Tomatoes forum: Saving Tomato Seeds
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|This is a good how- to on fermenting tomato seeds that Horseshoe wrote over on his Garden Diary on Dave's Garden.
|This is a good how-to on preventing tomatoes from cross-pollinating, posted on the Garden Web: http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/tomato/2005025852004159.h...|
|I found this information on Dave's Garden... Written by Carolyn Male, June 18, 2002 and Titled 'Harvesting Tomato Seeds That Have NOT Cross Pollinated?' http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=284449
Melody and others,
As I explained in the Heirloom Forum, I was just here today looking for someone's e-mail address.
May I please gently disagree that all PL vartieties have exerted stigma's, for they don't. In the genus Lycopersicon lycopersicon, out common garden tomato, there are few varieties with exerted stigma's that are known although the other eight species of tomatoes all have exerted stigma's/
What some of the PL varieties have are split calyces and Brandywine is the one most often mentioned. And having split calcyces should, technically, expose the stigma for even greater pollination, but it doesn't. The split calyces info is from Keith Mueller many years ago to Doreen Howard who wrote about it but got it kind of backwards, according to Keith, and said split calyces resulted in lower fruit set.
In all my many years of gorwing heirloom tomatoes and saving seed I don't remember when I had a X pollination involving a PL variety. Sure, it occurs, but at no greater rate than a reg leaf variety, in my opinion and also including the experiences of some other tomato obsessed folks I know But then I never use the earliest fruits produced and I think that's critical. Why? Becasue PL varieties often have double and even triple blossoms at the begionning of the season and those are very attractive to insect pollinators and thus a higher chance of X pollination.
So I consider the info in the literature to be in the same category as the one that says blossom end rot can be prevented by using calcium; that is, a myth. I don't get down with a hand lens and examine the blossom structure of every variety I grow but I know which few always seem to X pollinate and thus I assume have exerted stigma's, and those aren't PL varieties per se. I think the blurbs in the literature refer to the larger blossoms often seen on PL varieties early in the season and thus a greater chance for X pollination.
As to X pollination rates, they vary all over the lot and there are many variables. I think one of the best articles which summarizes many points is the one written by Dr, Jeff MC Cormack at the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange website.
he points out very clearly that the rate of X pollination is dependednt on the # and kind of insect pollinators, thus different rates for different geograpohic areas, the blossom structure of a particular variety, etc.
Using geographic distances to ensure pure seed is dicey but I think Jeff's distance suggestions are wayyyy too conservative. When I was growing up to 150 varieties a year in the same fieled I grew them 3-4 ft apart in the row and 5 ft between rows and my X pollination rate was about 5 %, meaning 5/100 varities would have crossed seed. And that figure is low. More often figures like 10-30% obtain, again, depending on distances. Different rates of X pollination are given if you go to Google and do a search.
Bagging flowers is the only way to get absolutely pure seed all the time.
The most common pollinators of tomatoes are very tiny bees ( can't remember the name off hand) and not the larger bees. And when self pollination occurs it isn't uncommon to still have some unfertiized ovules in the tomato ovary ( seeds to be). So if X pollination occurs and even one ovule is not fertilized you get X pollination.
And I can't urge folks enough to save their own seeds of favorite varieties. I never thought I'd say that with so many fine compnaies selling seed now. But there's a firm in CA who produces much of the heirloom seed on a wholesale basis and I can't begin to tell you of the wrong varieties they've sent out. At another site where I post I started a thread on Wrong Varieties and that is up to 52 posts now. It's my intent to let the involved seed companies and websites know what their problems are because some are either unaware or are denying it.
Deal with firms that save their own seed and whom by experience you have come to trust. The following companies do save their own seed and I think are good bets: SESE, Baker Creek, the public SSE catalog, Johnny's, Sandhill Preservation, Chuck Wyatt ( altho now buying some seed), Heirloom Seeds ( altho now buying some seed from what I gather from that thread I mentioned) Marianne Jones , Cindy McDee, and others I'm probably forgetting. Linda at Tomato Growers Supply also has a good track record becasue she writes contracts with her suppliers and also check s the growing fields personally.
With OP toamtoes there will almost always be some errors,. it';s the nature of the beasts and there are too many places in the seed production process where problems can arise.
But can you imagine that there are now two PL Red Brandywines out there, one smooth fruited, one with ridges, a really wrong Lillian's Yellow, a pink German Red Strawberry, a PL Watermelon Beefsteak, a PL Druzba and I could go on and on.
