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Perennial Tomatoes?

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by OhMrWilson13 on August 03, 2004 02:35 AM
With the weather being so hot here in SoCal, (especially the mild winters) I was wondering if it would be possible to grow pernnial tomatoes? I have heard about doing such before by placing the toms in a greehouse for the winter, then transplanting them into the ground the following spring. Perhaps I could keep them indoors or close to the house on cold nights (the frost season is only about a month where I live) and Ihave a weather monitoring station about a block from my house, which I have linked to my computer so that I can monitor humidity, dew point, wind chill, temp, in real time, as to avoid the frost. I currently have my toms growing in large pots 25 gal? I know that when you transplant seedlings, you cut off the bottom leaves and plant it deep, so I thought that if you plant the already considerably tall plant even deeper, it would have a massive root base for sucking up nutrients and making massive loads of toms? Of course, I could be totally wrong, because This is entirely theoretical. Also, I was wondering if anyone here was experienced with propigation of tomatoes by planting the "suckers" we normallly discard. I know it's possible and I've seen it discussed on other forums before. Anyway, thanks!
by Pineapple_Raye on August 03, 2004 02:54 AM
Hey hey...
Ok I had a Cherokee Purple that I kept for 5 years. What I did was root a piece of it every 4 months. The original plant while it would have live is like anything else. Old age does set in. So this is as close an answer as I can give to your guestion.

Ihave a weather monitoring station about a block from my house, which I have linked to my computer so that I can monitor humidity, dew point, wind chill, temp, in real time, as to avoid the frost.

I like your thinking. I have a system with alarms for temperture only--high and low. One probe gives me soil temperture. and the other air temperture. However, it is not through my computer. I smoke foods and it is one of my wireless food thermometers. I use rechargable batteries.
by OhMrWilson13 on August 03, 2004 08:04 AM
Ok, So basically you used sucker propigation, correct? Thanks for your input! I think I'll start snipping a few healthy looking peices off my plants to keep for the next year soon. I've also heard that soaking the peices in rooting hormone will increase the "catch rate", but I don't know where to get it [Frown]

Also, has anyone here ever tried planting the seeds from the fruit of hybrid tomatoes? I realize that you're only supossed to plant seeds from heirloom/ non-hybrid tomatoes because the results are unpredictable due to genetic recombination, crossing over, allele frequency distrubtions, etc. So, technically, while the offspring tomatoes could very much be of lesser quality, or sterile, it is also possible that the new strain would be especially hardy or productive, correct? Unless due to the nature of the pollinization the genetic recomination is purely degenerative, as it is in humans? (same blood-line breeding among humans often results in mentally retarded offspring) I am really not clear on the genetics of plants, so these are all assumptions [Smile]

Well, anyway, I just germinated a couple of seeds from a hybrid tom so I guess I'll find out either way. Besides, I think next season I'll be planting at least twenty transplants, so I'll have plenty to observe and compare. If no one here has tried to do so thus far, I will post the results every month or so.
by weezie13 on August 03, 2004 08:20 AM
We love updates [Cool] [critic] MrWilson!!!


Welcome by the way!
We are very glad you found us!
And there's lot's of here that LOVE TOMATOES!!

* * * *

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by Pineapple_Raye on August 03, 2004 12:12 PM
I've also heard that soaking the peices in rooting hormone will increase the "catch rate"
You will not need a rooting hormone for tomatoes. Just take a piece of the younger section that is a foot long that has a head on it. Strip all of the leaves off except the head. Bury everything side ways at a 45 degree angle up to the head. Keep very moist. Within two week it will have plenty of roots.

So, technically, while the offspring tomatoes could very much be of lesser quality, or sterile, it is also possible that the new strain would be especially hardy or productive, correct?
Yes; Maybe; No.

Yes the next generation will be of a lesser quality. The reason they are cross bred is to take the best of the "parents." Each parent being a cross breed itself.

Hybrid tomatoes are developed to give growers the best characteristics of all varieties. Fruit size, crop yield and disease resistance are all traits of hybrids.

On the plant tag or container you may see some letters. They indicate resistance to various diseases.

V = verticillium wilt.
F = fusarium wilt. Two Fs on the label indicate resistance to both types of fusarium.
N = nematode.
T = tobacco mosaic.
A = alternaria stem canker.
S = stemphylium (gray leaf spot).

