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bower April 24, 2018 08:35 PM

Mostly Blacks F3 and F4 - 2018
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This year I decided to do something different with my space, to try and manage selections without cramming in too many plants and then waiting for weather to allow them to be moved out...

In the past I've used these fish tubs for two big plants. This time I have four plants per tub, planted in a row with equal access to the sunshine. I will have to strictly prune them to one stem, and likely top them as well. They do have room for the roots to spread forward, but are less than a foot apart. No idea how this will pan out, but I'm pretty sure I'll get enough fruit to evaluate and save seeds.

bower April 24, 2018 08:48 PM

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Some early flowers - looks like they have been affected by the cold... so we'll see if the first fruit are too ugly for a mother to love.
Whiskeyjack F3 - looks like a triple. I'm hoping it will be less deformed because of being a heart.
Copper Compass F3: these are ruffly beefs, so I expect the first will be oglie. :roll:
Moravsky Div: Yep even the Moravsky bloom is looking all stuck together and gnarly.
Skipper Brown F4: Will be open soon. Small fruit, and I don't expect any deformities.
Purple Skipper F4 and Black Kitten Paws F4 are running later.
The determinates - Rodney F4 and the grandmother Napoli a Fiaschetto - are a bit later too - good buds but no petal showing yet. They got planted into 5 gallons today.

bower May 13, 2018 07:35 PM

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Here's a shot of the plants 20 days after transplant, and a chart of the high and low temperatures daily. Probably four days of 20 could be dropped as "not a tomato degree day", where temperatures didn't reach 60 F or did so just for an hour. They haven't made really fast vertical growth but that is fine by me, don't want to bring the season to a halt exactly yet. Nearly all have flowered and the earliness winners have baby fruit, so of course, I took baby pictures... who could resist. :cute:

bower May 13, 2018 07:53 PM

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Three of six Whiskeyjack F3's have pea sized or bigger fruit, clocking in at 69 to 71 days from seed. Really pleased and surprised to see that some of the funky flowers look to be producing normal fruit. The second fruits are refreshingly normal shaped too. Other firsts are not looking so normal, we'll see how ugly they get when they get a bit bigger.

bower May 13, 2018 08:13 PM

Skipper F4 - baby fruit
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Rodney, Skipper (brown and purple), Copper Compass, are all sibling lines from the same 4 parent cross, with Compass being the largest fruit. One of the Compass F3 flowered early and had me excited, but it hasn't grown any fruit yet. No determinates out of five, so likely none in this line. The Purple Skipper F4 also has no determinates again this year, so I think there's no more sp left in this line. But the Skipper Brown F4 I have 2 of 5 determinates! One is a small det: cluster-leaf-terminal cluster on the main stem. The other has a semideterminate pattern that hasn't terminated yet, one or two leaves between clusters.
Skipper F4's are a small and sometimes pointy fruit. One of 5 Skipper Brown (DET) and one of 5 Purple Skipper have fruit at 67 and 68 days from seed, just a whisker earlier than Whiskeyjack.
Third pic is Rodney F4: earliest of 6 plants at 71 days. These are determinate small beefs, and are flowering like crazy with 2-3 clusters on the go.

KarenO May 14, 2018 01:06 AM

They are looking great Bower, awesome to see how early they are setting for you in the highly variable temperatures. That’s a very good trait for your Canadian tomato. Keep on posting updates, very interesting projects!

Rajun Gardener May 14, 2018 10:26 AM

Congrats on the early flowering!!

How can you tell they're determinates so early? Is it leaf nodes between clusters or terminal growing shoots?

bower May 14, 2018 11:47 AM

Thanks for the encouragement, KarenO. :) I suspect the defects in those first 'megabloom' fruits may have slowed the Whiskeyjack down until they set a second one. I may yet have to remove them but will let them get big enough to see just how unevenly they set. I really do need tomatoes that will tolerate April extremes in my greenhouse, because the later plantout usually means temperatures are too high when it's time to set up a good crop. So I'm back to pushing the cold tolerance limits.

