Saturday, 31 May 2014

Blonde Boar

These gorgeous looking and tasting tomatoes are bred and developed by Brad Gates from Wild Boar Farms. I'm not normally a huge fan of yellow tomatoes as I find they tend to be on the mild side and lack the flavour balance I love. But I was knocked over by these, I loved the beautiful striped tomatoes, so very tasty and packed full of flavour. My plants this year are young yet, the first truss of flowers are forming, so I have quite a wait yet! I first grew them in 2012 alongside several other yellow striped tomatoes and for me Blonde Boar was by far the tastiest. 

Blonde Boar grown 2012, stripes are more noticeable whilst still green,
once fully ripe they are less striking.

Pictured, Yellow Furry Boar, White Zebra, Blonde Boar, Yellow Spot, Yellow
 Vernissage (Vernisazh Zheltyi) and bottom right hand corner Big Yellow
Zebra ( although the one just in shot is very small!

Savananas, bred by Tom Wagner

I grew these for the first time in 2013 and I am growing them again this year, sourced from Tom Wagner Seeds. Savananas, a combination of Ananas Noir and a greenhouse cluster type tomato, I'm unaware of their generation. Cordon variety with varied traits. 

I saved seeds from 5 plants, although I think I only have pictures from two plants, they are quite different from each other. 
A striped bi oval, orange/yellow.
Smaller red, crunchy flesh and good flavour
Thick walls, keeps well. Sweet, mild and tomatoey nice.
Red Heart shaped (pictured)
And one I saved seeds from but didn't describe for some reason.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Dancing with Smurfs x Black and Brown Boar F2

The parents
Dancing with Smurfs (DWS) is one of my favourite anthocyanin (antho) tomatoes, it does very well here. 

Black and Brown Boar (B&BB) was bred and developed by Brad Gates, it is a beautiful black, striped tomato with delicious flavour. The plants grow and crop well here. 

So from DWS x B&BB I'm hoping for a great tasting striped cherry with some antho, black striped would be great. I first made this cross in 2012, saving the resulting F1 seeds to be sown the following year. This year I have sown several F2 seeds and eagerly await their progression.

DWS B&BB F2 plant

DWS x B&BB F2 plant expressing anthocyanin in the

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Variegated tomatoes

I really like the beauty of variegated tomato plants, I started my collection with the variety Variegated (although incorrect it's sometimes called a Splash of Cream) and have gone from there. This year I bought 'Potato Leaf Variegated' bred by Keith Mueller and Cherokee Purple Variegated, which was named Faelan's First Snow by the person who found it growing amongst other Cherokee Purple plants at the nursery he worked at. The remainder are varieties I've bred and I'm hoping to develop over time. 
These are some of the plants I'm growing this season;

The variety 'Variegated', this plant has a lot of
Potato Leaf Variegated, young plant just waiting to be planted out.
Faelan's First Snow, healthy plants with some
variegation showing on the leaves. 
F3 selection, looks like it will be a Micro Dwarf type
Looking for a variegated heart
Love the variegated patterns on these potato leaves
Variegated Dwarf type, variegation is from paternal line.
I think pretty, looks a bit like frosting
A variegated F1, both parents have this trait.
Another variegated F1, looking for combination of traits but at some point
dwarf, potato leaf, slight possibility of stripes.
F3 selection
F3 potato leaf seletion
Unsure of this one as miss-labelled
Green Zebra Cherry x Variegated Lange Ærmer F1. I had
similar results with the F1's last year.
Small growing determinate
With Antho?

Friday, 9 May 2014

Pomato, potmato, matato, tomantato

I quite like Tomantato, but whatever you call them I'm talking about a potato plant grown for its roots and tubers with a tomato stem grafted onto the potato stem to give it a fruiting tomato top.

Why? Because they have been in the press lately with T&M's 'Tomtato', coupled with I've never tried to do it before. Also I have some potatoes left over in store and as most have started to sprout, it seemed rude not to try! 

Phase 1, I've potted up some potato pull starts/shoots of different lengths, some have a fair root system others just have bumps where the roots will form. They are a little immature but I'm optimistic given warmth and good growing conditions they will rapidly develop roots and stem to support a graft. Whether they will go on to produce potatoes is another mater. 

Pull starts/shoots

Newly potted up

Baby leaves

Blue Bella

I'm using a mix of varieties, I'm not sure now what they all are now as they have become mixed up over winter although I recognise some Blue Bella tubers amongst them, which has been one of my favourite varieties over the last couple of years. I've used a few Blue Bella sprouts which are delightful streaked and tipped purple. 

What is a potato pull shoot? It is the developing sprouting eye from a seed potato which if planted goes on to produce a cloned (identical to the parent tuber) potato plant - stems, leaves and also the crop of potatoes. They are normally left attached to the seed potato but if they are pulled off and potted up in growing compost they can be used to produce a cloned potato plant.

Blue Bella potato with pull shoots developing.
Assorted pull sprouts