Heirloom, Hybrid, and Standard? Tomatoes!

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I had some great tomatoes from some seeds given to me last year. ....got my Amish catalogue. They have heirlooms, hybrids, and standards. I know what heirlooms and hybrids are, but have never heard of standards. Does anyone know what kind of tomato that would be? Would it come back true with the seeds? Some of the ones listed were Beefsteak, Rutgers, and Delicious. I am familiar with those tomatoes, but don't know if you can save their seeds or not? My second question....I want to try all heirlooms this next year. I was wondering what distance apart you have to put the different varieties so that they won't cross? Will they cross? I want the seeds to come back true. Tomato seeds are too expensive each year. I plant a LOT of plants. Probably 100 or so. I sell the extra maters at the farmer's market and supply every friend I know, and still have plenty for our needs. I want several different varieties so that I can be assured of having lots and lots of tomatoes.

-- Nan (davidl41@ipa.net), December 14, 2001


Nan, I've never heard of that for tomatos. I'd say, however, that they mean tried and true everyone-grows-these varieties. Just very popular, old time varieties, in other words, like music standards are the golden oldies. :)

-- Jennifer L. (Northern NYS) (jlance@nospammail.com), December 14, 2001.

Tomatoes are nearly all self-pollenating. A rare exception is "Matt's wild cherry" which CAN cross pollenate others, although the liklihood is minimal. All others can be planted together, and I personally use a 4' x 4' spacing. I have a collection of heirloom seeds that I would be happy to share for a SASE (currently 55 cents). If you are interested, e-mail direct and I'll tell you what I have. GL!

-- Brad (homefixer@SacoRiver.net), December 14, 2001.

Jennifer, I think that you are probably right. They do sound like the old favorites. Dumb question time.....are open-pollinated plants ones that will cross, and self-pollinated ones the kind that will keep their characteristics to themselves? (or not cross with others)

-- Nan (davidl41@ipa.net), December 14, 2001.

Brad- have you found any fine-tasting heirloom tomatoes that don't have verticillium, fusarium, etc. problems? Or perhaps Maine is far enough north that you avoid them? That latter is the answer I'm hoping for...I sure don't want to go throught the extreme trouble of raising tomatoes here and then find a mass of wizened, blackened, rot- killed plants.

-- Audie (paxtours@alaska.net), December 14, 2001.

Standards are Open pollinated, not necessarily heirloom. The heirloom term is fairly recent as far as I can tell, but it refers to very old, open pollinated varieties, often ones that have some history. I am not 100% sure on beefsteak, but I know that delicious and rutgers are both open pollinated and you can save seed from them. I plant my tomatoes right next to each ohter and have not had them cross yet that I can tell. If I was growing seed for a genetic preservation project or something, I'd probably plant them farther apart, but I have heard that most tomatoes self pollinate before the blossom even opens. If you do not have the Totally Tomatoes catalog I think you would really enjoy it!

-- Rebekah (daniel1@itss.net), December 14, 2001.

The only tomatoes that I have saved for seeds were really really too ripe and I just picked out the old seeds. Dried them and that was it. Do you all have another technique? Do any of ya'll just do that fermenting thing with them and then do something with the floating ones. I may not be getting that part right. I don't remember what it was......Does something else work better?

-- Nan (davidl41@ipa.net), December 14, 2001.

Audie ~ I have not had any problems with the aforementioned diseases here in Maine, and I suspect you will not either. Where are you in Alaska? We lived 3 years in Ketchikan and 4 in Juneau. Bill ~ You have sent 2 messages in the last couple of days, (e-mail direct) and both have elicited warnings from my anti-virus program. You are infected (or at least the messages are) with "WScript.Kakworm.dr". If this is an innocent mistake on your part, you need to take action. If you were trying to hit me, you missed! To everyone, be careful about opening any message from "Bill" if you do not have up to date virus protection. To others who have e-mailed direct, I shall be back to you with a list of available (virus-free!) heirloom tomato seeds. GL! And does anyone have any info on the above virus?

-- Brad (homefixer@SacoRiver.net), December 15, 2001.

Thanks for the virus alert! I haven't tried to hit you or anyone else...but neither have I tried writing you. My very murky recollection is that "kak" is a virus from some 4-5 years ago! Since having gotten blasted by "badtrans" about three weeks ago, I've been twice-weekly downloading .dat updates from McAfee...but will look to this specific one you mention.

Am in Paxson, in the heart of the Alaska Range. Extremely limited window of frost-free days...despite my (I think rather innovative) raised beds, of which I've written elsewhere on this forum. Marry Christmas, all! Am off to points south for a few weeks.

-- Audie (paxtours@alaska.net), December 17, 2001.

We bought some Rutger plants from Amish last spring. They were the best tomatoe I have ever had--besides a beefsteak that is. It is like a beefsteak, full of meat and not alot of seeds, only smaller. Awesome for BLT's or plain.

-- (stephanie.wilkerson@experian.com), December 18, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