Seed Saving – Home Stretch for 2018

I was hoping, and worked very hard to have all tomato seed saving completed by October 1st.  But there will be at least two more weeks of this.  This is what the project looked like 12 days ago:

Today, the work load is at least double this – at least 300 hours worth of work to do before frost sets in and forces me to stop harvest tomatoes and saving seeds.  Such is life.

Here is a quick look at the process.

The tomato patch, about 70% of tomatoes harvested:

Some “extra” tomatoes I was hoping to trade for some help with this massive seed saving project. Seems like a good deal from my perspective: $100 worth of premium, organic, heirloom tomatoes for a couple of hours of real work.  No takers so far.

Sampling, picture taking, cutting up tomatoes, putting them to ferment:

Batches of tomatoes fermenting (about 4 days seems to work well), awaiting seed extraction:

Seed separation station:

Seeds drying on plastic plates:

Stacks of plates with dried seeds awaiting packaging:

Seed packaging station::

Boxes and boxes of envelopes of seeds to organize; about 20,000 photos to name, edit and organize; several weeks of data entry (including field notes for each batch), then packaging of the the final product for sharing with other growers:

Oh, and everything non-tomato…

Yesterday (September 29th) was the annual weigh-off event for the Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers:

My pumpkin was a slight 196 lbs. – once tomatoes start coming on I have no time for this kind of fun.

My heavist tomato, Gold Medal (1.740 DT 2018), managed third place.

That’s it for now – back at it!


Midseason Progress

Time crunch, so this will be brief, more of a vlog, this video from August 06, 2018:

On August 27th, I picked the first tomato over 2 lbs. and it was NOT from the high tunnel.  Instead it was on a vine of the variety Hercegovac in the open field, with no pruning or thinning.  This 2.050 lb. specimen came from a quite impressive, dense cluster of large tomatoes – perhaps 15 lbs. of tomatoes shown in this shot alone:


I think my pruning efforts in the high tunnel may be counter-productive?

Many thousands of grasshoppers getting their fill in the tomato patch, along with the occasional relative, probably a Broad-winged katydid, Microcentrum rhombifolium:

Seeds saving – yes, lots, currently (August 28th) at least 80 hours behind on harvesting and processing tomatoes for seeds – not to mention computer-based work such as naming thousands of new photographs, entering data from seed harvesting, trascribing field notes and adding new varieties to the website.

Video update, August 30th:  seed saving work station, slightly overwhelmed –

To be fair, I am getting some help with processing for seed extraction, on occasion:

Video update, September 2nd:


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:

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)

“Pugent Sound Sweetie” (name is placeholder, murky history, working out name, etc. with a colleague from Pugent Sound area); DTM 53/92

Auria, dwarf – Third year growing this remarkable variety, and it has been one of the earliest and most prolific producers every time (photo from 2016); DTM 56/105

Damascus Steel – Distinctive color combination; DTM 65/109

Dwarf Pink Opal – Photos etc. to come; DTM 56/97

Rozoviy Kit – From Russia, Розовый кит translates to “Pink Whale”; DTM 66/109

Rozoviy Syrayeva – From Russia, Розовый Сыраева translates to “Pink Syraeva”, Syraeva is a feminine name; DTM 66/109

Fourth of July (OP) – This is my own open-pollinated version of the hybrid, Fourth of July; it has potato leaves and has performed very well in cool climates with high production potential; new name variety name under consideration, as stability seems to be present after seven years of working on this; DTM 55/128

Sweet Apertif – Addictive cherry tomato, very sweet; picture from 2017; DTM 55/115

Zolotoe Serdtse – From Russia, Золотое Сердце translates to “Heart of Gold”; prolate with very pronounced nipple; DTM 55/105

Zolotaya Kanareyka – From Russia, Золотая канарейка translates to “Golden Canary”; DTM 65/109

Dwarf Shadow Boxing – One plant inexplicably not dwarf growth form but the other is; DTM 58/107


Tel-Aviv Train – Small red fruits; DTM 56/106

De Barao Tsarskyi Krasnyi Ukrainskyi – From Russia, Да барао царский красный Украинский translates to “De Barao Royal Red Ukrainian”; shaped like a Roma tomato; DTM 68/108