Hope some of this has helped someone somewhere.
|Here is another very good link on Blossom End Rot:
Blossom End Rot (BER) in Tomatoes
by Carolyn Male
Date: Fri Jul 27, 2001 3:08 pm
Subject: Blossom End Rot
Blossom End Rot (BER) is one of the most common tomato problems seen in the early part of the season. It is a physiological condition, not a disease caused by a fungus, a bacterium or a virus. Therefore it cannot be treated. And as I'll explain below, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to prevent.
BER has nothing to do with the blossoms, it refers to the fact that at the end of the tomato opposite the place where the tomato is attached to the stem, called the stem end, is the bottom of the tomato, which is called the blossom end. You often can see remnants of the blossom attached to that end as the tomato forms. At the blossom end one sees a flattened area that looks leathery and initially brown and then black, as the fruit rots.
BER is said to occur when there is uneven watering, drought, heavy rainfall, excessive nitrogen fertilization, rapid plant growth or root pruning during cultivation, high winds and rapid temperature changes. So lots of conditions have been associated with BER. But the rapid plant growth and nitrogen fertilization are both common to conditions seen early in the season, and indeed, that is when most BER occurs. Then it usually just goes away.
BER occurs because under the conditions just stated, Ca++ moves from the fruit into the vasculature (stems) of the plant. Or, some feel that Ca++ never reaches the fruits because under stress demand for Ca++ exceeds supply. This lowered amount of Ca++ is what causes BER. Excessive rates of transpiration (kind of like sweating in humans) also is involved in Ca++ displacement. Thus, the plant as a whole is NOT Ca++ deficient, the Ca++ has just been displaced. Many books and magazine articles tell you that by adding Ca++ in the form of lime or eggshells, for instance, that you can prevent BER. That does NOT appear to be true. University field trial experiments have so far failed to show that BER can be prevented by addition of Ca++. Peppers and many cole crops are also susceptible to BER and there's quite a bit of literature on BER and Ca++ for those crops also. The results are the same; addition of Ca++ does not prevent BER.
Some data strongly suggests that foliar spraying with Ca++ is of no use because not enough gets to the fruits to do any good. And it's known that the sprays for fruits that are sold are useless. No molecules can get across the fruit epidermis. If they did, just what do you think would happen to the fruits when it rained.
Not all varieties of tomatoes get BER. Some never do, others are horrible. That's not surprising since certainly there are slight physiological differences between varieties. After all, almost all garden tomatoes, with the exception of the currant tomatoes are in the same genus and species, Lycopersicon lycopersicum. And we humans are all in the same species, Homo sapiens, var. sapiens....and look how different some of our physiologies are. Whoa!
So, BER is a physiological condition, cannot be cured, and current literature data suggests it cannot be prevented. It occurs on some, but not all varieties of tomatoes, is usually seen early in the season and then stops, for most folks. It would be nice to say that you could even out your watering, prevent droughts and heavy rainfalls, ensure even and not rapid growth of plants and not disturb the roots by shallow cultivating. But on a practical basis, I think we all know that's almost impossible. So, BER has never bothered me, I just ignore it, and it goes away with time.
Adding Ca++ to soils that are Ca++ deficient makes sense, but few soils are. And if soils are acidic, Ca++ is not taken up well but addition of Epsom Salts to the soil can aid in Ca++ uptake in such acidic soils.
Many folks add Ca++ and then see that BER disappears. What they fail to realize is that BER is going to go away anyway, as the season progresses. And that's because as the plants get larger they are better able to handle the many stresses that can induce it. So one cannot correlate addition of Ca++ to disappearance of BER. Universities have done so many studies on this already because BER is a billion dollar problem in the commercial veggie industry.
Of all the stresses that can induce BER the two that are most under control of the home gardener are fertilization and water delivery. That is, too much fertilizer causes plants to grow too rapidly and is perhaps one of the major causes of BER developing. Too rich soils do the same thing. Plant growth simply outstrips the ability of Ca++ to get to the fruits.
Mulching to help ensure even delivery of water can also be done and is also one of the two major causes, in my humble opinion, of BER. BER appears usually on half ripe fruits but also can appear on grass green ones. Lack of Ca++ only occurs at the blossom end of the fruit and it causes tissue destruction which leads to that papery grayish/blackish lesion appearing. Now sometimes that lesion opens up and fungi and bacteria enter and that causes the rotting and also the appearance of fungal growth on and in the lesion.
Just pick off any BER fruits that appear and soon the next fruits to ripen will BER-less.
Many books, magazine articles and websites still say to add Ca++ as lime, eggshells, etc, and seem not to be aware of all the research that has been done in the last 20 years. But many books, magazine articles, are now sharing this newer information about addition of Ca++ not being able to either prevent or cure BER except in rare situations of low Ca++ soils or acidic soils.