Maybe your next "generation" will be of a lesser quality but not in the area of taste, size, or coloring. Perhaps the last cross breeding was to add T and not flavor or size or coloring.

No you will not be creating a new strain. What you will do at best should they geminate--which is possible--is re-create a previous parent. In the progaming world what you are talking about is called backwards engineering. I don't believe this is the direction you are wanting to go.

I really like the way your mind works here. It is refreshing! May I suggest you look into creating your own tomato.

I going to help you with just a little information. All tomatoes today orginated from Central America, Peru-Ecuador-Bolivia area of the Andes pre-Mayan. The Indians began to propagate the tiny fruits, and the Aztecs called the fruit tomatl. These are Tomato Currants. Most are the size of a pea. There are eight known wild species. Today the Tomato Red Currant is an off shoot as an example. Many folks call them Ornamental Edibles. If I was going to create my own tomato I would start with the wild Currant of South America as my base building block.

Years ago I grew them. Don't remember how I came by the seeds. I had some that where pear shaped. Others were round, that where green-yellow, yellow, red white, purple and black. I had 10 of these plants that year.

If you take this project on your records will have to be perfect. i.e. times of feeding, types of soil, types of fertilizers,how much rain, how much sunlight, temperture, how you protected a hand pollenated flower. You will have to go at least 5 generations after you have what you think is the last step before you can even present it. However, you can create your own tomato. It will take much research on your part. There will be failures, set-backs, but there will also be the rewards.

Do you know the story of the Determinate Tomato? It was called, when found, a freak of nature. It almost ended up in the trash pile. Yet from this one plant every commercial grower today is grateful as it bears all of its fruits at one time!

Do you know the stories of the Money Maker and Mortgage Maker tomatoes? Look them up! I think you will find them interesting reading.

You might start here to look for the base wild Currant seed. The place is called Seed Savers.
Seed Saver Exchange

Or here: Seed Saving Resources

This one is a International Effort,and maybe your best bet.
International Communities

The first step in this interesting venture is you have to decide what your goal of a tomato is to be.

In closing this somewhat long posting I will leave you with a picture of a wild Currant, and a very strange Pepper Tomato.

 -  -
by Pineapple_Raye on August 03, 2004 12:42 PM
One Follow up. If there are any gardeners here who live in the area of North Ga. If you have seen the wild tomato called "Tommy Toes" will you let me know. If this young man cannot find wild currant seeds, then I think the Tommy Toes would make for a good second choice.

Much Thanks.
by OhMrWilson13 on August 04, 2004 02:00 AM
Thanks Raye, you really are too helpful. I think trying to create my own variety would be a great idea! I know that there are many tasks involved, but it just gives me an excuse not to be playing ghost recon [Wink]

I wonder what techniques would be used to cross pollinate two tomato flowers, considering the stigma is not exposed. I'm sure it's possible somehow, collecting pollen from one plant into a container and blowing it up into the flower? However this would have to be done without shaking too much pollen from the receiving flower, correct? I know that tomato plants are usually pollinated by the wind, and if not, shaking them will work also, so would these have to be kept in a wind-less enviornment?

On another note, I posted a question regarding curling tomato leaves in another part of this forum a few days ago, I was hoping that you might be able to answer them, because you seem to have extensive knowledge regarding tomatoes:

Both my Better boy (VFNAS) and Ace (VF) plants seem to be suffering from curling leaves, the latter more so than the former. I have spent much time researching tomatoes and their diseases, and I have to ask whether or not the curly leaf virus is known to reside in Southern California. I have heard of it in Arizona, but have no idea if it exists here. The leaves of the Ace are very curled, leathery, and the veins along the underside are indeed slighty purple along the edges. However, the upper/new growths do not seem to be much affected. The Better boy has fewer curled leaves, and none are purple. Also, the leaves have been curled quite some time now (2-weeks?) and weather has been....fairly stable, except nightime/daytime fluctuations of 35+ degrees. I have tried over and under - watering my toms but apparently no luck in curing the leaves. I applied miracle grow earlier, but have not done so for 3 weeks, and still no change except for increased curling. Stems are flimsy towards the top of the plant and harder towards the bottom. Growth does not seem to be greatly affected, and none of the leaves have major spots or turned yellow.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated....thanks!
by Pineapple_Raye on August 04, 2004 02:21 AM
I take it you cannot post a picture. So go to this link and take a look and see if you find what looks like your problem.

