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Direct Seeding Tomatoes in ~100 Frost Free Days without season extension  RSS feed

 
William Schlegel
pollinator
Posts: 79
Location: Montana
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forest garden trees
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Today marks a critical juncture. 6 weeks to transplant = 42 days. I first inventoried the March seeded tomatoes on May 7th. They mostly survived the May 15th frost. It takes about 5 days to germinate occurred prior to May 7th and so today marks a rough equivelance to six week old transplants. Fairly reasonably on track size wise though the plant shape is much more natural- no etiolation and much shorter and bushier.
 
Andrew Barney
Posts: 38
Location: Northern Colorado
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The flowers on the Solanum peruvianum are amazingly bright yellow! Much brighter yellow than domestic tomato flowers!


The Solanum pennellii x domestic F1 hybrid is the biggest and most robust tomato in the garden!!


The Fern x LA1777 F2 is flowering...
 
Andrew Barney
Posts: 38
Location: Northern Colorado
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i will also add that in terms of evaluating wild varieties / traits early i am most interested in Solanum peruvianum and Solanum pennellii genetics for robustness and drought tolerance and survivability in my climate conditions with my soil and high altitude sunlight. The habrochaites, cheesmanaie, & galapagense so far with many of their wispy sparse leaf structures are so far not doing very well and are curling and growing slowly. That could change, but as of now i am not in favor of those plant traits. This is independent of flower structures or fruits at this point.
Plus the peruvianum and pennellii type plants have somewhat silvery leaves which i think are advantageous in my garden. Plus they look cool. I am very impressed with the dark bright yellow color of the peruvianum flower colors.
 
William Schlegel
pollinator
Posts: 79
Location: Montana
17
forest garden trees
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I think the Solanum cornelio-muellerii x peruvianum flower is just as yellow as the your peruvianum Andrew. The petals aren't so reflexed though. The anther cone of the domestic I stuck on it is just as yellow.

My habrochaites plants are definitely not as robust as the Cornelio-muellerii x peruvianum. The hybrid resprouted faster after my may 15th frost. I may ultimately have to train or even prune the hybrid back so it doesn't overtake the habrochaites. I really want some seed from the habrochaites so I hope it makes it. Joseph showed a possible cross between habrochaites and peruvianum in March post on another thread which I just rechecked tonight after a long time. I wonder how the plant is doing and if it's really a hybrid between those two?https://permies.com/t/40/54641/Auto-Hybridizing-Tomatoes

One and only one of the 5 surviving cornelio muellerii x peruvianum survived both of my may frosts with top growth intact. I see it as the number 1 wild tomato plant in my garden. The rest resprouted and that vigorously- champion resprouters.

I only have one pure peruvianum left. It is a older slow grower that germinated in a different planting attempt from most of the peruvianum. It only survived the second frost as a resprout because it was planted later. The second frost killed all the younger pure peruvianum even those that survived the first frost with top growth.

I should also mention that the Cornelio- muelleri x peruvianum flower I stuck two domestic anther cones two dried up and fell off- no pollination in that direction as expected.
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Cornelio-muellerii x peruvianum flower
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With anther cone of sweet Cherriette
 
William Schlegel
pollinator
Posts: 79
Location: Montana
17
forest garden trees
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In the March direct seeded patch It looks to me like the flower buds are expanding and about to bloom on Sweet Cherriette, 42 days, and Siletz.

In the resprouting beds Sweet Cherriette is the most prolific bloomer.

I saw an awesome huge bumblebee (Bombus) species on my Agastache urticafolia. No sign of pollinated tomatoes yet.
 
William Schlegel
pollinator
Posts: 79
Location: Montana
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forest garden trees
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The tomatillos continue to impress the direct seeded plants have started to flower. Mike's Tomatillo Grex opened a flower this morning and by this afternoon Terrapin my own saved seed had a flower.

The other happenings of note are that a few of my tomatoes turned yellow in the center during the recent rains. Well by this afternoon they didn't look so yellow anymore.

The other happening is that a few of my tomatoes have black patches on their leaves. I looked at some pictures of tomato diseases and the one I liked best was Bacterial Canker. What do you think? My plan is to see what happens and if some of the 75+ varieties I am growing do better with the plant disease than I will try to save seed for those kinds. The disease article says not to grow tomatoes in the same place again. However that seems like just avoiding the problem and not attempting to breed for resistance to me. Not that new tomato patches wouldn't be nice. They would be good places to grow varieties that aren't resistant yet with other good traits for crossing...

