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rxkeith July 16, 2019 12:16 AM

my project tomato anna russian cherry x
a couple years ago, an anna russian tomato in my garden gave me small elongated cherry tomatoes with a small point on the end.
i planted seeds from the cross last year and got three different fruit forms, a round cherry tomato, a torpedo shaped cherry tomato, and a small plum shaped cherry tomato. this year i am growing out the f3 plum shaped tomato. i have five plants starting to bulk up well, and blossom.

should i save seeds from each plant at this stage or just the best candidate to carry forward. flavor can vary
i know from year to year and with different generations while stabilizing a cross.
i don't have a specific goal in mind other than to see what i can come up with.


bower July 16, 2019 08:43 AM

Hi Keith,
You can move forward in the F3 just by saving seed from your best flavored fruit. But if you happen to have more than one which is just as tasty, it is worthwhile to save seeds from more than one. You might grow your favorite forward and be perfectly satisfied, but sometimes you can end up missing an important trait as you go forward. Foliage health, growth habit, productivity, shape, just tossing out some side issues that could be a source of disappointment if there happens to be a miss. You can even end up with a miss on the taste.
So I like to save some seeds from siblings in each generation where there is no obvious lack of merit but for one reason or another didn't make top choice. It's a way of hedging your bets, not only if you have to go back to recover a trait, but you can also grow out two siblings and backcross them to firm up a trait you're looking for.

rxkeith July 19, 2019 01:10 AM


those are some of my thoughts.

of the five plants, three have that growing to the sky cherry tomato look about them.
two have more compact growth. all are doing very well after rain showers the past couple days.
i will have to be a little organized with my observations and note taking.
i am also wondering how much garden space to devote to the project.
i think five plants of each generation is a decent amount. more might be better.
i have the torpedo shape, and cherry type f2 tomatoes still to grow.
if i get something promising this year, the other two may have to wait.
i hope to get something decent with anna russian being a parent.
i will update later once i start getting tomatoes.


rxkeith July 21, 2019 09:08 PM

i have an update sooner than i thought.
i am getting first fruits growing on each plant, and its a mix as to be expected.
one plant has roundish fruit with slight ribbing at the top.
one plant has torpedo or bullet shaped fruit with a small point on the end.
one plant has plum shaped fruit with ribbing. a truss with two branches on it, one of the branches has heart shaped fruit on it similar to anna russian. i don't know whats going on with that one.
one plant is plum shaped with a wide bottom.
one plant has only small fruit yet, too soon to tell. may be elongated fruit.

the plants are all doing very well, many blossoms, more tomatoes to follow.


bower July 21, 2019 09:52 PM

Shape genetics are so complex, you're bound to get some surprises when one of the parents is a heart. :)
Five or six is a good number to grow if you have limited space and you're hoping to pick up a recessive trait, you have a good chance of finding it. If you were looking to recover size, you would need to grow ten or more hoping to get a large fruit in your F2 or F3. But if you don't have space and you don't find what you want from 5 plants, you can always try again the next year with the same generation. And there's always luck!

slugworth July 24, 2019 09:41 PM

The original anna russian I have;the round ones had BER.
The pointy end ones are fine.

rxkeith July 31, 2019 12:12 AM

two of the five plants have gangly growth. each of these plants is producing a large number of flower trusses, more so than any other tomato in the garden. if taste is decent these two plants may be worth stabilizing if productivity stays the same. i could get a lot of tomatoes from these two plants.

now, one of the two plants is giving me two different fruit types. one is heart shaped
similar to anna russian, and the other is somewhat blocky with some ribbing at the shoulders. put them side by side, and they look like they came off two different plants.
fruit is already past cherry tomato size.
what can i expect from future generations of this plant fruit wise as genes continue to segregate? anyone care to hazard a guess?