I suppose it will take another generation for the right information to be present everywhere. And from my own experience I can tell you that there will be folks who will get madder than can be when they read this kind of info because they simply believe otherwise. So be it. Addition of modest amounts of Ca++ aren't' harmful, but I feel strongly that folks should know what's going on with past and current research re BER and Ca++.
NY, Zone 4/5
Carolyn J. Male, Ph.D., retired as a professor of microbiology from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York. She is a major voice on several internet tomato forums and message boards. Her articles have appeared in Kitchen Gardening, The American Cottage Gardener, and The Historical Gardener. She is the author of the book entitled, "100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden". Dr. Male scientifically -- and lovingly -- has raised more than a thousand different varieties of tomatoes in her zone 5 garden in upstate New York.
thanks for the posting
|I thought it was good info too.|
|The following is from Victory Seeds: http://www.victoryseeds.com/info.html
We do rely on the sale of seeds to fund our work, but our primary mission is to protect seeds. One of our tools for doing this is through education and dissemination of information.
The following links are to tools and information located on our Web site. In some cases, the links will lead you to other sites.
• Glossary of Terms
• Seed Topics
• Simple Seed Germination Test
• Seed Germination Rate Standards
• The Effects of Temperature on Germination Rates
• Historical Germination Rate Information
• Seed Germination Rate Standards
• Seed Storage and Its Affects on Quality, Viability, and Germination
• Seed Saving Tips
• Tomato Seed Saving Step-By-Step Pictorial
• "The Need For Seed" by Brook Elliott
• Climate & Weather Topics
• Find Your U.S. Frost Dates
• Find Your Canadian Frost Dates
• Learn Your Plant Hardiness Zone
• Victory Seed Company Current Weather Conditions - Check out the actual weather on our farm. Data updates every five minutes.
• Detailed Recent Weather Data
• Satellite Imagery Page
• Selected Weather Related Links
• Selected Space & Environmental Related Links
• The Moon In Lore and Science
• Weather Calculator / Unit Conversion Page
• Oregon Travel & Web Cam Links
• Weather System Specifications Page
• Rain Gauge Accuracy Modification Project
• Victory Field & Weather Camera - Current view of the field.
• Camera System Specifications Page
• Gardening Topics
• Successfully Starting Plants from Seeds
• "Damping-off" - Description, causes and controls.
• General Garden Planting Guide
• U.S. Agriculture Extension Sites Organized by State
• U.S. Gardening Resource Links Organized by State
• Gardening with Kids! - An overview and resource page.
• Gardening Almanac Pages - What to do this month.
• April Almanac
• May Almanac
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• July Almanac
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• September Almanac
• Why Grow Heirlooms - FAQ
• "A Case for Gardening with Heirlooms" by Mike Dunton
• Tomato Specific Information
• Basic tomato seed saving tips
• Step by step tomato seed saving pictorial.
• Tomato basket instructions
• Why Grow Heirloom Tomatoes?
• Red Stuffing Tomato Information
• Craig LeHoullier Information Page
• "Brandywine and Company: What We Know and What We Don’t (One Person’s Opinion)" by Craig LeHoullier
• Blossom End Rot (BER) in Tomatoes
• Historical Topics
• Vegetable Historical Origins
• A History of Victory Gardening in W.W. II-era America
• Victory Horticultural Portal - A Community for Historical Research
• Seedsman Hall of Fame - Want to know more about the people who introduced various seed varieties and built the seed industry in America? This is a site created and sponsored by us to promote agricultural history.
• A. W. Livingston Tomatoes - Learn about this pioneering tomato seedsman.
• Agricultural Reference Material Links - Online books, journals and old seed catalogs. Part of the Seedsmen.org project (see below), these historic materials are critical in seed preservation work.
• Links to Sites Maintaining Period Specific Gardens
• Nutritional & Processing Information
• Average Vegetable Nutritional Values
• Favorite Recipes
• Miscellaneous Information
• General Informational Links
• Scoville Units Explained
• Unit of Measurement Conversion Tools
• Victory Garden Site Award Winners
|This link might be useful for you new seed savers out there. It's a recording of the "Introduction to Seed Saving" webinar that SSE's Public Programs Manager Shannon Carmody hosted for the USDA's People's Garden program.
|Isolation Distance Requirements for Tomatoes
|Disappearing bees worry local beekeepers:
|Tomato Gene Basics:
Gene Segregation After a Cross:
Using Segregation To Recover Traits And Create New Varieties:
|On tomato seed packets the letter codes mean resistance to the following:
V - Verticillium Wilt
F- Fusarium Wilt
FF - Fusarium Wilt Races 1 and 2
N - Nematodes
T - Tobacco Mosaic Virus
L - Septoria Leaf Spot
A - Alternaria
St - Stemphylium
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