First Ripe Tomatoes of 2018 – and Curly Top Virus Is Back with a Vengeance

Dozens of tomatoes have been full-sized but green on the vine for three weeks or more.  Finally, the first ripe tomatoes of the 2018 growing season ripened and were picked this past week.  With ambitions to save seeds from nearly 600 varieties, I have been anxious to get an early start on seed saving.

These are the first varieties to produce ripe fruits:

Totushka (Тётушка, from Russia ) – a compact, dwarf determinate variety.  The plant in a grow bag produced a ripe tomato two days earlier than the plant in the garden; but the plant in the garden was much more productive.  Days to maturity was 48 from transplant, 102 from seed.

Bison – among the “extra early” varieties started from seed on March 15th.  Shortly after planting, the seedling suffered from severe drought stress (watering was missed somehow) which seemed to force it into early blossom formation (just a hypothesis).  Photos below taken on May 30th and July 13th.  DTM: 58/120.

Red Alert – a very early, determinate variety.  As with Totushka, the vine planted in the main garden was significantly more productive than the vine planted in a grow bag.  DTM: 50/122

 

Utyonok (Утёнок, from Russia) – A dwarf determinate variety that, like Totushka, produces almost all fruit with few leaves.  This is my third year growing Utyonok, and as previously, this has been one of the first to ripen. This year, the plant was one that struggled from the start and I was surprised that it survived to bear fruit.  DTM: 48/121.

 

Maddeline’s Vine Candy – A small, orange cherry tomato; history and details are described on the website:

https://www.delectationoftomatoes.com/store/p1478/Maddeline%27s_Vine_Candy.html

DTM: 48/108, picture from last year.

Koralik – a variety from Poland, translates to “Bead”; small, red cherry tomatoes, extra early; DTM 43/94.  Grown by my cousin in Arizona from seedlings I raised, so no pictures; my Koralik seedling nearly died from heavy browsing by goats and is still in recovery mode.

Babushkino – From Russia, Бабушкино translates to “Grandma’s”, very tasty, small round red; DTM 63/105

Americke Pyramidni – Perhaps not true to type, need to research; DTM 61/105

Appetitnyi – From Russia, Аппетитный translates to “Appetizing”, and is indeed quite tasty, with a distinctive, lively flavor; DTM 61/101

Emerald – Offtype, red fruits; will see if it’s worth saving; DTM 61/101

Sungella – Beautiful and delicious little orange tomatoes; DTM 60/100

Black Cherry – Fabulous flavor, picture from 2017; DTM 51/120

De Barao Chorniy (from Russia, Де барао чёрный translates to “Black from De Barao); DTM 63/105.

Ditmarsher – Quite a distinctive growth form, sprawling along the ground with almost no seeds; would be excellent for planter boxes; picture of loaded plant is from 2016; DTM 61/101 (43/94 for my cousin in Arizona)

Now for an update on the dreaded Curly Top Virus.

I should know better than to take a chance with not completely covering seedlings with row cover fabric – see lessons learned in 2014 and 2016:

https://delectationoftomatoes.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/curly-top-virus-beet-leafhopper-and-tomato-plant-destruction/

On June 15th this year, I removed two plants which were obviously dying from CTV, Drug (Dzhan) and Polesskiy Gigant Tarasenko:

I was hopeful that this would be the end of CTV this season – alas, it was just the beginning.  Two weeks later the count was at 45; then 71 a week after that; then this past week, I quit counting at 90 seedlings dying – so discouraging.  Even a Big Rainbow vine – part of the giant tomato project in the high tunnel – succumbed to CTV.  A once vigorous plant, nearly 18″ tall, replaced here with a very-late-to-germinate Mammoth Cretan seedling:

Someone claimed a special formulation of Chitosan will cure and/or prevent virtually every known disease or physiological problem with tomatoes, including viruses.  As a trained scientist, I am very skeptical about grandiose claims (skeptic = “show me the evidence”), but I remain curious enough to give it a try – you just never know when someone might stumble upon a cure for CTV.  So we sprayed seven infected plants with the formulation.

Not a hint of any positive effect as far as reversing or curing the disease.  This is just anecdotal evidence, of course.   Anybody out there willing to try this or any other claimed CTV in a large-scale, rigorous field study with large sample sizes, appropriate controls, etc.?  Hypothesis: Chitosan protects tomato vines from developing Curly Top Virus disease, even after infection.  If only I still worked for a research university and had financial support to investigate such questions…  My solution is to go ahead and invest several hundred dollars for row cover fabric and the means to keep the vines covered at least until late July.

Update on megablooms and developing fruits – please see revision to my previous post on this subject:

https://delectationoftomatoes.wordpress.com/2018/06/20/inducing-tomato-vines-to-produce-megablooms/

Non-tomato stuff –

I am trying to grow giant pumpkins this year, with two vines growing and taking over the garden.  I am unable to keep up with burying vines or with protecting the growing tips from intense heat, with many days over 95°F the past couple of weeks.  But I have pollinated about 6 pumpkins and am trying to decide which to keep and which to cull; this was the first to pollinate on June 30, but it will be a cull:

I am growing some tall sunflowers and some gourds (long and dipper).  Here’s what the structure looks like:

The parent of these was 170.5″ tall (see:

http://www.utahpumpkingrowers.com/2017/photos/HHF/170.5-f.jpg

I am hoping to exceed that!  I am also growing large-headed sunflowers.

Following are a couple of pictures of my favorite Cauliflower variety, Purple of Sicily, taken two days apart.  Hopefully I will be able to harvest seeds from it this year.  I will cover the head with fabric to prevent cross-pollination with other Brassicus varieties, though I realize that most varieties in this group are largely self-infertile.  We shall see.

Just something “cute” – White Scallop squash, aka White Pattypan, conjoined twins:

And I have plenty of interest but not a lot of time for flower seeds, such as bleeding heart:

So many more…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Inducing Tomato Vines to Produce Megablooms

I wish I had a complete answer to this major issue for all competitive growers of giant tomatoes!  There are a number of other resources which address this issue, with insights from very experienced, elite growers.  Perhaps the best resource on the Internet for ideas for growing giant tomatoes:

http://www.bigpumpkins.com/msgboard/ViewBoard.asp?b=33

With that introduction, here are some anecdotes from my experience.  The year 2014 was my best year, with a 4.670 lb. Big Zac still holding the Utah state record.  I’m trying to duplicate the conditions of that year, but I don’t have the very rich compost pile available to me, which was loaded with red wriggler worms.  Anyhow, here is what seems to be working

  • Start with seeds from proven lineages – parent fruit documented to produce megablooms and large fruit
  • Good soil prep – around here (dense, alkaline clay as native soil) this means peat moss, compost (including lots of spent mushroom compost this year), slow release fertilizer, kelp meal, trace minerals, mycorrhizal fungal spores
  • A high tunnel to warm soil and get seedlings off to a vigorous, rapid start
  • Fish emulsion (two doses so far) or some other formulation to jump start growth
  • Vibrating toothbrush or other means to fully pollinate flowers – megablooms can be a real challenge to get fully pollinated.