Germanskiy Polosatiy – Seeds indirectly from Russia, Германский Полосатый translates to “German Striped”; research needed, as this is not striped and does not appear similar to the English “Striped German”; DTM 68/100

Hybrid 4 Tarasenko (labeled as “Gibrid 4 Tarasenko) – Seeds indirectly from Russia; DTM 68/100

Ispanskaya Roza – Seeds from Russia, Испанская роза translates to “Spanish Rose”; is much closer to burnt umber than rose colored, research needed; DTM 70/112

Krasnaya Grusha Frankov – Seeds from Russia, Красная груша Франков translates to “Red Pear Frankov”, Frankov is a name.  This one obviously not ripe yet, just an intriguing shape.

Larisa – DTM 70/112

Lyagushka Tsarevna – from Russia, Лягушка Царевна translates to “Frog Princess”; green when ripe, looks delicious!  DTM 69,112

Paska – from Russia, Паша is a masculine name; red, very productive vine; DTM 69, 112

Rozoviy Izyumniy – from Russia, Розовый изюмный translates to “Pink Raisin”; DTM 69/112

Rubinovyie Zvozdy – from Russia, Рубиновые звёзды translates to “Ruby Stars”; DTM 69/112

Sugary – Very small “grape” tomato, picture from 2011; DTM 67/107

Super Sweet 100 – Red cherry tomato, picture from 2011; DTM 67/107


Glacier – Despite the name, still needs warm weather to ripen! DTM: 52/113; first ripe was from a fused blossom, perhaps three fused.

Dwarf Arctic Rose – Set fruit as early as Totushka, but took several more days for fruit to ripen; fruit in grow bags ripe about two days before those in ground in the garden; DTM: 59/113

Barossa Fest – Fruit in grow bag first to ripen, others still green; DTM: 59/101

Many more varieties are starting to ripen as of 7-24-2018.  I likely will not manage the time to keep this list up to date, as very soon, harvesting and processing for seeds will be taking up virtually every waking moment for the next 3-4 months.

= = = = = = = = = =

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:

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:

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:

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…







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:

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:

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:

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:

Dwarf Arctic Rose
Dwarf Franklin County
Dwarf Shadow Boxing
Totuska ( Тётушка )
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:


Michael’s Portuguese Monster


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 –


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 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 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 ); hopefully by November, seeds of all of these will be available:

Adelaide Festival
Banksia Queen
Barossa Fest
Big Green Dwarf
Bundaberg Rumball
Chocolate Champion
Chocolate Lightning
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
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
Uluru Ochre
Waratah Dwarf
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:

Beryl Beauty
Big Dwarf
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
Orange Pixie
Perth Pride
Polish Dwarf
Purple Reign
Rosella Purple
Sean’s Yellow Dwarf
Sleeping Lady
Snow Fairy
Summer Sunrise
Summertime Gold
Tennessee Suited
Yukon Quest

And now for Micro-dwarfs!

I already have seeds of:

Red Robin

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

Birdie Rouge
Florida Petite
Gold Pearl
Micro Tom
Orange Hat
Pinocchio Red
Rainbow Dwarf
Rejina Red
Rejina Yellow
Yellow Canary

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

Bahamian Goat
Bhut Jolokia, Chocolate
Big Bertha
Bleeding Borg 9
Blushing Beauty
Bonda Mas Jacques
Burgundy 7 Pod
Caramel Moruga
Carmen Sweet
Carolina Reaper
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
Full Moon Orange Thai
Genghis Khan Brain
Giallo d’Asti
Giant Aconcagua
Golden California Wonder
Golden Treasure
Habanero, Red
Italian Pepperoncini
Jalapeño, Traveler’s Strain
Jay’s Peach Ghost Scorpion
Joe’s Big Blocky
Le Rouge Royal
Lesya Necsi
Mini Chimes Orange
Mini Sweet Orange, Store
Mini Sweet Red, Store
Naga Morich
Nano Cortona
NuMex Big Jim
Paper Lantern
Paradiscom Alaku Sarga Szentes
Pinga de Mono
Purple Beauty
Red Douglah
Roberto’s Cuban Seasoning
Rocoto Red
Spanish Spice
Striped Holland
Super Heavyweight
Tabasco Annco BGft
Trinidad Chocolate Scorpion
Trinidad Scorpion
White 7 Pod
Yellow Brain Strain

