Heirlooms vs hybrids vs protected genetics

seedcorn

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@Zeedman Since you are more up to date on patented vs PVP, can I assume in vegetables there is a difference between the two? Assume patented, can’t reproduce for seed. PVP only can be for individual usage? Except for a few varieties, I buy seed or plants.
 

seedcorn

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Thank you, @seedcorn for that insight. The comment about "other limitations" has me puzzled, I have never seen a reference to that in regard to PVP law. I'm assuming that since the regulation pertains to "home gardener or farmer", that those special requirements only pertain to the latter. Is that your experience? To your knowledge, is there a variety available to home gardeners that would carry such restrictions?
Again in AG, also means you can’t use it in your breeder program. AG breeder companies all use individual marker genes. So IF you use a PVP variety, marker gene will give you away. Better be ready to beg forgiveness (& pay huge penalty as well as lose that family). Now you can use varieties that have lost their PVP label that have marker gene but be ready to show the genetic pathway or breeding history.
 

MinnesotaGardening

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It really depends on what crop I am growing. I love heirloom tomatoes because I have found some varieties that I absolutely love the flavor of and I can save the seed. Maybe open-pollinated is a better description of what I grow, as they aren't all old varieties. I'm not opposed to growing hybrid tomatoes if I find one that truly does if for me in taste. But the traditional better boy and the likes haven't been worth their space in my garden. For people who love that flavor, great, grow them. I've tasted plenty of terrible heirlooms, too. For the crops that I don't save seed from, I'm more inclined to grow hybrids. I do like to save seed, but either way, taste comes first (or looks, in the case of some plants like flowers or beans).
 

seedcorn

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What variety do you like? I wouldn’t mind a meatier tomato than Better Boy but it has to be able to withstand sand and few extremes. Although mulching with straw has definitely helped. The few OP’s I’ve grown have either diseased up, didn’t bear well enough, were determinates, or ugly fruit.
 

digitS'

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meatier tomato than Better Boy ...
I'm curious as to how @MinnesotaGardening might respond, choosing an heirloom. I immediately skidded off the road.

"Meatier." Keep in mind that Seed' doesn't appreciate the yellow varieties. Shoot. One of the reasons that I like non-commercial is because they tend to be juicy. Now keep in mind that a BLT isn't been an important lunch for me. I like tomatoes on my burger but only recently learned to chop the tomatoes and doing that, I leave some of the juice on the cutting board.

I have to say that I have a friend who grows Better Boy every year and I have done comparisons with Early Girls. I'm really not sure which I really prefer. I've grown Big Beef forever but that's also a hybrid ... wish I had been more successful with Dr Wyche's - that is "meaty," but of the yellow persuasion.

Remember, no black. I wonder if Seed' could be persuaded to go in the pink direction. My wife had interest only in red cherries, years ago. I finally realized that I should try to tone down the flavor and tried some pinks. I'd never eaten a pink tomato. Even though I'm not so tomato-persnickety, I'm glad tried them ... still can't think of one I've grown that is especially meaty.

Thessaloniki is my meaty red but it's not a very big beefsteak (wouldn't want Seed' disappointed ;)). I have grown it every one of the last 10 years for several reasons, an important one is that it can come into the kitchen ripe and just stay on the counter forever waiting to be useful.

Steve
 

seedcorn

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I don’t mind yellow at all. Wife-another answer. Most yellows and pinks are devoid of flavor IMO. That’s why I grow San Marzano and never again a Roma, Amish paste, etc. Guessing I detect the sugar levels in Better Boys and San Marzano. I quit Early Girls because they weren’t earlier than Better Boys, didn’t bear as well, smaller. But I buy started plants. So what about the Thessanolika?
 

digitS'

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The days-to-maturity are all over the range of up to 80, and according to Tomatofest. No, it isn't that late.

Here's Totally Tomatoes: "68 Days
Uniform, baseball-sized fruits are the trademark of this variety developed in sunny Greece. Resistant to sunburn, cracks and spots. Perfect blossom ends resemble those of greenhouse tomatoes. Fruits have a pleasant, mild flavor and virtually refuse to rot, even when completely red and ripe."

I don't know about "refusing" to rot but they are long-keepers. Baseball-size is about right. One of the seed companies said "up to 18 ounce." No, they aren't anywhere close to that. Indeterminate for a fairly long season, they tend to be healthy and productive and don't crack.

Steve
 

so lucky

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In theory, I would love to only plant open pollinated/heirloom types. And I do try one or two just about every year. I can't think of any open pollinated tomato that has done well for me. Many simply don't produce any useable fruit. Thessalonika, none. Costaluto Genovese, none. Rutgers, a few edible fruit. Big boy---got diseased early. Roma, blossom end rot on every one. Even Missouri Love Apple--heck, you would think that would produce like crazy! None useable. Plants petered out quickly.
I have a few hybrids that I have grown the last few years, such as Big Beef. I used to grow Better Boy. Celebrity worked well for several years.
Needless to say, if I could find an open pollinated tomato that would produce tasty fruit, and not die of disease half way through the season, I'd grab it.
 

digitS'

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Here's one that I grew for probably 3 seasons. The seeds were sent to me by a TEG gardener. It was not the reason that I feel disappointed for giving up on it.

Pantano Romanesco ~ link ~ is a real nice tomato. It wasn't especially productive but the plants were healthy and I bet you would like it.

I don't like harvesting 90% of the tomatoes off a plant green because they are so late maturing. If they ripen on the counter in a couple of days, that is fine but a couple of weeks? Nooo

Steve
 

MinnesotaGardening

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What variety do you like? I wouldn’t mind a meatier tomato than Better Boy but it has to be able to withstand sand and few extremes. Although mulching with straw has definitely helped. The few OP’s I’ve grown have either diseased up, didn’t bear well enough, were determinates, or ugly fruit.
haha Well this sounds like a challenge. 😆

I believe that everyone has different tastes when it comes to tomatoes. But, for my preferences: If you want a meaty, large tomato, I'd highly recommend Hungarian Heart. It is so multipurpose and delicious. Another beefy favorite is German pink, but it is more of a slicer. If you are looking for a very tasty heirloom that has the vigor and uniformity of Better Boy, I'd say go with Druzba. If you are ok with a super yummy green tomato, I like Aunt Ruby's German Green. If you like white/yellow tomatoes, I'm a fan of Great White Blues (although that one is a bit juicier than the others).

However, not all of these tomatoes have great disease resistance. With the exception of german pink, most of what I listed is pretty good at not cat-facing or cracking. I get more tomatoes than I could ever use and can, but I do grow about 30 plants each year. Which is why I'm attempting grafting to bring in disease resistance.
 
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