If you know of any useful additions to this list, especially details about brand names and dose rates of products, please do let me know:  dale@gianttomatoseeds.com

So we’ve had a few days of “tomato-like” weather, with highs in the 75-85° F range.  This is uncommon in this climate of the high desert.  Typically, high temperatures in late Spring around here skip the 80’s and go straight into the 90’s and 100’s.  It’s too early to tell if this spell of good weather will result in HUGE tomatoes in a couple of months, as none of these megablooms have set fruit yet.

Below is a video overview of the giant tomato project as of 6-20-2018, followed by closeup pictures of individual megablooms – well, “megabuds” anyhow, as most of have not even begun to open yet.

So here is a countdown of the “Top 10” megablooms as of June 20th. [Followed by updates on July 16th]

10.  Gold Medal – 3X (estimating that three ovaries are fused into one blossom – really hard to tell for sure without dissection under a microscope – and I ain’t doin’ dat!)

Update July 16th – fruit growing, but not fast:

9.  KY Cygni – 3X

Update July 16th – blossom aborted, as did most others, despite repeated efforts at pollinating with an electric toothbrush.  Either it got too hot, or the flower thrips are eating all the pollen before pollination can occur.

8.  Westerlund – 3X

Update July 16th – blossom aborted

7.  Bigzarro – 4X

Update July 16th – This one took!  And is looking very much like its parent, but is not growing very fast –

See extensive documentation of parent fruit at:

https://delectationoftomatoes.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/how-big-will-that-tomato-get/

6.  Megamutt (5.24 Borgers 2017) – 4X

Update July 16th – Fruit set, but growing very slowly:

5.  Tamara – 4X and the most hefty of all

Update July 16th – Growing, albeit slowly:

4.  Michael’s Portuguese Monster – 5X

Update July 16th – blossom aborted

3.  Big Zac (2.41 Ritchie 2016) – 5X

Update July 16th – This one also took, but apparently did not pollinate well:

2.  Nesravnennyi – 6X, 20+ sepals

Update July 16th – blossom aborted

And (drumroll), my number 1 most promising blossom, the one most likely to push me over that elusive 5-pound barrier – at least at this very early point in the season –

1.Domingo (3.420 DT 2017) – 6X, 22+ sepals

Update July 16th – blossom is still alive; if there was any pollination, it was minimal.  There is little hope of getting anything significant out of this:

It will be a real challenge to get these pollinated, as 98° is predicted just 4 days out – about the time most of these will be opening.  Time for the shade cloth again!

More to come…

Update 6-25

Honorable mention is a possible 10X on a variety from Russia simply labeled, “Ruttgers”.  This is clearly NOT the same as “Rutgers”, a common, little, old commercial variety.  It could be that it is named after someone with the surname Rüttgers? Research needed…

Anyhow, this very impressive megabloom is apparently splitting into at least three separate sections or lobes. Sewing the sections back together before or after fruit set maybe will not work. Um, maybe I won’t even try such a stitching trick, not yet…

Here is a picture of the parent fruit of this Ruttgers plant from 2015 – grown in the open field under poor, very weedy conditions with no pruning or special care, reaching 2.370 lb. – perhaps some potential here!?

 

Update July 16th –

Recent pictures loaded and commented on above.  Pollination has been very disappointing.  I’ve attempted pollinating with a battery-powered vibrating toothbrush as many as 20 times on these blossoms, to no or little avail.  It has just been too hot.  I’ve scarcely observed even a grain of pollen.

Following are pictures of a couple of random megablooms out in the main tomato patch.

Giant Monster –

Alice’s Dream –

In the high tunnel, a 2X megabloom from Sibirskiy Velikan Rozovyi, which did not make the original “Top 10” list above, has set fruit:

Among the 25 vines in the later planting in the high tunnel, only one has developed a promising looking megabloom so far, Big Zac (3.29 Borgers 2017); but unfortunately, this one too seems to be aborting:

 

 

Planting Completed for 2018 Growing Season

As of June 15th, planting is completed for the 2018 growing season.  This includes a late-late planting of 40 tomato varieties for those that did not germinate or that were destroyed by goats.

Oh yes, let’s not forget those goats::

Goats and gardens really don’t mix.  Why were the goats getting out, again and again?  “You give power to what you blame”.  Moving along…

Anyhow, here is what the main tomato patch looks like after installation of T-posts and drip irrigation:

 

Final Tally for tomatoes:  591 varieties from which I plan and hope to be able to save seeds this year for sharing with other growers.  I hope they start ripening extra early this year, as this is a massive undertaking and it would be really good if I could finish the task before Thanksgiving.

Here are a few varieties with earliest blossoms and fruit set:

Bison
Stupice
Ditmarsher
Dwarf Arctic Rose
Maralinga
Dwarf Franklin County
Dwarf Shadow Boxing
Totuska ( Тётушка )
Utyonok
Fourth of July (OP)
Red Alert

Bison, first blossoms on about May 12th, 58 days from sowing; fruit golf ball sized by June 15th:

Dwarf Arctic Rose, first blossoms open on June 3rd, 63 days from sowing; fruit as of June 17th:

At least 40 other varieties have set fruit – hoping temps will stay under 95 for a couple more weeks at least so that blossoms will set fruit and I can start saving seeds before September!