Something like this showed up on my fava beans earlier this year. It stopped raining so much and they look better now. My plan for them is the same.

Generally I don't have enough tomato disease here to hope to select for resistance to things so will see how this one progresses.
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Tomatillo flower
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Black patches 1
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Black patches 2
 
William Schlegel
pollinator
Posts: 79
Location: Montana
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forest garden trees
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List of tomato kinds I direct seeded that are still growing:

1. 2016 Large Tomato Mix GREX from my 2016 garden included Bison, Ararat Flame, Amirski Tigr, possibly Roma VF, and indigo rose. Some of these are doing really well.

2. 2017 true volunteers could include all of the above, definitely Roma, a random tomato from the farmers market that wasn't a sungold, and sungold. These are growing mixed in with the transplants. Some are doing really well.

3. 2017 Mix which includes 2016 large Tomato mix, JL Landrace 2015, Hamsonita, and Mike's Short Season Tomato Grex. This mix is doing well and I seeded a bunch of it in the unfenced garden expansion area as well as inside the fenced garden. It needs weeded outside the fence.

4. 2016 volunteer current- interestingly these came up really late and are tiny plants. I suspect other tomatoes will shade them out.

5. 2016 Pilarski direct seeded- a tomato that showed up in the scatterseed mix I got from Michael Pilarski's booth at the first annual seed library seed swap in Missoula a few years back and grew out last year. It is doing ok but is overshadowed (figuratively in Actuality it is on an edge) by more vigorous sorts. Growing it as a control.

6. JL landrace 2015 growing 3 patches of this inside the fence, plus added it to the 2017 seed mix. It's doing well, includes both tomato leaved and potato leaved seedlings. Plants vary in growth rate.

7. Deepest Frost 2016 paradise UT- a landrace mix of Joseph's he tortured last year. I have two patches, one with lots of small seedlings and one with a single larger seedling.

8. Lofthouse Short Season landrace- much smaller packet I think Joseph sold this as his main landrace in 2017. Probably includes advancements / changes / genetic drift since 2015. I have two small patches of this seeded.

9. Anmore Dewdrop- I have I think 2 patches of this. Supposed to be ultra early dehybridized tumbler. Doing ok but smaller than some varieties- seems to be a trend amongst ultra earlies.

10. Forest Fire three patches. Doing alright

11. Kalinka two patches small plants

12. Kibits - potato leaved strain small plants 2 patches

13. Sweet Cherriette - 3 patches. Small plants direct seeded. Looks about to bloom can see petals on a flower bud.

14. Blue Ambrosia - 3 patches doing ok.

15. Dwarf Hirsutum Cross- 3 patches

Zagadka - doing great

Betalyuks - doing great

0-33

LXM-F3

Saraev 1-2

Hillbilly x Jagodka F2

4th of July F1

Silvery Fir Tree

Summer Girl F1

Sungold F2

Nevsky

Roma VF - control, doing shockingly well

Saraev M-22

Bloody Butcher

Siletz -been doing shockingly well direct seeded. About to bloom soon.

Krainy Sever

Sequoia Alpine (free gift packet) doing ok for a free gift packet. I probably direct seeded it because of the name.

Indigo Kumquat F2 - long season parent will see

Label Lost? There is a space in the grid with a tomato that should probably have a label but doesn't. Hmm.

Earl's First Early

Earl's Red Beef Steak

42 days- 2 patches. Doing surprisingly well, about to flower. Might live up to it's name.

Matina

Sweet Pea Current- germinated late, late to the party may be overshadowed.

Glacier

Ditmarsher 

Siberia

1-3 new germinant I just noticed it and trimmed back some overhanging salvia columbariae leaves to give it a chance

Grushovka


 
William Schlegel
pollinator
Posts: 79
Location: Montana
17
forest garden trees
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Some upcoming important dates for this project:

June 26th the date when 42 days or the rough equivelant of 6 weeks from transplant occurs for the last direct seeded tomatoes on May 16th the day after the killing frost. Some individuals from that seeding will be equivelant some will still be laggards. 58 days will remain until the next important date.

August 23rd 100 days will have passed since the last killing frost of spring. On that date some of my March direct seeded plants will be a little over 108 days old. This is approximately the day I will want to post as to what worked in 100 days or less.

September 1 - I start to expect frost.

September 3 March direct seeded plants censuses on May 7 will be 120 days old. Deb recently posted that plants get ancient around 120 days.

