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Old September 28, 2020   #31
rxkeith
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its all over with the outside tomatoes here. we got frosted pretty good about 10 days
ago. i spent several days before hand picking as many tomatoes as i could. many
green tomatoes just hung there, and wouldn't turn ripe.
here is the season run down. all tomatoes have finally had a taste.


aili line four plants.

plant one was smallest indeterminate of the four, but had the largest fruit, some up
to about 6 oz. somewhat irregular shaped red fruit, call them lumpy heart shaped.
taste just wasn't there. on the watered down sweet side, but nothing to write home about. this one
is on the shelf. saved seeds, but i think its better to have the flavor present than to go looking for it in future generations.


plant two had heart shaped similar to plant three and four only a little larger over all
say 4 to 5 oz. red fruit flavor was slightly better than plant one.
on the shelf for now.


plant three looks like a twin to plant four. heart shaped red 2 to 4oz fruit.
this one had a good balanced flavor, best of the aili line.
future grow out to f5 at some point.


plant four was red heart shaped with an acidic bite to it.
may grow out at some future point

plants two, three, and four were loaded with tomatoes. i was hoping flavor would
be better overall with the heart line, but it is what it is.


lempi line


five plants, all displayed rampant growth. vines were over 6 ft tall, and still growing
when frost hit. fruit was two bite sized for the most part.

plant one gave me pink oval cherry sized tomatoes. flavor was a rather intense sweet
flavor that caught me by surprise. productive
worth growing at f5.


plant two had small red roma shaped tomatoes two bite size.
flavor had a good balance of sweet/acid, but didn't last long on the tongue the
way a real good tomato can. worth another look at some point.


plant three had elongated red pear shaped fruit with nipple. good balanced tomato flavor. two bite sized. only thing i didn't like about it was the skin was somewhat firm, and stuck around in my mouth after the rest of the tomato was gone. most similar in shape to the f3 parent. worth another look at some point, need to do something about the skin.

plant four yielded cute little red plum tomatoes with a nipple.
flavor was a good balance of sweet and acid. worth growing to
f5 at some point.

plant five gave me pink cherry size tomatoes.
flavor was sweet, but not complex. on the shelf for now.


mama helen line f3 parent was a pink 5 to 6 oz plum tomato.

plant one was late to ripen. when it did, it produced beautiful deep pink
round tomatoes about 4 to 5 oz. call it large saladette size with a nice balanced sweet/tangy flavor. moderately productive
will go to f5 at some point.


plant two was a beast. this one kept branching off, producing blossom cluster after
blossom cluster before loading up with small pink plum tomatoes that tapered to a dull pointy end. size was about 2 to 4 oz. tomatoes were the first to ripen. flavor was sweet with an acid bite
finish. some of the early fruit was on the crunchy side. i might have been too eager
to eat them. this one is coming back next year.


plant three i had to pick everything green. fruit just wouldn't ripen before frost hit.
what i got was plum tomatoes in the 4 to 5oz range. i squeezed five tomatoes for
seed, and sampled them as i did so. they seemed to be the juiciest of the whole lot.
flavor had that stewed tomato like taste.

worthy to go to f5 at some point, but would prefer it to vine ripen.


there you go. it was a fun year
i'll post later with some ruminations and try to decide what the heck

to grow next year.




keith
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Old October 2, 2020   #32
rxkeith
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stoopid mice,


have bolluxed things up a bit. in the upstairs bedroom on one of the trays of the plant
stand in the room, i had seeds drying from my four aili line plants, a couple lempi line,
and mama helen #1. checking on them this morning, i found the plates empty except
for a stray seed here and there along with some mice droppings. weather is getting colder, and being in the country, mice are always looking for warmer places to stay.
i can replace the lempi line, and mama helen line seeds from tomatoes ripening in
labeled boxes. aili line presents a problem. of the four plants, only aili #1 has tomatoes that look different. the other three plants had
similar looking tomatoes with aili #2 being slightly larger.
these tomatoes are all mixed together in a couple boxes, picked green because of impending frost, impossible to tell one from the other. i can save seeds from this mixed up lot, and continue to f5 at some point, and select for best taste without knowing the f4 parentage. i think it would require growing a larger number of plants at one time than i would have liked.
other option could be to just resow f3 seeds, and see if something better appears next year while keeping lineages intact.