Giant Tomato Project Update:

The three most impressive megablooms (still in development as of June 17th) are on these varieties:

Tamara

Michael’s Portuguese Monster

Pumpkin

And Gold Medal.  Plus there are megablooms forming on at least 20 varieties in the main tomato patch.  Here is a reminder of what the parent of Tamara produced in 2017, forming from perhaps the most impressive megabloom (8X) of that season, out in the open tomato patch with no special care, yet growing to 1.964 lb.:

And some other interesting items –

North Pole Lettuce, three plants survived the winter:

Even after severe damage from goats I may be overly optimistic about this growing season.  Here is the first plant to bite the dust from Curly Top Virus, Polesskiy Gigant Tarasenko:

Should have a good crop of fresh chive seeds this year:

An attractive and tasty variety of lettuce, Flashy Speckled Trout:

Kale is producing well, Red Russian:

An interesting variety of cushaw squash, named Moapa Squash, seeds obtained in person at the 2018 Utah Farm Conference from Quail Hollow Farm:

Microdwarf tomato seedlings are growing very slowly, but at least they are alive and look healthy:

Grzduja plants are getting stressed in this shallow pot.  I ought to transplant them out into the main garden, now that they are likely mature enough to survive attacks from snails and grasshoppers:

Very tasty Amish Snap peas produced the first ripe peas 68 days from seed, nearly two weeks earlier than five other varieties:

Chickens have done their share of damage as well, even in the high tunnel.  At least this one seedling in the giant tomato project may not survive:

And some aesthetically pleasing sex organs of plants – flowers that is –

Dianthus:

Larkspur, some of these well over 6′ tall:

 

 

 

 

 

Giant Tomato Project 2018

Fifty giant tomato seedlings were transplanted into the high tunnel late evening (planted by moonlight) of May 28, 2018:

Giant Tomato Vines in the Ground!

Here’s a quick look at them the next morning:

List of seedlings/competitors follow.

Along the north row, these first 25 (and the first three in the south row) were planted from seed on April 24th, so transplanted 34 days from sowing:

1. Behemoth King (2.491 Shlomin 2014)
2. Big Rainbow (1.888 LBH 2011)
3. Big Zac (1.246 DT 2016 (7.10 Foss 2014))
4. Big Zac (2.41 Ritchie 2016)
5. Big Zac (5.42 Strickler 2017)
6. Bigzarro (3.754 DT 2014)
7. Bulgarische Rosa Riese
8. Domingo (3.420 DT 2017)
9. Giant Heart Climber (Victory)
10. Gildo Pietroboni
11. Gold Medal (1.310 DT 2012)
12. KY Cygni (2.28 DT 2017)
13. Michael’s Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012)
14. Nesravnenniy (1.894 DT 2017)
15. Peter Glazebrook’s Special (0.972 DT 2015)
16. Polish Giant (Goldman 2012)
17. Rhode Island Giant (2.006 DT 2014)
18. Ruttgers (2.370 DT 2015)
19. RW Cephei (3.376 DT 2017)
20. Sainte Lucie (2.150 DT 2017)
21. Serdtse Ameriki (1.924 DT 2014)
22. Sibirskiy Velikan Rozovy (2.066 DT 2014)
23. Tadzhikskiye (1.728 DT 2017)
24. Tamara (1.964 DT 2017)
25. Westerlund (3.698 DT 2015)

Along the south row, numbers 4-25 were planted from seed on May 8th, so transplanted 20 days from sowing:

1. Yaponiya (2.264 DT 2017)
2. Diamante (3.44 Oppedisano 2017)
3. Domingo (4.75 Marley 2014)
4. Big Zac (4.05 Borgers 2017) (5.75 Timm X Open < 6.22 Bryson 2015)
5. Big Zac (3.19 Borgers 2017) (8.36 Boudyo X self)
6. Big Zac (3.19 Borgers 2017) (8.36 Boudyo X self)
7. Big Zac (0.87 Borgers 2017) (Clone of 8.61 Sutherlund)
8. Big Zac (0.87 Borgers 2017) (Clone of 8.61 Sutherlund)
9. Big Zac (3.27 Borgers 2017) (7.18 Harp 2009 X open)
10. Big Zac (3.97 Borgers 2017) (7.05 Porkchop X open)
11. Big Zac (3.30 Borgers 2017) (7.10 Foss X open)
12. Big Zac (4.01 Borgers 2017) (6.83 Boudyo X open)
13. Big Zac (4.01 Borgers 2017) (6.83 Boudyo X open)
14. Big Zac (4.38 Borgers 2017) (6.79 Sutherland X Open)
15. Big Zac (4.38 Borgers 2017) (6.79 Sutherland X Open)
16. Big Zac (3.29 Borgers 2017) (LaRue X open)
17. Big Zac (3.48 Borgers 2017) (4.57 MacCoy X Open)
18. Big Zac (3.71 Borgers 2017) (6.15 Ansems X self)
19. Delicious (3.78 Borgers 2017) (7.33 Hunt 2010 X open)
20. Delicious (3.96 Borgers 2017) (6.83 Fulk X open)
21. Megamutt (5.24 Borgers 2017) (Megamutt (D))
22. Megazac (2.34 Borgers 2017) (6.13 Konieczny X open)
23. Megazac (2.34 Borgers 2017) (6.13 Konieczny X open)
24. Wixom Slammer (3.02 Borgers 2017) (3.77 Borgers X open)
25. Wixom Slammer (3.02 Borgers 2017) (3.77 Borgers X open)

Experienced giant tomato growers will notice several varieties that have not ever been recorded at bigpumpkins.com as producing giants.  Well, these have shown some promise in the open field, so I’m putting them up against some tried and proven lines to see how they perform.  Hopefully we’ll discover some fresh DNA for the world of competitive giant tomato growing!

A special thanks is obviously in order to Bob Borgers (bnot on bigpumpkins.com) who provided a huge portion of seeds from top-of-the-line genetics for this project!!  Disappointed, however, that none of the seeds germinated from the 8.22 lb. Domingo.

Anyhow, in the planting holes went all kinds of good stuff:

In addition to products shown here, about 1.5 cubic yards of spent mushroom compost was incorporated into the soil, along with Azomite (source of trace minerals), Redmond sea salt, Sustane 4-6-4 (slow release organic fertilizer) and bone meal.  I plan to start applications of liquid nutrients tomorrow.

Goal: to exceed 5 POUNDS with at least one tomato this year.

Ok, on to the 2018 Dwarf Tomato Project!

Following is a list of 71 dwarf varieties I am growing in 2018 – note that for a few of these I have seeds available (see  https://www.delectationoftomatoes.com/store/c10/Dwarf.html ); hopefully by November, seeds of all of these will be available:

