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Monday, July 31, 2006

Volunteer Tomatoes

We have a lot of volunteer tomatoes hanging out in the garden. The strawberries have 5 or 6 or them. One is a red grape, one has HUGE pale yellow tinged with orange fruits, one is a yellow taxi, one is a red tomato with big fruits (have no idea what kind of red as it comes from the compost we made this past winter) and another is an opalka with no blossom end rot. This was bad problem with opalkas at the old farm and it also seems to be the only pure opalka we have as the main planting of maters has 3 beds of opalkas and none are looking to type.

In the rhubarb there are about 15 tomato plants. Some have red fruits some are still green so we have no idea what they will turn into.

There is also a tomato hedge running along side a bed of butternut squash. None of the fruits there have ripened at all so again no idea what we have. Could be some nifty crosses or could be specimens of what we planted and composted last year.

It's all a big uncontrolled experiment.

All of these plants have been allowed to sprawl all over the place unlike the for real plantings that get supported via the Florida Weave so we do not lose maters to rot and bug damage from ground insects (we get enough damage from cut worms and hornworms, thank you very much). So far the volunteers have sustained zero damage from being allowed to sprawl and this may be because they were not started inside under lights and transplanted. Instead, these got to germinate precisely when they were ready and did not have to endure transplant shock so that makes them stronger than the coddled plants that we planted.


barefoot gardener said...

I have also noticed the hardiness of my volunteer tomatoes. We don't plant too many different varieties, so I am sure it wouldn't take too much to figure out what's what at my place. I am considering saving seed from some of my volunteers. They seem to be out-producing the tomatoes we planted this year! We have only ever planted hybrid tomatoes, though. I have heard seed saving from hybrids is no good. Yet, if they volunteer so vigorously, wouldn't it be worth a try?

Lucy said...

The reason we are told saving seed from hybrids is not good is because you do not know what you will get when you plant the seeds because there are at least 2 different parents used to make the hybrid. Heirloom or OP seed have parents that are the same type so you get seeds that will be the same as the parents (unless they have crossed and than you get an uncontrolled hybrid)

but mosy people interpret the seeds are no good from hybrids as meaning they will not germinate or grow and that is incorrect

barefoot gardener said...

Cool, thanks for the info!