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I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

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I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  quiltbea on 5/30/2012, 5:15 pm

I can hardly believe it. Its only May 30th and I bagged two more varieties of tomatoes today to save seed. The earliest one was Pasquebot Roma which I bagged on May 26th. I think this means my harvest will be nice and early this year.



Above is the first one, Pasquebot Roma in its net bag.



Super Marmande was bagged today along with a Green Zebra. These are some I think I'll want to save for myself for next year. I've heard good things about them but the proof is in the tomatoes themselves, when they ripen and I can taste them and see how productive is the plant.

Its very easy to save seeds if you isolate the very first blossoms on the plant with a net bag or row cover made into a bag. Just keep them covered until the fruits form, at which time you can remove the bag. Tie a piece of fabric or yarn to the branch on which the saved tomato grows and when it comes ripe, save its seeds. Tomatoes are self-pollinating so all you have to do is tap the branch a couple of times a day when you are out in your garden.

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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  Coelli on 5/30/2012, 6:53 pm

Do they have to be the very first blossoms? Or could you isolate other blossoms before they open?

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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  quiltbea on 5/30/2012, 7:41 pm

You can isolate any blossoms that are getting ready to open. I like to do the very first ones because I believe the future generations will be early tomtoes. In Maine. I like to have a crop that starts early in the season. Ours isn't as long as some and before we know it, winter's sneaking up on us.

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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  PeonyLover on 5/30/2012, 8:20 pm

Do you have to bag them to seed save? I think it's too late for me to do that as fruit has set. i was planning on seed saving this year-can I still do it?

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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  quiltbea on 5/30/2012, 8:35 pm

Once the fruit has set its too late. If an insect meandered over your open flower and left some pollen from another variety, the seed won't breed true. You may get an unusual tomato. You need to watch for a new set of blossoms just beginning and bag it. Tomatoes grow and produce flowers all season, so there's sure to be more coming later. You should have flowers coming along for weeks now. Covering any of the newly forming blossoms will work.

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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  PeonyLover on 5/30/2012, 8:38 pm

Whew! That was the whole point of doing heirlooms (well that and the cool and unique fruit) was to seed save and share. My sisters and I are starting our own unofficial seed bank. Laughing I also want some to share or trade.

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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  floyd1440 on 5/30/2012, 8:43 pm

Hey Bea

I though the only way to get seeds from toms is to squeeze the pulp and seeds from the tomato and let it ferment for several days, rinse, and dry them.

Not following your method but this is the first time saving seeds and I read this above procedure from a Bakers Creek catalog.

Am I doing something wrong here as I would like to save some tomato seeds.

I got my block maker; the 2 inch and 3/4 inch but have a question. Didn't receive any instruction on how to put the inserts on the 2 inch one so here is what I did; I put the black 3/4 inch square insert on the bottom and the siver washer and screw on the top...is this correct?

Thanks Floyd.


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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  Coelli on 5/30/2012, 11:37 pm

@quiltbea wrote:You can isolate any blossoms that are getting ready to open. I like to do the very first ones because I believe the future generations will be early tomtoes. In Maine. I like to have a crop that starts early in the season. Ours isn't as long as some and before we know it, winter's sneaking up on us.

That makes sense!

I only have two heirlooms blooming right now, a German Johnson and a yellow Brandywine that were purchased and planted about 3 weeks ago. I enclosed both cages with tulle today (before, they had bird netting to keep squirrels out). Only the German Johnson has bloomed; the Brandywine's blossoms have not opened yet. Is tulle sufficiently fine enough to isolate them, do you think? Their pots are fairly close together because of the irrigation system.

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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  quiltbea on 5/31/2012, 7:13 am

@Coelli.....As long as the holes in them are not big enough for bees and other insects to enter, you're OK. Mine are made from netting and nothing gets thru the holes and tulle has even smaller holes.

Make sure you tap or shake the blossoming branches at least once a day to distribute its own pollen.

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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  herblover on 5/31/2012, 9:28 am

How do you store your seeds? I was given some 'Nicky Crain' seeds recently (assuming from last year's fruit). It is obviously too late to plant them for this year. What would be the best way to store them until time to start indoors for next year?

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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  quiltbea on 5/31/2012, 10:06 am

@herblover......I store seeds in zipper baggies with a desiccant inside to keep them from getting damp. Then put the bag in the crisper of your fridge. Depending on the type of seed, they can be saved from 1 to 7 years and still have good germination.

Desiccant: Place a teaspoonful of dried powdered milk in the center of a facial tissue. Roll it up, then turn the two long ends over and staple them closed. This will keep seeds safe for 6 months so change it every 6 months.

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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  PeonyLover on 5/31/2012, 3:25 pm

OK-rummaged through the craft supplies and found bags left over from wedding party favors. Now I have my heirlooms bagged. Should I do the same with my peppers? thinking And do you take them off once the fruit sets?

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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  Goosegirl on 5/31/2012, 6:35 pm

@PeonyLover wrote:OK-rummaged through the craft supplies and found bags left over from wedding party favors. Now I have my heirlooms bagged. Should I do the same with my peppers? And do you take them off once the fruit sets?

Definitely do it with the pepper buds before they open. After the fruit starts to show you can take the bag off but mark the branch by tying a bit of ribbon or yarn around it so you know which ones were protected from possible cross-pollination!

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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/31/2012, 8:44 pm

What classy seed tomato protectors, PeonyLover! Beautiful and great use for left-over wedding festivities bags...Surely they'll carry a fertility charm, what? Nonna

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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  PeonyLover on 5/31/2012, 9:44 pm

@Nonna rofl
Gussied up the pepper too! This year's SFG is wearing iridescent citron tulle with matching satin trim-it's all the rage! Laughing

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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/31/2012, 9:46 pm

Dang. I knew I should have read that Allure magazine more carefully! Nonna

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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  floyd1440 on 6/1/2012, 8:46 pm

@Bea.....

I got my block maker; the 2 inch and 3/4 inch but have a question. Didn't receive any instruction on how to put the inserts on the 2 inch one so here is what I did; I put the black 3/4 inch square insert on the bottom and the siver washer and screw on the top...is this correct?

Thanks Floyd.


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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  quiltbea on 6/1/2012, 11:21 pm

@floyd....1. Put the washer on the screw and slide it to the top. 2. Slip the screw thru the hole in the blocker. 3. Attach the black square on the bottom of the screw from the inside of the blocker.

The screw top and washer will be on the outside at the top of the block and the black square will be on the inside of the blocker.

I hope I explained it clearly enough. If not, let me know and I'll try to take a picture.

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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  floyd1440 on 6/2/2012, 6:38 am

Here is what I did..





Hope this is the correct way. But how do you center the blocks as it is difficult to see the hole once I put the washer on top?

And the blocks aren't all square as you can see but perhpas it doesn't make a difference anyway.


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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

Post  quiltbea on 6/2/2012, 10:07 am

@floyd....you got it! Just tighten the black part til its squared up...or loosen it a bit. Whatever works. You can get it even. If not, I'm sure being a little off won't matter.

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Re: I'm already isolating tomatoes to save seed.

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