Adelaide Festival
Auria
Banksia Queen
Barossa Fest
Big Green Dwarf
Boronia
BrandyFred
Bundaberg Rumball
Chocolate Champion
Chocolate Lightning
Demidev
Dwarf Arctic Rose
Dwarf Barossa Moon
Dwarf Beauty King
Dwarf Bendigo Dawn
Dwarf Black Angus
Dwarf Blazing Beauty
Dwarf Caitydid
Dwarf Confetti
Dwarf Crimson Sockeye
Dwarf Firebird Sweet
Dwarf Franklin County
Dwarf Golden Gypsy
Dwarf Golden Heart
Dwarf Kelly Green
Dwarf Lemon Ice
Dwarf Mahogany
Dwarf Mandurang Moon
Dwarf Mr. Snow
Dwarf Orange Cream
Dwarf Pink Opal
Dwarf Pink Passion
Dwarf Purple Heart
Dwarf Sarah’s Red
Dwarf Sarah’s Red (2nd tag D Saucy Mary)
Dwarf Saucy Mary
Dwarf Scarlet Heart
Dwarf Shadow Boxing
Dwarf Shadow Boxing (NOT dwarf)
Dwarf Sneaky Sauce
Dwarf Velvet Night
Dwarf Wild Spudleaf
Fred’s Tie Dye
Husky Pink
Kangaroo Paw Brown
Kangaroo Paw Green
Kangaroo Paw Yellow
Kookaburra Cackle
Loxton Lad Dwarf
Loxton Lass Dwarf
Lucky Swirl
Mallee Rose
Maralinga Dwarf
Nevskiy
New Big Dwarf
Pertsevidnyi Polosatyi
Red Alert
Rosella Crimson
Sosulka Krasnaya
Summer Sweet Gold
Summertime Green
Sweet Adelaide
Sweet Scarlet Dwarf
Tanunda Red
Tasmanian Chocolate
TastyWine
Totushka
Uluru Ochre
Waratah Dwarf
Wherokowhai
Willa’s Cariboo Rose

I am doing a paired experiment: one seedling of each dwarf variety in garden soil, and its matched pair in a 7-gallon grow bag with a potting mix that I concocted.

For completeness, here is a list of another 35 dwarf (including dwarf determinate) varieties which I am not growing this year but have seeds in stock to share with other growers:

Al-Kuffa
Beryl Beauty
Big Dwarf
Boloto
Dwarf Emerald Giant
Dwarf Golden Champ
Dwarf Jade Beauty
Dwarf Red Heart
Dwarf Russian Swirl
Dwarf Shadow Boxing
Dwarf Stone
Dwarf Sweet Sue
Dwarf Wild Fred
Husky Red
Iditarod Red
Krainiy Sever
Large Lucky Red
Lime Green Salad
Nano
Orange Pixie
Perfekta
Perth Pride
Polish Dwarf
Purple Reign
Qiyanai-Huang
Rosella Purple
Sean’s Yellow Dwarf
Shamrock
Sleeping Lady
Snow Fairy
Summer Sunrise
Summertime Gold
Tennessee Suited
Utyonok
Yukon Quest

And now for Micro-dwarfs!

I already have seeds of:

Red Robin
Venus

And this year I am growing out these additional 16 varieties to trial and for seeds:

Andrina
Aztek
Baby
Birdie Rouge
Florida Petite
Gold Pearl
Jochalos
Micro Tom
Minibel
Mohamed
Orange Hat
Pinocchio
Pinocchio Red
Rainbow Dwarf
Rejina Red
Rejina Yellow
Tigrette
Yellow Canary
Yellow

Now for the main tomato project – you don’t really want me to list all of these do you?  At last count, 497 ADDITIONAL varieties, so 497 + 50 (giant tomato project – many are lineages, not unique varieties) + 71 (dwarf) + 16 (micro-dwarf) =

634 tomato varieties

That I am planning on saving seeds from this year.  There are at least an additional 40 varieties that I have not even planted from seed yet – replacements of varieties already lost this year, etc.

And this doesn’t even count peppers, melons, beans, squash, herbs, etc. Perhaps and additional 100 varieties?  I still have not finest extracting and processing seeds from the 2017 season…

Here are a couple of helpers discovered in the high tunnel:

And a few other interesting plants –

Grzduja (a salad green from an island off the coast of Dalmatia)

Japanese Giant Red Mustard

Red Russian Kale

North Pole Lettuce

Yup, been busy.  And short on sleep.  Not short on ambition or ideas!

 

Transition from Sowing to Planting

According to records, I have sown about 8,281 seeds indoors in plug trays so far this year.  Although there are some loose ends to tie up (replantings of varieties which did not emerge or which died), this planting phase is essentially complete.

Um, if it’s not obvious, this is a very tedious process, yet enjoyable as I imagine all the great tomatoes, peppers, etc. that will result from this effort.  Each tray takes about 5 hours from preparation, to hunting up seeds, planting, and keeping careful records.

About 150 “1801” trays were filled with 3-1/2″ pots potting mix (all organic, OMRI listed products – see previous blog posts for details).

Many days of potting up work, but now 95% completed:

I got some great and much-appreciated help from several young people and relatives with this huge job of potting up!  Here’s the high tunnel about a week ago – shade cloth essential for freshly potted up seedlings:

And here it is on April 30th:

 

Short video of this:

 

And here is probably my last batch of Venus tomatoes for seed saving – I’ve turned the kids loose to eat the rest of the fruits – yummy tomatoes in April!

Here is an interesting novelty I’m trying out this year, a salad green from Dalmatia called Grzduja, perhaps Bunias erucago, or Crested Warty Cabbage.  I received five seeds in a seed trade in 2013 and finally got around to planting them.  So far, they are not liking the cool weather, but the three plants that did emerge are surviving:

Following is a breakdown of what I’ve planted (some of this duplicated in previous blog post).

Peppers, 70 varieties

Aleppo
Anaheim
Aribibi
Bahamian Goat
Bhut Jolokia, Chocolate
Big Bertha
Bleeding Borg 9
Blushing Beauty
Bonda Mas Jacques
Burgundy 7 Pod
Caramel Moruga
Carmagnola
Carmen Sweet
Carolina Reaper
Carpatia
Charapita
Chocolate Borg 9
Chocolate Brainstrain
Chocolate Habanero
Chocolate Naga X Brain
Congo Trinidad
Corno di Toro Giallo
Corno di Toro Rosso
Doe Hill
Duke Italian
Fatalii, Red
Fresno
Full Moon Orange Thai
Genghis Khan Brain
Giallo d’Asti
Giant Aconcagua
Golden California Wonder
Golden Treasure
Gypsy
Habanero
Habanero, Red
Italian Pepperoncini
Jalapeño, Traveler’s Strain
Jay’s Peach Ghost Scorpion
Joe’s Big Blocky
Le Rouge Royal
Lesya Necsi
Lipstick
Margaret’s
Mini Chimes Orange
Mini Sweet Orange, Store
Mini Sweet Red, Store
Naga Morich
Nano Cortona
NuMex Big Jim
Oda
Paper Lantern
Paradiscom Alaku Sarga Szentes
Pinga de Mono
Purple Beauty
Red Douglah
Roberto’s Cuban Seasoning
Rocoto Red
Satsuma
Senise
Spanish Spice
Striped Holland
Super Heavyweight
Tabasco Annco BGft
Taknotsume
Tango
Trinidad Chocolate Scorpion
Trinidad Scorpion
White 7 Pod
Yellow Brain Strain

