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WV '63 Tomato Celebrates 50 years!

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WV '63 Tomato Celebrates 50 years!

Post  pattipan on 3/16/2013, 9:26 pm

Wow! I've had a run on request for WV '63 seeds in the last two weeks. I finally figured out why. This year is the 50th anniversary of this "new" heirloom tomato. Apparently there have been articles printed in several newspapers (even out of state) about WVU Extension offering free seeds to those who asked. They ran out!

WV '63 article from Charleston Daily Mail newspaper:
http://www.dailymail.com/foodandliving/201302280118?page=2&build=cache

If you do a Google search for WV '63 tomato you'll find my posts on this forum offering the seeds. Looks like some folks joined this forum as a way to contact me. That's okay with me. I have plenty of seed saved from 2011, which was an exception year for tomatoes for me. I saved enough of the 2011 WV '63 seeds to start a BIG greenhouse of them! I do not have any seed from 2012-- it was a bad year for tomatoes --> extreme heat + derecho storm + hard rains + extreme heat = very split tomatoes. Add to that the fact that I was not home much.

So...if you still would like some of the 2011 WV '63 seed, I can send you a good pinch of them. Just PM me and I will let you know where to send a self-addressed stamped envelope. I tested random seeds from this batch last February and had 100% germination. I am growing from them this year too!

Oh yeah...I was one of the lucky ones that got a packet of the seed from WVU (12 seeds only!). Pays to know the right people. ;-) So this year I am going to grow only WV '63s, a few Mountain Princess and some cherry tomatoes. The WV '63seeds I saved in 2011 were from plants I bought at my local greenhouse. It will be interesting to compare them with those grown from the original WVU source. I will baby these tomatoes and hopefully have plenty new seed to offer next year.

pattipan
...who has been absent from this forum for quite awhile, but checking in the a lot more recently. Hope to get back to posting more this year!


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pattipan

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Re: WV '63 Tomato Celebrates 50 years!

Post  FamilyGardening on 3/16/2013, 11:44 pm

Glad to see you back posting Very Happy

happy gardening
rose
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Re: WV '63 Tomato Celebrates 50 years!

Post  littlejo on 3/16/2013, 11:49 pm

Hi there Pattipan, missed you.
I thank you for the seeds you sent me. I lost all my tomatoes to Southern blight last yr, but, the few seeds I had left of the wv-63 sprouted just fine this yr. I believe tomato seed will last several yrs.
Jo Ann
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Re: WV '63 Tomato Celebrates 50 years!

Post  acopley on 3/20/2013, 12:37 am

I saw this thread a few days ago and was a little bummed. I'd sent in for the free seeds from WVU. They hadn't arrived yet and since they have apparently ran out, I thought I was going to miss out. Imagine my surprise when my seeds came in the mail yesterday! Only 12 seeds, but that'll be enough to get me started. I'm excited to try this tomato. Smile
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Re: WV '63 Tomato Celebrates 50 years!

Post  MustafaMc on 3/20/2013, 8:10 am

Pattipan, of course you know that I am one of the ones who saw the article in an out-of-WV newspaper. Unfortunately, the 18 varieties/hybrids I had planted into trays died after I fertilized with old Miracle Gro. I guess I put too much or something. I will try to replant this evening and plan to leave several cells for WV63!
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Re: WV '63 Tomato Celebrates 50 years!

Post  pattipan on 3/20/2013, 12:46 pm

@MustafaMc wrote:Pattipan, of course you know that I am one of the ones who saw the article in an out-of-WV newspaper. Unfortunately, the 18 varieties/hybrids I had planted into trays died after I fertilized with old Miracle Gro. I guess I put too much or something. I will try to replant this evening and plan to leave several cells for WV63!

I found a better article on WVU's website. Probably one of the sources for the newspaper articles: http://alumnimag.wvu.edu/peoples-tomato

As far as starting the tomato seeds, I use Mel's method. I start the seed in shallow containers of moist vermiculite (cut-off butter tubs or Greek yogurt containers this year w/ holes cut in bottom). I set the containers (covered with perforated plastic wrap) on top of my upright freezer in shallow trays to keep nice and warm for sprouting. I check daily to make sure they stay moist, if needed I add tepid water to the trays and the vermiculite soaks it up like a sponge. As soon as the majority have spouted I remove the plastic wrap.

