Tomatoe problem!!!

Smiles Jr.

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Hey folks, I may have arrived at a possible reason for my tomato quandary.
Side note: some of my tomato plants are looking somewhat better nowadays and I have lots of green tomatoes out there. But I'm not sure what kind they are 🤪.
I think I may have caused some cross pollination over the past two seasons. In 2020, during the COVID-19 lockdown, I started my seeds as usual in the greenhouse in mid February. While those little buggers we're growing and getting stronger (heirloom Mortgage Lifters, Brandywines, German Johnsons, and Amish Pastes) I was in the house planning my garden layout for the season. I rotate each season. I must have had a brain fart (and didn't realize it until too late) and in April I set the starts too close together and all four rows side by side and too close together. I have 6 beehives out at the garden and 10 more in various places in the big corn fields, bean fields, and pastures. So I usually have lots of pollinators. Since that time I have noticed changes in my 'maters. I usually keep my tomato rows segregated and as far apart as possible. Whatcha think?
I think I'll make a drastic change at the end of the growing season this year . . . I'm not going to harvest ANY of the new seeds and I'll quarantine all of the tomatoe seeds that I have left over from 2020 and 2021. And in 2023 I'll only start seeds from 2019. I learned from my dad to keep the precious seeds from years past segregated and clearly marked for type and dated. If my plan works I'll burn the seeds harvested in 2020 and 2021.
It's all Brandon's fault.
 

heirloomgal

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Hey folks, I may have arrived at a possible reason for my tomato quandary.
Side note: some of my tomato plants are looking somewhat better nowadays and I have lots of green tomatoes out there. But I'm not sure what kind they are 🤪.
I think I may have caused some cross pollination over the past two seasons. In 2020, during the COVID-19 lockdown, I started my seeds as usual in the greenhouse in mid February. While those little buggers we're growing and getting stronger (heirloom Mortgage Lifters, Brandywines, German Johnsons, and Amish Pastes) I was in the house planning my garden layout for the season. I rotate each season. I must have had a brain fart (and didn't realize it until too late) and in April I set the starts too close together and all four rows side by side and too close together. I have 6 beehives out at the garden and 10 more in various places in the big corn fields, bean fields, and pastures. So I usually have lots of pollinators. Since that time I have noticed changes in my 'maters. I usually keep my tomato rows segregated and as far apart as possible. Whatcha think?
I think I'll make a drastic change at the end of the growing season this year . . . I'm not going to harvest ANY of the new seeds and I'll quarantine all of the tomatoe seeds that I have left over from 2020 and 2021. And in 2023 I'll only start seeds from 2019. I learned from my dad to keep the precious seeds from years past segregated and clearly marked for type and dated. If my plan works I'll burn the seeds harvested in 2020 and 2021.
It's all Brandon's fault.
Cross pollinated (seeds) plants tend to be much more vigorous, not less, so I wouldn't imagine crossing as a source for less vigour; this is part of why some people prefer hybrid seeds over heirlooms. While cross pollination can definitely happen in tomatoes (especially if you keep bees!) it is not super common in heirloom tomatoes though. Their flowers are 'perfect' so they are usually self pollinated. However, potato leaf types are more prone to crossing, so they say, because of the flower structure.

I have grown quite a few tomato plant varieties all together in years past, with spacing of 18 to 24 inches between them, in long rows. Conditions for crossing can really vary garden to garden, but I get about 1, sometimes 2 plants, out of 100, 150 that don't come true. Mostly in cherry tomatoes.
 
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