Eggplant, 9 varieties:

Antigua
ARAP
Brazilian Oval Orange
Casper
Diamond
Mestisa
Orient Charm
Orient Express
Ping Tung

Other types and varieties, 64 (not listing)

And last, but far from least: tomatoes, 623 varieties (including crosses, unnamed, etc.):

3945
0-33
646_
Abakanskyi
Abraham Lincoln
Abrika Zebra
Absinthe
Adelaide Festival
Agatha
Alen’kiy Tsvetochek
Alex Popovich Yugoslavian
Alice’s Egypt
Alona Lyuks
Altaiskiy Oranzhevyi
Altayskiy Gigant
Altayskiy Shedevr
Amana Orange
Amarillo de Benlloch
Amazon Chocolate
Americke Pyramidni
Amish Bicolor
Ananas Noire
Andrew Rahart’s Jumbo Red
Andy Buckflat’s Wonder
Anna Meyer
Anna Russian
Appetitnyi
Arad’s Pink Heart
Argentine Paste
Aunt Gerties Gold
Aunt Swarlo’s Polish Plum
Auria
Avstraliyets
Azoychka
Babushkino
Babushkino Bych’ye Serdtse X Zolotyie Kupola
Bangladesh Heart
Banksia Queen
Barlow Jap
Barossa Fest
Basinga
Basrawya
Batyanya
Behemoth King
Belgian Heart
Berkeley Tie-dye Heart
Bezrazmerniy
Big Cheef Pink Potato Leaf
Big Green Dwarf
Big Hill
Big Orange Stripe
Big Rainbow
Big Zac
Bigzarro
Birma
Bison
Blaby Special
Black Beauty
Black Cherry
Black From Tula
Black Krim
Black Mountain Pink
Blackberry
Bloody Butcher
Blue Ridge Black
Blue Ridge Mountain
Bob’s Boomtown Titty
Bochkovoy Minusinskyi
Bogatyr’ Minusinskiy
Bolgarskiy Gigant
Boloto
Bol’shaya Malina
Boondocks
Boronia
Brad’s Black Heart
Brandy Boy
BrandyFred
Brandywine from Croatia, PL
Brandywine Red X Purple Russian
Brandywine, Black
Brandywine, Cowlick’s
Brandywine, Liam’s
Brandywine, OTV
Brandywine, Texas
Brazilian Beauty
Brazil’skiy Velikan
Brutus
Brutus Magnum
Budonovka Starinnaya
Bulgarian Heart
Bulgarian Rose
Bulgarian Triumph
Bulgarische Rosa Riese
Bundaberg Rumball
Bych’ye Serdtse Oranzhevoye Ostroye
Bych’ye Serdtse Rozovoye Ostroye
Byler’s Red Oxheart
Campbell 135
Canestrino Di Lucca
Carbon
Carbon
Casino
Cero Blackburn
Chapman
Charlie Chaplin
Chaynaya Roza
Cherniy Slon
Cherokee Purple
Chesapeake
Chilo della Garfagnana
Chocolate Champion
Chocolate Cherry
Chocolate Lightning
Chudo Zemli Uluchshennoe
Churra Plum
Clear Lake Heirloom
Coeur de Surpriz
Copia
Copper River
Couer de Bob
Cousin Frank’s
Creole
Cuore del Drago
Cuore di Toro
Dachtyla Mynoa
Dactyla Mynoa
Damascus Steel
Dancing with Smurfs
Daniel Burson
De Barao Chorniy
De Barao Rozoviy
De Barao Tsarskyi Krasnyi Ukrainskyi
Delishes
Delishes Krasniy
Demidev
Diamante
Dice’s Black Mystery
Ditmarsher
Dixie Golden Giant
Domingo
Dr. Lyle
Dr. Wyche’s Yellow
Drug (Dzhan)
Dvorska
Dwarf Arctic Rose
Dwarf Barossa Moon
Dwarf Beauty King
Dwarf Bendigo Dawn
Dwarf Black Angus
Dwarf Blazing Beauty
Dwarf Caitydid
Dwarf Confetti
Dwarf Crimson Sockeye
Dwarf Firebird Sweet
Dwarf Franklin County
Dwarf Golden Gypsy
Dwarf Golden Heart
Dwarf Kelly Green
Dwarf Lemon Ice
Dwarf Mahogany
Dwarf Mandurang Moon
Dwarf Mr. Snow
Dwarf Orange Cream
Dwarf Pink Opal
Dwarf Pink Passion
Dwarf Purple Heart
Dwarf Russian Swirl
Dwarf Sarah’s Red
Dwarf Saucy Mary
Dwarf Scarlet Heart
Dwarf Shadow Boxing
Dwarf Sneaky Sauce
Dwarf Velvet Night
Dwarf Wild Spudleaf
Dyvo
Dyvo bicolor
Earl’s Faux
Early Chatham
Elbe
Elfie
Emerald
Emerald Evergreen
Erdie’s Family Oxheart
Esquena Verd
Everett’s Rusy Oxheart
Faelen’s First Snow
Fidelio
Fioletoviy
Flathead Monster Orange
Fleur de Reagir
Forest Fire
Fourth of July
Frantsuzskiy Gigant
Fred’s Tie Dye
Fred’s Tie Dye
Gavayskyi
Germanskiy Polosatiy
Gerodes
Gertsegovina
Gezahnte Buhrer-Keel
Giant Heart Climber
Giant Italian Paste
Giant Oxheart
Gibrid 4 Tarasenko
Gibrid 7 Tarasenko
Gigant Kuby
Gigant Limonnyi
Gigante Castilla
Gigantskiy Grebeshok
Gildo Pietroboni
Girl Girl’s Weird Thing
Glacier
Gold Medal
Golden King of Siberia
Golden Monarch
Golden Queen, USDA strain
Golden Treasure
Goluboy Les
Gopak
Gordost Sibiri
Gorgeous
Goryashchiye Ogni
Govyadina S Kusta
Grase de Calina
Green Doctors Frosted
Grosse d’Eaude
Grub’s Mystery Green
Grub’s Mystery Green
Grushovka
Guernsey Island Pink Blush
Habanero
Hamilton’s Gold
Happy
Hawaiian Pineapple
Hege German Pink X Claude Brown’s Yellow Giant
Hege German Pink X Grandfather Ashlock
Hendershott
Hercegovac
Hihant Lymonniy
Hillbilly
Homestead 24-F
Hooker’s Huge
Hoy
Humph
Hungarian Giant
Husky Pink
Idyll
Imperator Chu Fu
Indian Stripe
Iranskoye Chudo
Isis Brandy
Ispanskaya Roza
Ispanskiy Gigant
Ispolin
Istra
Ital’yanskaya Grusha
Iva’s Red Berry
JD’s Special C-Tex
Jeff Davis
Jefferson Giant
Jenkins Creek
Joe’s Pink Oxheart
Joe’s Plum
Julia Child
June Pink
Jung’s Giant Oxheart
Jutland
Kangaroo Paw Brown
Kangaroo Paw Green
Kangaroo Paw Yellow
Kardinal Mazarini
Kardio
Kavkazskyi Velikan
Kazakhstanskiy Rozoviy
Kazan
KBX
Kenigsberg Serdtsevidniy
Khokhol Gigant
Kickapoo Creek
King Pineapple
Kookaburra Cackle
Koralik
Korol King II
Korol’ Londona
Korolevskaya Mantiya
Korshun Ogromniy
Korshun Ogromniy Krasniy
Kosovo
Kozula #128
Kozula #133
Kozula #161
Krainiy Sever
Krasnaya Grusha Frankov
Krasnaya Mishen’
Krasniy General
Kuma
Kurganskiye
KY Cygni
La Grosse A Lulu
La Nénesse
Ladoshka
Lancaster County Pink
Large Pink Bulgarian
Larisa
L’Espagnol Lefebvres
