 'em with Roundup. It also was thriving in very dry ground (my upper pasture turns to concrete once it gets hot).

Ah, well, here it is... perennial Physalis, complete with rhisomes:
https://www.nku.edu/~herbarium/Taxonomy/Solanaceae/Physalis/PhysalisAP.shtml
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physalis_heterophylla

http://fieldguide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=PDSOL0S0E0
Obviously they need my photos. :)

Apparently very difficult to control (yeah, we noticed!)
https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-control-chinese-lanterns-4125583

Thanks!
 
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