When the tomatoes get their first leaves I transplant or "up-pot" them into deep-celled flats filled with a mixture of Mel's Mix and extra vermiculite (about half & half). I pre-moisten the soil and let it settle for a few hours. I do not push down the soil, I keep it very loose. The looser soil promotes better root growth. I use a chopstick, make a deep hole and put the tiny plant in, pushing the root deep in the hole with the chopstick (leaves are almost even with soil) and then firm lightly. I water only from the bottom now to prevent damping off.

When the tomatoes have about two sets of new leaves I up-pot them again into larger deeper pots. Which is usually 16 oz sour cream cartons (hole cut in bottom), or some pots I've saved from the greenhouse. Again, I plant the deep to promote stronger roots. They stay in these containers until planting time. If the weather is warm they go outside under my patio table which I have draped with clear plastic. It's my makeshift greenhouse. Smile I usually do not plant until around or after my last frost date which is around May 15.

pattipan

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Re: WV '63 Tomato Celebrates 50 years!

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/20/2013, 1:06 pm

@pattipan wrote:If the weather is warm they go outside under my patio table which I have draped with clear plastic. It's my makeshift greenhouse. Smile
pattipan


What a great idea! I'll use that.

How do you save pattipan seeds? I tried it last year and I don't think I did so well.

Thanks,
CC
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Re: WV '63 Tomato Celebrates 50 years!

Post  pattipan on 3/20/2013, 2:09 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:
How do you save pattipan seeds? I tried it last year and I don't think I did so well.

Like instructed in this article from WVU...only I use a wide mouth quart jar instead of a beaker.

http://anr.ext.wvu.edu/r/download/51437

To dry the tomato seeds I cover a tray with a layer of paper towels and then parchment paper and spread out the drained seeds in a single layer. As they dry, I stir them around occasionally with a popsicle stick so they don't stick together.

Backing up a little...When I am canning tomatoes and as I peel & quarter them, I gently squeeze or scoop the seeds/jelly from only the nicest tomatoes into a big bowl and then proceed with the seed saving as in the article.

I also test for viability. When the seeds are dry, I take a random dozen or so, place them in a line on a wet paper towel, place them in a zip bag set it in a warm place to see how many sprout. My 2011 seeds still have 100% germination, so the method works for me!

Patti (a.k.a. pattipan)
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Re: WV '63 Tomato Celebrates 50 years!

Post  WVUgardenguru on 3/21/2013, 4:06 pm

I'm glad that you enjoy the seeds. We definitely had a huge request for them (more than the folks in Morgantown was bargaining for). You might want to check with your county extension office, as many also received a supply of the seeds (if you are in West Virginia). I'm glad that the "promotion" has went so well...I got to play a small part- I wrote the directions for the packet and got to "approve" the final design and all the info on it.

John - WVU Extension Agent
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Re: WV '63 Tomato Celebrates 50 years!

Post  pattipan on 3/21/2013, 6:41 pm

@WVUgardenguru wrote:I'm glad that you enjoy the seeds. We definitely had a huge request for them (more than the folks in Morgantown was bargaining for). You might want to check with your county extension office, as many also received a supply of the seeds (if you are in West Virginia). I'm glad that the "promotion" has went so well...I got to play a small part- I wrote the directions for the packet and got to "approve" the final design and all the info on it.

John - WVU Extension Agent

John,
Glad to see another fellow WV'ian on this forum! Have you grown the WV '63 tomatoes? Are you a Square Foot Gardener as well as an Extension Agent? Would love to compare notes on grwoing these tomatoes. I know some folks found this forum by searching Google for the WV' 63 seeds. Just being nosey...uh...curious. Smile

I'm over in the "elbow" of WV in the mountains (Pendleton Co.). We're waiting for the snow to melt so we can plant our broccoli. Two weeks ago we had over 18" of snow...kind of hard to think of planting when you can't find your SFG boxes. Sigh.

Patti (pattipan)
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Re: WV '63 Tomato Celebrates 50 years!

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