My Hybridizing Attempt with Tomatoes
It could all come to nothing but I think I learned that I can do it!
Here is what I attempted: crossing Kimberley with Buisson. These two are fairly similar in that they are small tomatoes on fairly small plants. Fruit shape is quite different. So are the leaves. And, they are both early varieties!
I was late. Perplexed that the blossoms are so small, and my digits are so big & clumsy, I waited until the very last moment. I might even have waited beyond the very last moment. The largest of the fruits on the Kimberley mother plant are about half the size as a ripe Kimberley . . .
See, according to the instructions, I was supposed to remove the petals and stamens from the mother plant's flowers. The flowers were supposed to be "closed" - in an immature state. Then, I was supposed to return and move pollen from the other plant. Looking at the immature flowers, it didn't seem possible for me to remove the closed-up petals and stamens. But, I think I did it!
The 2nd problem I ran into was finding male flowers with their pollen. Quickly after opening, they don't seem to have much pollen! So, I needed a very "fresh" flower. You can actually tap the flower and see the pollen come out of it.
These plants were in pots and, certainly, not growing to their full potential. I wanted to include Bloody Butcher in this effort but it got off to a "too early" start. I guess I should have just cut off all of those early flowers and made it wait for Buisson to mature. Instead, it loaded up with fruit. Flowers showed up the rest of the season but I never found a fresh flower on Bloody Butcher at the same time as Buisson!
Well, there was the Buisson plant and there was 1, count 'em, Buisson flower at the same time as I had 6 Kimberley flowers to work with. Hopefully, there was enough pollen to pollinate all 6 flowers. I also pulled some older flowers and "tried" to tap some pollen out of them. It wasn't much!
There is a reason I chose Kimberley as a mother plant. It is a potato-leaf plant. Buisson has regular leaves. Regular leaves are dominant so if the crossing worked - the seedlings will all have regular leaves. If those Kimberley seeds grow into potato-leaf plants . . . the darn flowers pollinated themselves and I failed!!
Now, my problem is to get those Kimberley fruits to mature so I can get some seeds from them!
Steve (having fun ;o)