rxkeith August 1, 2019 01:42 PM

upon further observation today in the garden, it looks like plant 5, the one with two
different shapes on it is a shape changer. the tomatoes when small are heart shaped.
as they get bigger, they become a blocky more or less round shape. size is approaching
saladette type tomatoes. trusses have up to 20 tomatoes on them.

so, i have pear shaped with a nipple, plum shaped with a nipple, plum shaped with a squared off bottom, and a fat plum growing in addition to the shape changer.
final size, and color still to be determined for each one.


rxkeith August 15, 2019 11:23 AM

plants are all loaded with tomatoes.
the largest of the plum type tomatoes are in the 4 to 6 oz range, a guesstimate.
all tomatoes are bigger than the original f1 cross. if this is size recapture, then
i have some of that going on. fruit are all still green. the plant with the smallest fruit
resembles the f1 plant the most. those fruit are about 2oz, and are elongated, torpedo, or bullet shaped.
just waiting to see some color start to show. c'mon, c'mon, c'mon.


rxkeith August 21, 2019 03:12 PM

had my first taste today of the shape changer tomato. the fruit start out heart shaped than change to a blocky rounder shape. a great amount of anticipation trying that first bite not knowing what to expect. it had a tangy assertive acid bite to it. maybe could have ripened another day, but i wasn't waiting any longer.
it is an orange tomato, about 4oz. i have another one sitting on the window sill to finish
ripening. once more start ripening i can compare further taste, and start saving seeds.

the smaller pear shape plant is loaded. fruit size looks to be in the 2 to 4 oz range.
the plum, and pleated plum tomatoes are in the 4-6 oz range.


rxkeith August 27, 2019 01:34 AM

eight ripe fruit so far from plant number five. i have come to the conclusion that its shape is like a small oxheart tomato. decent taste, and earliness will make this one worth stabilizing in my northern garden.
one plant with plum shaped fruit has had a few with blossom end rot.
everything else is still green fruit, but i have a better idea of final size of tomato on each plant.


rxkeith August 28, 2019 04:54 PM

seed saving has begun.

i squeezed the guts out of six of the oxheart type tomatoes. these early tomatoes aren't
very seedy. maybe less than a hundred seeds total if that. tomatoes aren't very juicy.
flesh is similar to anna russian parent. taste is good.

one of the small pear shaped tomatoes is starting to ripen.

hey, if anyone wants to jump in and comment or add anything, feel free. this is
everybody's thread.


bower August 30, 2019 07:45 PM

Hey Keith. Cool you got an orange tomato. Nice to see you having fun with it. :) Don't be surprised if there are shape changes continuing next generation and beyond.

rxkeith August 31, 2019 04:41 PM

plant no.1 pleated plum is giving me pink tomatoes. the thing about this plant is many of the tomatoes on it look like someone took a dough cutter to one side, and pushed it in creating two lobes on that side. maybe someone can explain the reason for that. if that characteristic carries forward, an amusing name could be butt cheeks.
i picked two fruit today. shoulders are still a bit green, so will wait a couple days to sample. i was wondering if a pink tomato would surface again.

plant no. 2 is still green. plum shaped about 6 oz. tossed four tomatoes that had blossom end rot. might be another orange tomato.

plant no.3 fat plum is similar to plant one except no pleat. i have one tomato ripening that looks like it will be an orange one. some nice 6 to 8oz tomatoes there.

plant no.4 is small plum or pear shape with pointy end is orange. i picked one that needs another day or two to finish ripening.

plant no.5 tomatoes continue to ripen. i will save more seed once i get enough to make it possible.


rxkeith September 2, 2019 10:46 PM

my wife and i sampled the pink plum, and the small plum type tomatoes today.
pink plum was ok, not great, not bad. the small plum had a sweet taste. my wife liked that one the best. these are only first fruits, so we will see if flavor of either one improves. neither tomato was dripping in juice or very seedy.
night time temps are dropping into the low 50s. fruit needs to start hurrying up.


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