Letniy Sidr
Lev Minusinskiy
Levino
Libanaise des Montagnes
Lida Ukrainian
Linnie’s Oxheart
Lipstick
Lithium Sunset
Little Lucky
Liz Birt
Longhorn
Lopatinskiye
Loxton Lad Dwarf
Loxton Lass Dwarf
Luchshiye
Lucinda
Lucky Swirl
Lyagushka Tsarevna
Lyubimyye Kurskiye
Lyubov’ Irana
Lyubyashcheye Serdtse
Maddeline’s Vine Candy
Maiden’s Gold
Malina Treston
Malina Treston
Malinovaya Zebra
Mallee Rose
Mamina Lyubov’
Mamont Gigant Ploskiy
Maralinga Dwarf
Margareto
Marglobe Supreme
Martin’s Mennonite
Mavratinskite
Maxifort
Mayo’s Delight
Mazarini Ploskiy Malinoviy
McClintock’s Big Pink
Mckinley
Medovyi Spas
Medvezhya Lapa Rozovaya
Mennonite Orange
Merrill Shulz Beefsteak
Michaela’s Pink Oxheart
Michael’s Portuguese Monster
Mikhalych
Minusinski
Minusinskiy Malinoviy Traditsionniy
Minusinskiye ot Starozhilov
Minusinskiye ot Zyryanovoy
Minusinskyi Yablochnyi Rozovyi
Momotaro
Monastyrskaya Trapeza Krasnaya
Monica
Monomakh’s Hat
Morado
Moravsky Div
Mortgage Lifter
Mortgage Lifter, Pesta
Mortgage Lifter, Radiator Charlie’s
Moscow
Mrs. Houseworth
Muddy Mamba
Mystery
Nesravnenniy
Neves Azorean Red
Nevskyi
New Big Dwarf
Nochnaya Svecha
NuMex Big Jim
Ogromnaya Sliva
Old German
Old Heart Italian
Omar’s Lebanese
Opalka
Orange Bourgoin
Orange Bourgoin
Orange Minsk
Orange Oxheart
Orange Paruche
Oranzheviy Bizon
Oranzhevoye Bych’ye Serdtse
Orenco Gold
Oslinyie Ushi
Pappy Kerns
Park’s Whopper
Pasha
Paska
Peaches and Cream
Pebrera de Jerica
Pepe’s Gigant
Persikinis
Pertsevidnyi Polosatyi
Peter Glazebrook’s Special
Pineapple
Pinga de Mono
Pink Berkeley Tie-dye
Pleated Carnelian
Plum Lemon
Polesskiy Gigant Tarasenko
Polish Giant
Polish Giant Beefsteak
Polish Linguisa
Polish Pink
Pol’skoye Serdtse Gigant
Postraya Grozd’
PPPX PP “B”
PPPX PP “C”
Prezident Yuar
Pruden’s Purple
Pumpkin
Purple Beauty
Purple Calabash
Purple Dog Creek
Purple Not Strawberry
Purple Potato Top aka German Purple
Purple Reign
Qiyanai-Huang
R-10
Radishchevskyie
RAF Fimande
Rainey’s Maltese
Ramski
Raspberry Miracle
Raspberry Oxheart
Rayskoye Naslazhdeniye
Rebel Yell
Red Alert
Red Belly
Red Butter Heart
Red Pear Periforme Abruzzesse
Red Penna
Red Zebra
Regina Yellow
Reibais Kekars
Reif Italian Heart
Reinhard’s Chocolate Heart
Rekordsmen
Reverend Morrow’s Long Keeper
Rhoades Heirloom
Rhode Island Giant
Rim
Rimma
Romeo
Rosa Gigant Gallego
Rosalie’s Big Rosy
Rosalie’s Early Orange
Rosalie’s Large Paste
Rose Quartz
Rosella Crimson
Royal Hillbilly
Rozovaya Krupnaya
Rozoviy Begemot
Rozoviy Flamingo Serdtsevidniy
Rozoviy Izyumniy
Rozoviy Kit
Rozoviy Med
Rozoviy Syrayeva
Rozovye Krupnye
Rozovyi Gigant
Rozovyy Slon
Rubinovyie Zvozdy
Russian Rose
Russkaya Dusha
Russkiy Bogatyr’
Rutgers 250
Ruttgers
RW Cephei
Sainte Lucie
Sainte-Lucie
Sakharniy Gigant Rozoviy
Sakharnyi Pudovichok
Samarskiy Medved’
San Marzano
Sara’s Galapogos
Sarnowski Polish Plum
Sasha’s Altai
Scheherazade
Schimmeig Striped Hollow
Schwarze Sarah
Scotia
Secano de Ares
Selwin Yellow
Semipalatinskiy
Serbskiy Yaguar
Serdtse Ameriki
Serdtse Kenguru
Sergeant Pepper’s
Severnaya Korona
Shary Minusinskiye Rozovyie
Sheryl’s Portuguese Red Heart
Siberian
Sibirskiy Velikan Rozovy
Sibirskoye Zastol’ye
Sirenevoe Ozero
Skubi
Slankards
Smith’s Southern Star
Smuggler’s
Sofia
Sophie’s Choice
Sosulka Krasnaya
Sovetskyie
Sparks
Spudakee
Stan’s Oxheart
Staroobryadcheskyi
Stick
Stupice
Sugary
Summer Sunrise
Summer Sweet Gold
Summertime Green
Sumochniy
Sunbursts
Sungella
Sunrise Bumblebee
Super Beefsteak
Super Beefsteak Bicolor
Super Choice
Super San Marzano
Super Sioux
Super Sweet 100
Supersauce
Sweet Adelaide
Sweet Apertif
Sweet Scarlet Dwarf
Swisher Sweet
Syzranskaya Skorospelka
Tadzhikskiye
Talgarka
Tamara
Tanunda Red
Taos Trail
Taps, PL
Taps, RL
Tasmanian Chocolate
TastyWine
Taupo
Tel-Aviv Train
Tess’s Land Race
That Russian Tomato
Tigrette
Tomatniy Ray
Top Sirloin
Torbash
Totushka
Trees Bottom Streaks
Trophy
Tsindao
Uglerod X Babushkino Bych’ye Serdtse
Ugly Ripe
Ukh, Visit!
Ukrainka
Ukrainskyi Gigant
Uluru Ochre
Unknown #05 Cherokee bi-color
Unknown #07 Koshykar bi-color
Unknown #21 Hurdman
Unknown #22 Aceto Large Red
Unknown #23 Believe It or Not, Yellow
Unknown #25 Italian Cluster
Unknown Volunteer Large
Uralskiy Ranniy
Utyonok
Vashe Blagorodie
Vater Rhein
Vaterloo
Vechnaya Lyubov’
Venetian Marketplace
Venus
Verkiny
Vinni Pukh
Vinnyi Bolgarskyi Velikan
Violet Jasper
Virginia Sweets
Volov’i Ushi
Vostochnaya Pyshka
Vystavochniy
Waltingers Fleisch aus Indien
Waratah Dwarf
Wes
Wessel’s Purple Pride
Westerlund
Wherokowhai
White Tomesol
Wild Bill’s Old Timey
Wild Thyme Bicolored
Wild Thyme Purple
Willa’s Cariboo Rose
Woodle Orange
Work Release Paste
Worley Red
Yamal
Yaponiya
Yasha Yugoslavian
Yegipetskaya Lad’ya
Yegipetskiy Velikan
Yellow Cookie
Yellow Star
Yevgeniya
Yoder’s German Pink
Yoder’s German Yellow
Yoder’s Red Beefsteak
Yuriy Gagarin
Yusupovskyi S Fergany
Zagorsko Volovsko Oko
Zasolochniy
Zebra Chernaya
Zebra Oranzhevaya
Zemlyanika Margarity
Zhar Goryashchiye Ugli
Zolotaya Kanareyka
Zolotoe Serdtse
Zolotoy Dozhd’
Zolotoy Myod
Zolotyie Kupola
Zore’s Big Red