Cornell MD Online

There are several other links at the bottom of page. Much quality information there.

Do a seach for Some Common Diseases of tomatoes Also the fastest way I find stuff on Google when I have a problem is for example, type in "Diseases of tomatoes" but don't search the open using the Image option instead.
by OhMrWilson13 on August 04, 2004 08:18 AM
Actually, I was just about to snap a pic with my digi cam (left it at a friends house) so I just ran outside and took a few pictures, hope this works! Thanks for the resource also [Wink]

the whole plant:


closeup of a leaf (sorry, forgot to turn on the macro-mode:


healthy looking new growth:

thanks for the help!
by Pineapple_Raye on August 04, 2004 12:30 PM
Opps I miss-read your posting. I believe you are correct about the Tomato Curly Top Virus. The reason is the puple coloring. The cause is the Sugerbeet Beet Leafhopper. Yes it is a problem in your state. Currently no known Organic solution. Chemical solution seems to be malathion; however, this only seems to be so-so effective in reducing the overwintering population. Foliar insecticides have not proven to be generally effective.

The bummer is this leafhopper does not really like tomato plants. In 2001 farmers lost from 20% to 80% of their crops to this little dude in Arizona. Talk about taking it in the shorts. This bug likes weeds~~~not tomato plants.

Distroy your plants. Don't compost them. Either burn them or place in trash.

There is a chance you will not see this bug again. It has no pattern. Clean up around your yard. No weeds. There are also four CTV resistant tomato varieties. These are: Roza, Rowpac, Columbia, and Saladmaster. These four varieties are also resistant to Verticillium and Fusarium.

Ok sounds like you might have a direction now in what type of new tomato to create. Would it not be interesting to take one of these and cross it with...umm let's say a Cherokee Purple, or better yet a Money Maker? I would think you would have to cross at least 8-10 times. Let's say Saladmaster with Money Maker. Take the 1st cross fruit's seeds grow new plant and cross it with Saladmaster again... repeat several times. You might have to cross back a couple of times to Money Maker in order to keep the high production rate of the Money Maker. Of course this will take you time.

I do believe this is a good direction for you. In 5 or 6 years you might very well have the better answer.
by Pineapple_Raye on August 04, 2004 12:57 PM
but it just gives me an excuse not to be playing ghost recon [Wink]
Are you sure???

by OhMrWilson13 on August 05, 2004 05:12 AM
Haha, I like how the ghost recon image has the fire-indicator icon on the familiar.. [grin]

However, I'm sad to have my fears confirmed (regarding the CTV) and after checking the pictures on the Colorado State University site, I'm pretty sure I have got the CTV [thinker] This is the first year any of my tomato plants have had this problem [Eek!] At least so far it seems like only one of the plants is infected ...... let's hope it stays that way...

On a brighter note, my new plum tree has recently started blooming, so at least i'll have something to eat [grin]

Also, have you heard of a variety called Campari? They sell them at a local wholesale store, and they're grown in AZ.........without pesticides. I know that CTV is a big problem in i would imagine this variety would be CTV resistant? Unless they have a different way of growing them (in a greenhouse?) that might discourage infect.

Thanks for you help!

by OhMrWilson13 on August 05, 2004 05:46 AM
I just ran outside and up-rooted my plant and put it in the trash [Eek!] [Eek!] [Eek!]

Believe me, it was hard. *sniffle*

Hopefully I'll never have to do it again....Never [tears]

I also did a check of my garden and weeds seem to be almost non-existent, so I really don't know where the leaf hoppers came from... perhaps from the backyard next to ours.... darn neighbors! [Mad] hehe. Except the growth in their yard is quite dense, and not much broad-leaved plants, two things which are not very attractive to the leaf-hopper... makes me wonder..

by Pineapple_Raye on August 05, 2004 10:14 AM
Haha, I like how the ghost recon image has the fire-indicator icon on the familiar..
This image I created for a GR posting board. In the games I host it is off. Sometime I run INF too! Now that is a hoot...especailly if you are playing teams.

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