Celebrity Tomatoes - All Hybrids?

wwbdAugust 2, 2010

Hi, I've had great success growing celebrity tomatoes and would like to save some of the seeds to use again next year. I know I can't successfully save the seeds of hybrid plants though. Are all celebrity tomatoes hybrids? I know that some are, but I also thought the plants were all supposed to be labeled as such if they were. I'm looking at the little tag for my plant (bought at SoCal's local Tomatomania). The seedling was sold by "Organiks" and says it is "USDA Organic," but does that mean that it's a non-hybrid/OP?

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orrin_h(Tucson, AZ)

That means that the plant was grown with organic methods, nothing to do with the variety or hybrid/OP status.

-O-

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 1:41PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yes Celebrity is a hybrid tomato variety. No the tags don't have to say it - all depends on the grower and some assume folks know which is which by name only. But you can Google every variety by name ie: 'Celebrity tomato' and quickly find out if it is a hybrid or an open-pollinated variety.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 2:21PM
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HoosierCheroKee(IN6)

I have grown seeds from Celebrity hybrid. I have friends who buy tomatoes from Amish farmers who grow out seeds from Celebrity (and other hybrid tomatoes) on a regular basis.

The ones I have grown gave mixed results with most of the F2s showing some degree of nippled blossom ends, a characteristic which is not necessarily adverse, but can be off-putting to some market buyers. In one case, I got elongated tomatoes with nippled ends and tough skin.

The ones I've seen grown by Amish farmers down around Crofton, KY, were generally same as and in some cases better than the hybrid. When I say better, they were larger, heavier, meatier and smoother. Others were indecernible from the originals.

All you can do is try. But plan on some disappointments especially if your space is limited.

My question would be why grow "by pure chance" open pollinated Celebrity when you can get little Celebrity seedlings in 4 packs and 6 packs for as little as 25 - 30 cents per plant? Seems silly when you consider the awesome disease resistant package you get with Celebrity (same as Big Beef in that regard) and the fact that you'll NOT carry forward the same degree or extent of disease resistance in the grow-outs.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 12:44PM
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Tucson_Tomato(9)

This is a very good thread.

Can anyone recommend to me a open-pollinated determinate slicer (like Celebrity) with anywhere near the vigor? I have looked for years for anything that comes close and the only things that have even come somewhat close (in the above 105 F temperature) have been Siletz and Neptune.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 11:07AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

If CELEBRITY is your benchmark, I wonder why you are not planting the REAL THING? and looking for a look-alike?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 1:42PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

"Vigor" will be the issue. Celebrity hybrid has a lot of disease tolerance genetically built into it that no open-pollinated will have. That's the advantage of hybrids.

But there are lots of great OP varieties that are determinate slicers (Celebrity is actually a semi-determinate) and that have far better flavor than Celebrity. But then there are also many better flavored hybrids than Celebrity too IMO. Celeb was bred for market and shipping during the off-season so isn't noted for flavor.

Consider Bradley and Floradade as possibilities. The link below is to hundreds of semi-determinate varieties and Tatiana's also provides a list of all the determinates.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: TTomatobase - Semi-determinates

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:22PM
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flatwood

Jetsetter does very well for me in sw Ga. It replaced the celebrity and might work for you!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 5:13PM
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Tucson_Tomato(9)

Dear Dave and everyone else,

Thanks for the suggestions so far.

Okay. Bradley and Floradade both sound good so far. Jetsetter would not work because I am looking for an open-pollinated variety.

Seysonn - I am looking for an open-pollinated variety on matter of principle. Everything else I grow is open-pollinated and produces very well. I do not understand how an self-pollinated vegetable that has so many open-pollinated cultivars could not have one that produces a decent crop in my climate.

I know that many of you probably scoff at the taste of Celebrity but I would rather produce 100 sandwich-sized tomatoes on 6 Celebrity plants than 6 little tomatoes on over a dozen plants (from years of experience). This is about tomatoes from a garden versus tomatoes from the grocery store. Many Tucson gardeners rave about fruit production when they get 2-5 small tomatoes on a plant over the entire season. I am not looking for the exact amount of production as a Celebrity tomato plant but half the production would be acceptable!

Though I would prefer not to have to replant again and again, a Determinate that produces a lot and dies is 100 times better than an indeterminate that grows really well but never produces - even later in the season when the temps go down. Determinates and semideterminates tend to have an advantage with vigor and fruit production, when under the stress of heat. Why this is I do not know - this has just been my experience.

If I could find an open-pollinated semi-determinate that produces well in my climate I would be ecstatic. One I am trying this year is Legend (yes I have read up about the taste!)

Keep the suggestions coming!

Thanks!
-Jay

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 1:09AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Everything else I grow is open-pollinated and produces very well.

Jay - curiosity - by "everything else" I assume you mean tomatoes? If so what other varieties are you growing that do well in your climate?

Reason I ask is climate, not variety, is your biggest handicap to overcome given the nature of tomato pollen and climate can be 'adjusted' somewhat.

Dave

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:30AM
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Tucson_Tomato(9)

Dear Dave,

When I say 'everything else' I mean I have found other vegetables that are open-pollinated - such as cucumbers, beans, lettuce, etc. that produce (and taste) good in my climate (often better than their hybrid counterparts). I just have not found any open-pollinated tomatoes that produce a decent amount of slicing tomatoes.

You are right in saying that climate is my biggest handicap. Some hot climates that do not experience freezes over the winter can grow tomatoes over the winter but those of us that have very hot summers (105F + day and 80+ at night) yet still experience freezing temps in the winter are often stuck with tomato plants that produce very little - if anything or with growing a few hybrid varieties.

What I do to adjust for the climate is the following:
1. I plant my tomatoes in a lowered garden (lower does equate to slightly cooler)
2. I grow tall shading plants on the West side (the sun is hottest and causes the most problems for tomatoes in the later afternoon).
3. I plant my tomatoes far from walls or other sources of radiant heat.
4. I water every 2-3 days with a soaker hose for 2 hours to encourage deep root growth (When I used to water every day I would have lots of disease and very few tomatoes).
5. I provide my plants with non-water soluble nutrients early in the season (near the plant) so that fertilizing does not occur during the greatest period of heat.
6. I provide a 2 foot deep bed that is full of rich organic material.
I am sure I could do something else, but this is all I can think of for now.

I believe the kind of tomato cultivar I am looking for most can be called vigorous determinate (something small with a lot of dense foliage) that can produce tomatoes in the heat. Though my Siletz plants seemed to fit everything I am looking for (including production), the fruit exhibited a lot of BER - just like some of dwarf varieties I have trialed. As there is plenty of calcium in my soil I attribute the BER to some factor related to the root system of particular cultivars. A friend of mine that grew Siletz in a much cooler climate also had problems with BER only on the Siletz.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:56AM
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