Rajun, you can tell that the sp/sp determinate condition is there, in any plant that has fewer than three leaves between flower clusters, and/or it sets a terminal cluster on the main stem. In the past I had crosses that took a long time to identify as determinates, because they had three leaves between clusters on the main stem until finally they ended that stem with fewer leaves between and a terminal cluster, or put out side shoots that had the determinate cluster/leaf pattern. It was very frustrating to wait so long for the key information.
So I'm pretty stoked to identify determinates early on this time, only a couple of weeks from planting out. Now if I could have known even earlier, I would have given the determinates their own pots instead of sticking them into the 'single stem' indeterminate plan. :roll: Oh well.... I'll take it! :surprised::)
The Skipper Brown has thrown one determinate in every generation so far. The first one, fruit quality was not up to par (not even close), while all the indeterminates were just great. :no: Last year at the farm, another determinate looked really promising with loads of fruit.. I think they were good but I didn't actually taste them. But then some of the less virtuous OP's were stricken with foliage disease, and the determinate Skipper got it too and just as bad. :evil: Meanwhile all the indeterminate Skippers had awesome foliage health that remained outstanding all season. So that determinate didn't make the cut either.
Fingers crossed at least one or the other will make the grade this year. :roll:

svalli June 4, 2018 12:05 PM

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I'm really glad I came to read here before I started to remove suckers from the Skipper Purple F4s, which I am growing. I planted those to the greenhouse two weeks ago and since then I have not had time to do anything else than water them. Finally now I got chance to pay more attention to the plants and noticed small greenies on both pointed and beefsteak shaped Skipper purples. I have 3 plants of both type growing and the plants are relatively short and have flowers on them. Right now it is still difficult to say if those are determinate or not, so I will not remove the suckers now.

Thanks for the seeds bower! I'm really excited grow these:)


KarenO June 4, 2018 01:57 PM

Did you get any of the late snowstorm?? I sure hope not

bower June 4, 2018 02:19 PM

So glad to see them Sari! :) My Skippers are leading the pack here for fruit set, closely followed by Rodney.
We have just had the weather week from tomato hell though. :( Only two days got up to 60 F even for an hour or two. Multiple days with temperatures closer to 50 F. Yes KarenO we had snow on the ground this morning and snow falling during the day, although it has gotten up to 2.8 C the windchill is below freezing. Greenhouse high today looks like 52 F.

In the past I've done a fruit count at 90 days from seed but I just couldn't face it. There are fruit to count but the poor plants... there's nothing I can do about it but wait and hope. :bummer:
I guess on the positive side, this year will be a genuine test to see how the fruit are affected by miserable cold. Plants are still looking good, some purpling but overall... they are troopers. 8-)

KarenO June 4, 2018 02:22 PM

If they are alive through it all that is a wonderful testament to their hardiness
I sure hope the weather smartens up for you soon.
I can’t compare to your cold but even here it’s going down to 8 every night which is slowing things down and curling my leaves here too.
Here’s to some warmer weather ASAP

bower June 4, 2018 02:54 PM

Yes here's to some warming up! :roll: Just normal temperatures would be fantastic right around now...
Incidentally KarenO, Karma Pink is doing just fine as well. There's a fruit set but not quite the size of a pea yet... and of course, fruit aren't getting any bigger in these conditions.
We're supposed to see the sun tomorrow, I hope the shock of it is not too drastic. :surprised:

KarenO June 4, 2018 03:45 PM

Well the whole idea of the trial is to see what they do in all sorts of conditions, would not be much of a test if they were only grown in ideal conditions so we are very interested in what your chilly KARMA pink does. Mine are sulking a bit with the leaf roll to show it but they are blooming and setting regardless

bower June 26, 2018 09:46 AM

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So here is a chart of the low/high temperature records from transplant to the present - 66 days, just to show how utterly miserable it has been in the greenhouse. Our normal climate is marginal but we tied the record for low temperature in the first half of June, and normal would be fantastic compared to what we've been getting most of the time - including yesterday and today. Starting at 50 F this morning, we have no chance of sunshine today, outdoor temp is in the 40's with high winds, so I doubt we'll reach 60 and will likely drop below 50 again tonight.
A daytime temperature of 60 F is marginal for tomatoes although many will grow and produce at that temperature, some days we reached 60 F only for an hour or two late in the afternoon, so there are more "not a tomato degree day" days than even it appears.

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