Giant Stars and Tomatoes

Admittedly a huge stretch, but why not?  Reach for the stars, maybe hit the moon…

As I’m working on stabilizing several crosses I’ve made among giant tomato varieties over the years, it’s become time to assign variety names to them.

Here is

RW Cephei

Yes – named after a hyper-giant star, descended from a cross I made on July 27, 2014. This specimen now measures to 3.27 lbs.(185.0 X 146.4 X 116.2 mm, 21.5″ circumference), though I’m going to put my best guess at 2.94 lbs., as most of my giant tomatoes this year have had significant hollowness in most seed locules – why, what causes this I do not know!  Any ideas?  This specimen will go to the local weigh off on October 7th, after which I will post the actual, certified weight. Original cross was between Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy 2013) – the parent of Dan MacCoy’s world record 8.41 MacCoy 2014 – and Brutus Magnum, from 6.25 Meisner 2011.

[Update 10-07-2017: on 10-04-2017, this tomato measured 192.0 X 167.8 X 115.5 mm (L X W X H), which, using formulae described a few years ago here (search “Estimating Tomato Weights”), yields an estimated weight of 3.866 lbs.  It also measures 22.5 inches in circumference.  But because of moderately deep lobing, I’ll estimate 3.65 lbs.  We’ll know for sure in about 12 hours!  There is also a Domingo that ought to just break 3 lbs. – I’ll give it a 3.08]


Westerlund 1-26

Westerlund 1-26 (3.698 DT 2015)

Westerlund 1-26 (3.698 DT 2015)

This one is from a cross I made on August 01, 2014 between Bigzarro and Delicious (6.51 Meisner 2011).  Several growers have remarked that this line produces huge, healthy vines with thick stems and many tomatoes in the 2-3 lb. range.  Of course getting to 5+ lbs. requires heavy pruning and thinning, along with special techniques which I largely have not yet employed in my tomato growing.

Several more star names are in queue to use for giant tomato crosses, once they show real promise.

Saturday September 23rd was the first weigh off event of the Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers, which included a new Utah State Record pumpkin (1,974 lbs. by Matt McConkie) and squash (1068.5 lbs. by Gordon Tanner), but not a state record tomato 😦  My submitted tomato, Domingo (2.80 DT 2017)(4.95 Lai 2016), was second to Ralph and Jauna Laub’s Big Zac (2.920 Laub 2017)(5.39 Reinhart).  Full results at:

Change of topic, or at least sub-topic –

Today, after more than two months of pedal-to-the metal tomato harvesting and processing for seed saving, I finally feel that I’m over the hump and am in the home stretch.  I only have about 93 varieties left from which I need to save seeds, out of 325 among over 700 vines.

Here is a sample of a day’s work, processing tomatoes for fermentation and seed extraction.

And one of 211 pictures taken:

Slankard’s (1.468 DT 2017)

Slankard’s is just one of dozens of fabulous tasting tomatoes I’ve sampled this year, by the way.  I’ll need to summarize that information within a few weeks, as I still have HUNDREDS of batches of seeds drying on plates – actually every plate I have is full, as I just cannot keep up with packaging this time of year:

Trying to get this 2017 seed saving project finished up as soon as possible – seeds packaged and inventoried, germination tests completed, 5,161 new (2017 to date) pictures named and organized, descriptions transcribed, histories researched and information posted on the website…

So, it rather goes without saying, any support you are able to provide for this massive project of preserving and propagating heirloom seeds from around the world (close to 3,000 total varieties in inventory now, including 2,000 tomato) would be greatly appreciated – something for something at:

And of course let your gardening friends in on this excellent source for a wide variety of garden seeds from around the world!