Among these 623, I hope to save seeds from at least 550 varieties.  Where will I find the space, or the time, or the energy for such a massive undertaking?  Help, I need help!

But everyone wants money to help, which I don’t have any of to spare.  So the stream of 100+ hour work weeks will continue into the foreseeable future.

If only I could sell 2,000 of these extra seedlings, then maybe I could afford to hire some part-time help?  But marketing is so NOT my forte…

 

Spring Planting 2018

Winter indoor giant tomato contest was terminated a couple of weeks ago.  This 0.548 lb. Domingo tomato was beat out by all but one other contestant at bigpumpkins.com:

Big tan spot resulted from scorching from the 400-watt metal halide bulb, occuring after I had left off the shade cloth after taking pictures one day.

The Venus mini-dwarf plants produced very well indoors and fresh seeds are now dried and ready to go:

https://www.delectationoftomatoes.com/store/p1479/Venus.html

Light stand set up a couple of weeks ago in a recessed part of a basement room.  It’s a wire rack with 4 shelves and is arranged to be able to hold 20 trays at 5 levels (including floor), with two 2-bulb, 40-watt T-12 fluorescent bulbs.  The stand is surrounded by mylar fabric (emergency blankets).  Here’s what I used for the front/curtain:

Indoor seed planting project is about 50% complete.  A few super hot peppers were planted on March 03 – so far ZERO germination on 8 of these varieties:

Aribibi
Bhut Jolokia, Chocolate
Bonda Mas Jacques
Caramel Moruga
Carolina Reaper
Charapita
Fatalii, Red
Genghis Khan Brain
Habanero
Habanero, Red
Jay’s Peach Ghost Scorpion
Naga Morich
Pinga de Mono
Red Douglah
Rocoto Red
Taknotsume
Tango
Trinidad Chocolate Scorpion
Trinidad Scorpion
White 7 Pod
Yellow Brain Strain

A few early tomato varieties were started on March 15.  Here’s what the tray looks like now:

And here is the list of varieties:

Andy Buckflat’s Wonder
Bison
Bloody Butcher
Carbon
Forest Fire
Fourth of July (OP, PL)
Glacier
Grub’s Mystery Green
Krainiy Sever
Malina Treston
Moravsky Div
Moscow
Orange Bourgoin
Red Alert
Sasha’s Altai
Sasha’s Altai
Siberian
Skubi
Sophie’s Choice
Stupice
Uralskiy Ranniy
Utyonok

Planting seeds of tomato varieties to share with other growers was completed on March 30; here is the list of 73 varieties:

Absinthe
Amazon Chocolate
Andy Buckflat’s Wonder
Aunt Gerties Gold
Auria
Berkeley Tie-dye Heart
Big Zac
Black Beauty
Black Cherry
Black Mountain Pink
Brandy Boy
Brandywine from Croatia, PL
Brazilian Beauty
Budonovka Starinnaya
Carbon
Chocolate Cherry
Dachtyla Mynoa
Daniel Burson
Domingo
Dwarf Russian Swirl
Dyvo
Dyvo bicolor
Elfie
Fourth of July OP (PL)
Gezahnte Buhrer-Keel
Giant Italian Paste
Goluboy Les
Green Doctors Frosted
Grub’s Mystery Green
Hawaiian Pineapple
Hillbilly
Ispanskiy Gigant
Joe’s Pink Oxheart
June Pink
Jutland
KBX
Kosovo
Lucinda
Maddeline’s Vine Candy
Malina Treston
Nochnaya Svecha
Orange Bourgoin
Peaches and Cream
Pineapple
Pleated Carnelian
Purple Reign
Qiyanai-Huang
Radishchevskyie
Regina Yellow
Rhoades Heirloom
Rose Quartz
Russian Rose
Sainte-Lucie
Sasha’s Altai
Slankards
Smuggler’s
Spudakee
Staroobryadcheskyi
Summer Sunrise
Super Choice
Sweet Apertif
Tadzhikskyie
Tamara
Tsindao
Ukh, Visit!
Venus
Violet Jasper
Virginia Sweets
Wessel’s Purple Pride
Wild Thyme Purple
Work Release Paste
Yaponiya
Yusupovskyi S Fergany

