Harvesting seeds from tomatoes

Matter921(4)August 28, 2012

I am interesting in harvesting some seeds from my tomatoes. I was just wondering whether the seeds from the plants will grow. I know hybrid plants sometimes are not fertile, and was wondering if this was the same for tomatoes. I am not sure exactly what varieties of plants I have, but I know they are not heirloom or anything. Any input would be welcome. Thanks!

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Saved and processed seeds from F1 hybrids are quite viable, not sterile, but when you sow them you won't get back the same as the original F1 hybrid you saved them from.

Only seeds from non-hybrid open pollinated (OP) varieties, when saved and grown will give the same variety as long as there's been no mutations or cross pollinations.

Carolyn

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 9:03PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

" I am not sure exactly what varieties of plants I have, but I know they are not heirloom or anything. "
Well.they are something

Why do people think the people on here are psychic ?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 1:48AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

If they are hybrid tomato varieties then all the same rules that apply to hybrid anything apply to them. The seeds are fertile but don't breed true. If you have no idea what varieties you are growing we can't provide any specific info of help to you.

But I'd have to ask why you don't know that information? The name of the variety is vital information to have if one is going to put all that time and energy into growing something be it flowers or fruit or vegetables.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 1:39PM
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Matter921(4)

Thanks for the responses! I was not sure what varieties of tomatoes I had because the seedlings were given to me by a friend. One of the tomatoes is obviously a yellow pear, and if I recall correctly the other might be a better boy. Would these tomatoes not breed true, and what does that really mean anyway? I am just starting gardening, so I am sorry if my questions are not the greatest. Any helpful advice is very welcome!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:38PM
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containerted

Yellow Pear is an old heirloom and will grow true from seeds saved. Better Boy is a Hybrid and will not grow true with saved seeds.

To breed true means that subsequent generations of the plant grown from seed saved from the current plant will be the same as the current plant. So, 5 or 10 years from now, the seeds you save each year will allow you to repeat the look and taste of that tomato with new plants grown from saved seed.

Hybrid plants are the product of a specific cross pollinization procedure that will produce a specific plant with specific qualities in the seeds saved from that cross-pollinized fruit in the next generation only (which is the one you're growing). In subsequent generations, the plant is not as stable and will give you any and sometimes all of the possibilities that can come when A is crossed with B. So the result of planting saved seed may not be (and is generally not) the one you started with.

I hope this helps.

Ted

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 6:16PM
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Matter921(4)

Thanks for the response Ted! That was very helpful!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 6:21PM
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sharonrossy

okay I have a question. What about cherry tomatoes? I have a volunteer tomato that is now quite large and full of fruit that are starting to ripen. I think it's a Sweet 100 but I can't remember because I had several cherry plants last year in that location. I know it's not a black cherry. If it is a Sweet 100, will it be stable or not?
Thanks, Sharon

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 7:25PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

The easy way to determine if a variety will breed true or not is just to Google it by name or look up its name on any tomato seed site. If it is listed as a hybrid then no, it won't breed true. Sweet 100 is a hybrid. The majority of the commonly grown cherry tomato varieties are hybrids.

And if it is a volunteer then the odds favor it also being a cross-pollinated hybrid.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 7:46PM
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sharonrossy

Well it will be interesting to see how it tastes. The fruit are a good size, so far they look larger than the sweet 100's I'm currently growing.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 10:19PM
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containerted

The only way to be sure about that cherry tomato is to grow it again. I have several "volunteers" every year because I don't clean out every fruit that drops to the ground in my garden. One that does this with great regularity is Sungold F1.

I'm quite sure that Sweet 100 is a Hybrid. As such, the variations will be quite evident. Plant 10 seedlings and you will not see 10 identical "true to type" tomato plants with "true to type" fruit on them.

If you like the original and it is a hybrid, then you'll have to buy the seed occasionally.

Ted

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 9:32AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

The fruit are a good size, so far they look larger than the sweet 100's I'm currently growing.

Then you answered your original questions - is it a Sweet 100, is it stable - right there.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 10:52AM
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