September 21-31 random dates the internet picked for my "average" first frost. I usually expect a few slight frosts before a true killing frost. I was kind of expecting the same for the last frost but it was a whammy of a frost.

In general my current expectation is that direct seeding is going to work and work fairly well. With the time remaining I think many of the kinds of tomatoes especially in the March seeded block will be old enough by the 100 day mark and by the actual killing frost mark to not only produce a tomato or two but to do so productively- more than a few tomatoes. Wild cards include disease, fire season, pollination, deer, grasshoppers, and hail storms.

I also have an inkling I think that the most successful varieties may not be the ones I most expected to work based on Days to Maturity. Current front runners are sweet Cherriette, Siletz, and 42 days but lots of the varieties listed in the previous post are capable of producing in the time remaining with current size of plants.

Of the controls I would say that Roma VF is doing surprisingly well. I predict it will ripen at least a few tomatoes by last actual frost. I suspect my last year 2016 volunteer current will be outcompeted by other tomatoes this year. I suspect the volunteer from the scatterseed mix I've dubbed Pilarski 2016 will set ripe fruit again and earlier than last year but won't remotely touch on the productivity of some of the new varieties.

I'm already wondering how to refocus the experiment for next year! No transplanting? Fewer varieties? I am adding flag labels for when things get tangled but I don't expect to be able to keep all the regular leaf reds separate. Therefore there will probably be some broad segregates. Yellow tomatoes, potato leafed tomatoes, great performing regular leaf reds, and anything I can tell apart should be separate. I hope to be able to keep the varieties of potato leafed tomatoes separate by variety. I may pull any yellows out of landraces and grex's specifically to try to find red offspring. I want to plant lots of potato leafed seeds next year to search for regular leafed offspring but will need to do so on clean ground. I also want to include some of Joseph's promiscuous tomatoes next year. So next year will be heavy on the best performers and on yellow fruited and potato leaved plants. I might transplant in the promiscuous plants one every 10 feet of row. If I can get the fence built I might do three ~100 foot long direct seeded rows where Cucurbits are now. A row of yellows, a row of best performer regular leafed reds and a row of potato leafed with a fancy eating tomato and a promiscuous tomato transplanted in about every 10 feet on each row. If any of Joseph's landrace tomatoes prove to be yellow and potato leaved that may necessitate a fourth row. Within each row named varieties will get special sections. I may even thin (I almost never thin) and RL segregates in the PL row will get preference.

Most varieties I have in the experiment are red and RL.

Exceptions include

PL: bloody butcher, stupice, PL kibits, dwarf Hirsutum cross, JL landrace 2015

Yellow: sungold F2, blue ambrosia (also blue), Coyote, JL's landraces, possibly yellow Glacier from Mike's short season grex

If I direct seeded some longer season plants I could include PL white shah and yellow pear.  PL white shah would go in the fourth row with any PL yellows from Joseph's landrace. Also perhaps Blue Gold or some of the other yellow/white based high anthocyanin strains. I'm currently Doing this with indigo kumquat F2 so that may actually work and if so may encourage the same.

Then tomatoes in my current garden may be "volunteers only" next year or if disease becomes an issue I may also add in disease resistant strains to that garden.

I will also be excited to grow a second generation of wild tomatoes.

Two years from now if all goes well I will be growing out F2 RL Children of PL varieties that should segregate for PL. I should also be growing red children of yellows that should segregate for yellow. With some short season high anthocyanin and fancy maters in the mix along with some promiscuity.

 
William Schlegel
pollinator
Posts: 79
Location: Montana
17
forest garden trees
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The buds on Sweet Cherriette and 42 Days tomato continue to swell and are in a race to see which will open first! Might be later today or tomorrow.

Weeding the garden before I leave for field work. Photos below.
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Far north bed mixed resprouted transplants and direct seeded.
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Dense bed resprouted transplants and volunteers only
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Best tomatillo patch mostly direct seeded in March
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March direct seeded patch
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Amethyst Cream and direct seeded far end of north bed
 
William Schlegel
pollinator
Posts: 79
Location: Montana
17
forest garden trees
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42 Days followed closely by Sweer Cherriette became the first direct seeded tomatoes to flower today!

Then later in the day the same Sweet Cherriette plant managed to open several additional flowers!
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42 Days
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Sweet Cherriette
 
William Schlegel
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Posts: 79
Location: Montana
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forest garden trees
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Siletz bloomed today becoming the third variety to bloom as expected.

Over in the resprouted after frost transplant patch Sweet Cherriette and Jagodka have become the first two varieties to set a fruit.
 
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