Friday, 14 February 2014

Little Big Chocolate Yum - a Variegated Dwarf tomato

One of my favourite tomatoes from last year, an F2 dwarf plant with brown-black large cherry size fruit, parents are a home bred dwarf approx 18-24" high crossed with the variety Variegated. Taste was big, if you can describe a tomato like that. Whether it will continue through to the F3 fruit and beyond remains to be seen. Lovely easy plant to grow, approximately 2' high, tree type dwarf and the variegated foliage was gorgeous.

040 by jayb 35
040, a photo by jayb 35 on Flickr.

Lange Ærmer x Blue

Lange Ærmer, bred by Tom Wagner, are a lovely cordon variety producing beautiful green when ripe (GWR) striped elongated fruits.

Lange Ærmer

These I crossed to a red fleshed Blue variety. Pictured below are some tomatoes from the F2 plants. These gave both striped and non striped fruits with either round or semi-elongated shapes. Not much Anthocyanin present on these fruits, their location may have had an influence.

114 by jayb 35
114, a photo by jayb 35 on Flickr.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Chocolate Blues

A determinate variety, bred by Tom Wagner. This is a segregating variety released through Tom's site New World Seeds and Tubers in 2012. The first year I grew 3 Chocolate Blues plants all with striped fruit. Where the tomatoes had been directly in sunlight they produced almost a purple black colour from naturally occurring anthocyanins, underneath the 'blue' stripes can still be seen faintly. These tomatoes ripened to a reddy-brown colour, very pretty and a good tomato taste.

This year's selection of fruits, grown from the previous year's saved seed, is more varied to look at. Stripes, non striped, brown, green when ripe (GWR), most with dark antho intensified from sunlight a few just a faint show. 

The GWR are my favourites


And these fruit were the sweetest and best flavoured, I love how they look too. 

Sugar Beth F1 Peas

I was lucky enough to receive the variety Elisabeth, a lovely salmon-pink flowered Mange-tout pea, from a friend and I have enjoyed growing it the last few years. 

Elisabeth Pea

It's a climber and looks particularly pretty growing alongside white and magenta purple pea vines. 

I've made several crosses using Elisabeth and the inspiration for this cross came when I grew Sugar Magnolia a purple podded sugar snap variety, bred in the US by Dr Alan Kapuler, alongside Elisabeth. The purple pods were such a pretty contrast, I thought it would be fun to see if the two traits could be recombined in one variety. I've given the working name Sugar Beth to the resulting F1 plants/F2 seed.

Sugar Beth F1
 As you can see they have purple magenta flowers, 

Sugar Beth F1
 purple splodges in the leaf axils

Sugar Beth F1
 and partly purple pods, all in all very pretty. 

Sugar Beth F1

The couple of pods I tasted raw were very tasty and very much a mangetout type, no hint of fibre in the pods.
When first harvested the seeds looked to be green seeded although now they have dried further there are subtle variations. 

F2 Seed

 The dried pods are quite soft and fragile to the feel and none of them appeared thick and fibrous.

Non fibrous pods

I'm looking forward to seeing how they segregate this season, it would be great to get some different colour combinations.

For pictures of Sugar Beth F2 progress have a look here Growing Food Saving Seeds

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

VAL x Little Lucky F1

A pretty Bi-coloured F1 tomato with faint stripes, healthy plant producing a heavy crop of tasty fruits. Parents are Variegated Lange Æermer x Little Lucky. I'm interested to see if the leaf variegation of Lange Æermer will be passed on in some of the F2 generation. 

I've recently started a number of F2 seed in the propagator, more than I intend growing on, in the hope of capturing a variegated leaf form.

Black Casady

Black Casady, bred by Tom Wagner and released as an unstable variety by Tom Wagner seeds in 2013.
These were a very nice variety to grow, they look gorgeous and produced a good crop of tomatoes for me. I found their taste sweet and spicy, with a good follow up of 'tomatoey' flavour. Fruits are a beautiful red/black and most of the plants I grew had faint stripes on the tomatoes. They have a slim elongated shape and are quite small, which makes them very easy to pick and eat several each time I passed!  Of the plants I grew, all had subtle variation in colour, stripes and flavour. I will be growing these again.

Faint striping on unripe fruit 

Combination of fruits from 5 plants, I added a pencil to give a sense of size.
I just think they look so cute!