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Old October 19, 2020   #33
rxkeith
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it has been a month since i picked all the tomatoes from the garden.
i still have a good amount of project tomatoes in the house, and they have
been holding up very well. i have a new appreciation for mama helen #1.
flavor is sweet with a tangy finish. i have to give this one a very good to
excellent rating. best one of the project so far. this one is going to f5 next
year along with mama helen #2.







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Old April 23, 2021   #34
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dusting off this old thing.


this year i am growing two of my mama helen line selections. we are at f5.


mama helen is a saladette size tomato, deep pink with a good balanced flavor.
later to ripen, decent production. i had to pick most of them green due to frost.


hot rod helen, (there is a story there for later) is a smaller pink plum type tomato.
good flavor, highly productive, indeterminate robust growth. this was my first ripe
tomato last year.


i am hoping to see some stability developing at f5. i have seven, and nine plants
of each growing. how many to keep vs adopting out to someone who will grow, and
keep track of, and maybe save a few tomatoes for me is keeping me thinking.




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Old June 30, 2021   #35
rxkeith
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i ended up keeping all the plants.


nine hot rod helen, and seven mama helen are planted and growing.

blossoms are starting to show on some hot rod helen.
i am looking to stabilize a small pink plum with robust growth, and a deep
pink saladette size tomato.
there was quite a bit of segregation in the f4 generation. i know it gets less so
as you go along. i am wondering what surprises might still show up

temperatures in june have been erratic. we have seen 30 degree temperature
changes from day to day. never warm for more than a few days then the temp.
drops. not much else going on here. we just need some sustained warmth for awhile.






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Old July 5, 2021   #36
rxkeith
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checking out the garden today, i noticed that most of the mama helen plants
have broad spade like leaves similar to potato leaf plants. close, but not quite.
one of those plants has rugose foliage to boot. so, picture somewhat wrinkly,
somewhat potato leaf like. what is going on here?


hot rod helen plants are all normal regular leaf plants.




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Old August 5, 2021   #37
rxkeith
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first ripe tomato for second year in a row is from the mama helen line
what i am calling hot rod helen, a small pink plum type tomato. it could

of sat another day or two to further ripen, but i was not willing to wait.
i split the little thing with my wife. this one had a sweet and very tangy flavor.
most of the hot rod helen line look pretty similar with some minor differences
in fruit set or shape.


mama helen is setting round fruit as before. one plant looks like the fruit has been
stretched just a bit. the one plant with the broadest leaves is about a foot shorter
than the rest in its line. it might be behaving like a dwarf plant. i am not sure what
is happening with this one, but will keep an eye on it.




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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #38
rxkeith
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hot rod helen line is offering up a handful of tomatoes. the taste is a bold sweet/tart
flavor. nothing subtle about it. not all plants have given ripe fruit, so not sure if
taste will be uniform with all nine plants or not. growth habit, fruit size is about the
same. all are indeterminate, but seem to lack the robustness of the parent plant
that sent out branch after branch, blossoms galore. could be weather. it has been
much drier this year than last year.


mama helen line has some variation. six plants are indeterminate. foliage is a bit

different from plant to plant. some plants have broader sword shaped leaves while
two others have narrower shaped leaves.
one off type looks like it will stay determinate in growth habit. it barely reaches
my waist.
this plant has some of the largest broad sword shaped leaves i have ever seen on
a tomato before. i don't have enough tomato genetics knowledge to explain this one.
fruit set is decent on the seven plants and approaching full size of 4 to 5 oz. this line is taking longer to ripen same as last year.


a question for you.


if plants, and fruit are similar between two or more plants at f5, is it ok to combine
seeds or should i continue to save seed separately from each plant until i am sure
there are no further surprises? sixteen bags of seed vs four or five.




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