Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Little About Tomatos and Seeds

Today hubby picked some tomatoes, now we didn't grow any tomatoes this year, as a matter of fact, we didn't grow anything. I was away from home most of the summer, and I knew I would be, so we didn't plant a garden this year.

Sooooo, I asked hubby where he got the tomatoes from? From the compost pile, he quite frankly replied. They're a pink, not red, cherry type of tomato, but the shape was oblong, every one of them. Not a round one in the bunch, but they weren't pear shaped tomatoes either. So after a quick brush on the ol' t-shirt I popped one in mouth, not quite knowing just how it was going to taste......or even if it would be edible. I mean, you never know when it comes to volunteer tomatoes. Well, it was actually quite tasty.

It was meaty and not too sweet, maybe a little on the tough side, almost like a miniature roma. It had a wonderful tomato flavor, mellow and not too tart. I would have to say, it was the perfect tomato. I have no idea how this volunteer came to be, because I didn't grow or buy any tomatoes that looked, or tasted, like this. So this leads me to believe that this tomato is a hybrid.

For those of you who don't know what a hybrid tomato is, it's a tomato that grew from a seed that carries the characteristics of two plants, we'll say the mother plant and the father plant. When the mother plant was in blossom, had a flower on it, some pollen from another tomato plant pollinated the flower either by insect or by wind. Anyhow what resulted was a seed inside the tomato that grew from that flower that carried the characteristics of both plants........thus a hybrid. Now, if I keep and plant the seeds from this plant, it may or may not produce a plant just like the one it came off of. It may produce something closer to the mother plant or the father plant.....or maybe even something entirely different from any of the plants. But.....if I'm lucky it just may produce a plant just like its parent plant.

If I get at least one plant like the parent plant, I will plant those seeds and hope for another plant just like the parent plant.........and plant those seeds. And so on...... This is how different varieties of tomatoes become what is called open pollinated or heirloom after a period of time. Once a plant is stabilized, or produces the same plant year after year it can be given a name and the seeds sold or traded to help establish more plants.

That's the simple version of how new tomato cultivars are produced. So if you're a tomato guru, I just wanted to make it as simple as possible for everyone to understand and I know there's more to it than this.

Here's a few pictures of hubbys tomatos, we'll see what happens next year.

Until next time dear friends, I wish you all love and peace. Have a wonderful day and a better tomorrow.

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