Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I just came pretty close to wasting a lot of time. Last night for dinner my wife used our first tomato of the year (see below) for a nice tomato and mozzarella salad. It was delicious. In fact, I was so excited about fresh, home-grown tomatoes that I decided it would be a good idea to collect some seeds for the next growing season. I collected some of the goo that encases the seeds and spread it on a paper towel to separate in the morning. This morning, I spread out the smeared paper towel and a piece of waxed paper to put the seeds on. As I picked through the seeds I thought about how quickly this variety produces fruit, and how nice it will be to have several plants like it. That's when I realized that early varieties like this often have these traits because they are F1 hybrids, meaning that they are the first generation of cross pollenated plants from two separate lines. I don't know why, but if seeds are collected from an F1 hybrid and grown, the resulting plants will usually not have the special qualities of the F1 generation, and become sickly, poor producing plants. Good news for the seed companies, bad news for me, because a quick web search revealed that the "celebrity" variety (which that plant is) is indeed a hybrid. Rats! I almost made a really stupid mistake. At least I caught myself before I went as far as trying to grow the seeds. I threw the whole mess in the trash. Maybe I'll see if I can get some clippings from that plant to grow.


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