Eggplant, 9 varieties:

Brazilian Oval Orange
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.):

Abraham Lincoln
Abrika Zebra
Adelaide Festival
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
Arad’s Pink Heart
Argentine Paste
Aunt Gerties Gold
Aunt Swarlo’s Polish Plum
Babushkino Bych’ye Serdtse X Zolotyie Kupola
Bangladesh Heart
Banksia Queen
Barlow Jap
Barossa Fest
Behemoth King
Belgian Heart
Berkeley Tie-dye Heart
Big Cheef Pink Potato Leaf
Big Green Dwarf
Big Hill
Big Orange Stripe
Big Rainbow
Big Zac
Blaby Special
Black Beauty
Black Cherry
Black From Tula
Black Krim
Black Mountain Pink
Bloody Butcher
Blue Ridge Black
Blue Ridge Mountain
Bob’s Boomtown Titty
Bochkovoy Minusinskyi
Bogatyr’ Minusinskiy
Bolgarskiy Gigant
Bol’shaya Malina
Brad’s Black Heart
Brandy Boy
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 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
Cero Blackburn
Charlie Chaplin
Chaynaya Roza
Cherniy Slon
Cherokee Purple
Chilo della Garfagnana
Chocolate Champion
Chocolate Cherry
Chocolate Lightning
Chudo Zemli Uluchshennoe
Churra Plum
Clear Lake Heirloom
Coeur de Surpriz
Copper River
Couer de Bob
Cousin Frank’s
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 Krasniy
Dice’s Black Mystery
Dixie Golden Giant
Dr. Lyle
Dr. Wyche’s Yellow
Drug (Dzhan)
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 bicolor
Earl’s Faux
Early Chatham
Emerald Evergreen
Erdie’s Family Oxheart
Esquena Verd
Everett’s Rusy Oxheart
Faelen’s First Snow
Flathead Monster Orange
Fleur de Reagir
Forest Fire
Fourth of July
Frantsuzskiy Gigant
Fred’s Tie Dye
Fred’s Tie Dye
Germanskiy Polosatiy
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
Gold Medal
Golden King of Siberia
Golden Monarch
Golden Queen, USDA strain
Golden Treasure
Goluboy Les
Gordost Sibiri
Goryashchiye Ogni
Govyadina S Kusta
Grase de Calina
Green Doctors Frosted
Grosse d’Eaude
Grub’s Mystery Green
Grub’s Mystery Green
Guernsey Island Pink Blush
Hamilton’s Gold
Hawaiian Pineapple
Hege German Pink X Claude Brown’s Yellow Giant
Hege German Pink X Grandfather Ashlock
Hihant Lymonniy
Homestead 24-F
Hooker’s Huge
Hungarian Giant
Husky Pink
Imperator Chu Fu
Indian Stripe
Iranskoye Chudo
Isis Brandy
Ispanskaya Roza
Ispanskiy Gigant
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
Kangaroo Paw Brown
Kangaroo Paw Green
Kangaroo Paw Yellow
Kardinal Mazarini
Kavkazskyi Velikan
Kazakhstanskiy Rozoviy
Kenigsberg Serdtsevidniy
Khokhol Gigant
Kickapoo Creek
King Pineapple
Kookaburra Cackle
Korol King II
Korol’ Londona
Korolevskaya Mantiya
Korshun Ogromniy
Korshun Ogromniy Krasniy
Kozula #128
Kozula #133
Kozula #161
Krainiy Sever
Krasnaya Grusha Frankov
Krasnaya Mishen’
Krasniy General
KY Cygni
La Grosse A Lulu
La Nénesse
Lancaster County Pink
Large Pink Bulgarian
L’Espagnol Lefebvres
Letniy Sidr
Lev Minusinskiy
Libanaise des Montagnes
Lida Ukrainian
Linnie’s Oxheart
Lithium Sunset
Little Lucky
Liz Birt