Peppers for sharing includes these 14 varieties:

Anaheim
Carmagnola
Doe Hill
Fresno
Jalapeño, Traveler’s Strain
Le Rouge Royal
Lesya Necsi
Lipstick
Margaret’s
Mini Chimes Orange
Paper Lantern
Purple Beauty
Satsuma
Spanish Spice OP

Eggplant varieties to share:

Antigua
ARAP
Brazilian Oval Orange
Casper
Diamond
Mestisa
Orient Charm
Orient Express
Ping Tung

And peppers for seed propagation, these 37 varieties:

Aleppo
Bahamian Goat
Big Bertha
Bleeding Borg 9
Blushing Beauty
Burgundy 7 Pod
Carmen Sweet
Carpatia
Chocolate Borg 9
Chocolate Brainstrain
Chocolate Habanero
Chocolate Naga X Brain
Congo Trinidad
Corno di Toro Giallo
Corno di Toro Rosso
Duke Italian
Full Moon Orange Thai
Giallo d’Asti
Giant Aconcagua
Golden California Wonder
Golden Treasure
Gypsy
Habanero
Italian Pepperoncini
Joe’s Big Blocky
Mini Sweet Orange, Store
Mini Sweet Red, Store
Nano Cortona
NuMex Big Jim
Oda
Paradiscom Alaku Sarga Szentes
Red Douglah
Roberto’s Cuban Seasoning
Senise
Striped Holland, F2, F3
Super Heavyweight
Tabasco (Annco BGft?)

Several varieties of brassicus, alliums, greens and herbs were also planted indoors and are mostly growing well.

Currently, the list of “must grow” tomato varieties for seed propagation has been trimmed drastically, down to “only” 533 varieties.  What to do, what to do…  That list will be posted in a few days.

Exciting New Varieties from Russia

The recipe book itself is interesting enough, with 163 recipes for preserving garden produce:

But also included are seeds of 140+ tomato varieties, most of them from Russia, many of them family heirlooms.  Here’s the draft list of varieties – only those in Cyrillic are listed:

Абрика зебра
Австралиец
Алёна люкс
Аленький цветочек
Алтайский гигант
Алтайский шедевр
Бабушкино
Бабушкино бычье сердце Х Золотые купола
Батяня
Богатырь Минусинский
Болгарский гигант
Большая малина
Бразильский великан
Бычье сердце оранжевое острое
Бычье сердце розовое острое
Ватерлоо
Вечная любовь
Вини Пух
Воловьи уши
Восточная пышка
Восточная Пышка
Выставочный
Геродес
Герцеговина
Гибрид 4 Тарасенко
Гибрид 7 Тарасенко
Гигант Кубы
Гигантский гребешок
Говядина с куста
Гопак
Горящие огни
Де барао розовый
Де барао чёрный
Делишес красный
Дженкинс Грик
Джефф Девис
Друг ( Джан )
Египетский великан
Жар горящие угли
Засолочный
Земляника Маргариты
Золотая канарейка
Золотой дождь
Золотые купола
Император Чу Фу
Иранское чудо
Испанская роза
Итальянская груша
Казан
Казахстанский розовый
Кардио
Кенигсберг сердцевидный
Королевская мантия
Король Лондона
Коршун огромный
Коршун огромный красный
Красная груша Франков
Красная мишень
Красный Генерал
Курганские
Лариса
Лев Минусинский
Летний сидр
Лопатинские
Лучшие
Любовь Ирана
Любящее сердце
Мазарини плоский малиновый
Мамина любовь
Мамонт гигант плоский
Минусинские от Зыряновой
Минусинские от старожилов
Минусинский малиновый традиционный
Михалыч
Монастырская трапеза красная
Огромная слива
Оранжевое бычье сердце
Оранжевый бизон
Ослиные уши
Паска
Паша
Пёстрая гроздь
Полесский гигант Тарасенко
Р-10
Райское наслаждение
Рекордсмен
Римма
Розовая крупная
Розовый бегемот
Розовый изюмный
Розовый кит
Розовый Сыраева
Розовый фламинго сердцевидный
Рубиновые звёзды
Русский богатырь
Самарский медведь
Сахарный гигант розовый
Северная корона
Семипалатинский
Сербский ягуар
Сердце кенгуру
Сибирское застолье
Сумочный
Сызранская скороспелка
Талгарка
Тётушка
Томатный рай
Торбаш
Углерод Х Бабушкино бычье сердце
Украинка
Фиделио
Фиолетовый
Французский гигант
Хохол гигант
Чайная роза
Чудо земли улучшенное
Шары Минусинские розовые
Юрий Гагарин

Translations and transliterations to be completed.  Who know’s what interesting and tasty surprises will reveal themselves in 2018?  Are we having fun yet?

There is also a list of 360+ (and getting longer) additional tomato varieties on the preliminary grow-out list for 2018.  does it sound like work yet?

The BIG project in February was two local seed exchanges.  An enormous task with some great help (thanks – you know who you are!) to package up about 3,000 packets of some 250 varieties, about 150 of which were tomatoes.  Although only 6% of what was packaged was shared with other growers, hopefully having a lot of pre-packaged seeds will help increase efficiency for those requesting seeds via mail.  Still, seeds of more than 90% of varieties remain in their inventory packages and will be packaged upon request.  Here’s the beginning and most time-consuming part of the project – preparing labels:

And a partial view of what was offered:

First fruit on the Venus plant is just starting to ripen, 73 days from seed sowing, 43 from open blossom:

Winter indoor giant tomato contest update –

Nothing too exciting.  The RW Cephei is finally getting some more buds close to open, including a decent looking 3X (not shown); but it’s far too late to hope for anything significant by the first day of Spring, three weeks away, which is the deadline for weighing for the contest.

From the other two vines I’ve culled about 6 more tomatoes (and had fried green tomatoes for breakfast…), leaving one tomato each on Big Zac:

 

and Domingo:

This Domingo fruit is on track to reach one pound, but likely not much more.  The space is just too cramped and the light source too close.

In the early part of February, we were getting near record temperatures for several consecutive days.  Then about a week ago, winter finally decided to show up, about two months late:

There are hints of Spring today though, orchid irises:

and crocuses:

Planning later this week to start hot peppers from seed indoors, trusting that tilt of the earth on its axis will once again result in longer days and warmer temperatures as we continue on another 540,000,000 mile trek around Sol.