Loxton Lad Dwarf
Loxton Lass Dwarf
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
Marglobe Supreme
Martin’s Mennonite
Mayo’s Delight
Mazarini Ploskiy Malinoviy
McClintock’s Big Pink
Medovyi Spas
Medvezhya Lapa Rozovaya
Mennonite Orange
Merrill Shulz Beefsteak
Michaela’s Pink Oxheart
Michael’s Portuguese Monster
Minusinskiy Malinoviy Traditsionniy
Minusinskiye ot Starozhilov
Minusinskiye ot Zyryanovoy
Minusinskyi Yablochnyi Rozovyi
Monastyrskaya Trapeza Krasnaya
Monomakh’s Hat
Moravsky Div
Mortgage Lifter
Mortgage Lifter, Pesta
Mortgage Lifter, Radiator Charlie’s
Mrs. Houseworth
Muddy Mamba
Neves Azorean Red
New Big Dwarf
Nochnaya Svecha
NuMex Big Jim
Ogromnaya Sliva
Old German
Old Heart Italian
Omar’s Lebanese
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
Peaches and Cream
Pebrera de Jerica
Pepe’s Gigant
Pertsevidnyi Polosatyi
Peter Glazebrook’s Special
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’
Prezident Yuar
Pruden’s Purple
Purple Beauty
Purple Calabash
Purple Dog Creek
Purple Not Strawberry
Purple Potato Top aka German Purple
Purple Reign
RAF Fimande
Rainey’s Maltese
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
Reverend Morrow’s Long Keeper
Rhoades Heirloom
Rhode Island Giant
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
RW Cephei
Sainte Lucie
Sakharniy Gigant Rozoviy
Sakharnyi Pudovichok
Samarskiy Medved’
San Marzano
Sara’s Galapogos
Sarnowski Polish Plum
Sasha’s Altai
Schimmeig Striped Hollow
Schwarze Sarah
Secano de Ares
Selwin Yellow
Serbskiy Yaguar
Serdtse Ameriki
Serdtse Kenguru
Sergeant Pepper’s
Severnaya Korona
Shary Minusinskiye Rozovyie
Sheryl’s Portuguese Red Heart
Sibirskiy Velikan Rozovy
Sibirskoye Zastol’ye
Sirenevoe Ozero
Smith’s Southern Star
Sophie’s Choice
Sosulka Krasnaya
Stan’s Oxheart
Summer Sunrise
Summer Sweet Gold
Summertime Green
Sunrise Bumblebee
Super Beefsteak
Super Beefsteak Bicolor
Super Choice
Super San Marzano
Super Sioux
Super Sweet 100
Sweet Adelaide
Sweet Apertif
Sweet Scarlet Dwarf
Swisher Sweet
Syzranskaya Skorospelka
Tanunda Red
Taos Trail
Taps, PL
Taps, RL
Tasmanian Chocolate
Tel-Aviv Train
Tess’s Land Race
That Russian Tomato
Tomatniy Ray
Top Sirloin
Trees Bottom Streaks
Uglerod X Babushkino Bych’ye Serdtse
Ugly Ripe
Ukh, Visit!
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
Vashe Blagorodie
Vater Rhein
Vechnaya Lyubov’
Venetian Marketplace
Vinni Pukh
Vinnyi Bolgarskyi Velikan
Violet Jasper
Virginia Sweets
Volov’i Ushi
Vostochnaya Pyshka
Waltingers Fleisch aus Indien
Waratah Dwarf
Wessel’s Purple Pride
White Tomesol
Wild Bill’s Old Timey
Wild Thyme Bicolored
Wild Thyme Purple
Willa’s Cariboo Rose
Woodle Orange
Work Release Paste
Worley Red
Yasha Yugoslavian
Yegipetskaya Lad’ya
Yegipetskiy Velikan
Yellow Cookie
Yellow Star
Yoder’s German Pink
Yoder’s German Yellow
Yoder’s Red Beefsteak
Yuriy Gagarin
Yusupovskyi S Fergany
Zagorsko Volovsko Oko
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…