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Old 08-18-2018, 12:44 AM
 
Location: Durham
1,727 posts, read 2,192,029 times
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Thinking ahead to next year's tomatoes.

I am thinking of ditching hybrids & looking at heirloom varieties.

I know hybrids don't produce usable seeds and don't like that. But is a hybrid considered GMO?

What are some heirloom varieties any of you have tried and like? I live in central NC, long hot summers with occasionally cool nights.
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Old 08-18-2018, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Boydton, VA
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If you want flavor, then heirloom is the way to go. If you want production, then hybrid is the way to go.
Some hybrids also come with selectively bred disease resistance.....not to say heirlooms don't, but lets say fewer do.

GMO and hybridization are different procedures. Hybrids are a natural combination of two or more varieties via pollination either in a natural setting or a controlled environment, to achieve different results....such as uniform color, better flavor, resistance to disease, tougher for shipping/handling, etc.

GMO is gene splicing in a lab environment to improve characteristics of a given variety for the same reasons.

My layman's definition.

Regards
Gemstone1
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Old 08-18-2018, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Central IL
15,087 posts, read 8,426,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemstone1 View Post
If you want flavor, then heirloom is the way to go. If you want production, then hybrid is the way to go.
Some hybrids also come with selectively bred disease resistance.....not to say heirlooms don't, but lets say fewer do.

GMO and hybridization are different procedures. Hybrids are a natural combination of two or more varieties via pollination either in a natural setting or a controlled environment, to achieve different results....such as uniform color, better flavor, resistance to disease, tougher for shipping/handling, etc.

GMO is gene splicing in a lab environment to improve characteristics of a given variety for the same reasons.

My layman's definition.

Regards
Gemstone1
Thanks for your defintions! Ignoring arguments for or against GMO, it is important for people not to confuse the process of hybrids which has been done for thousands of years with gene splicing. People seem to have become ignorant and fearful of traditional farming practices.
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Old 08-18-2018, 09:28 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,772 posts, read 1,041,234 times
Reputation: 5955
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmellc View Post
Thinking ahead to next year's tomatoes.

I am thinking of ditching hybrids & looking at heirloom varieties.

I know hybrids don't produce usable seeds and don't like that. But is a hybrid considered GMO?

What are some heirloom varieties any of you have tried and like? I live in central NC, long hot summers with occasionally cool nights.

Hybrids do yield usable seeds-- it's just that you're not sure what you're going to get in the next generation. For each trait, you'll get genotypes in the 1:2:1 ratio (Remember those Punnett Square exercises in hi school bio class?)


As Gemstone states above, GMO involves lab technology (the same used to give us "human" insulin for treating diabetics) and usually implies taking a gene sequence from one species and putting into the genome of another species. The TreeHuggers who object to this must be conflicted because their objections are not consistent with The Gaia Theory that they all seem to love so much


In regards spending a lot of psychic energy fretting about choice of varieties, assuming you're not in commercial growing and needing to squeeze every last cent of profit out of your land, the difference from one variety to the next is small and probably not meaningful to the hobbyist. I view discussions along these lines to be kinda like wine snobs discussing the subtle differences between vintage years. To paraphrase a famous saying about another activity: even a bad tomato is still good
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Old 08-18-2018, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Durham
1,727 posts, read 2,192,029 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Hybrids do yield usable seeds-- it's just that you're not sure what you're going to get in the next generation. For each trait, you'll get genotypes in the 1:2:1 ratio (Remember those Punnett Square exercises in hi school bio class?)


As Gemstone states above, GMO involves lab technology (the same used to give us "human" insulin for treating diabetics) and usually implies taking a gene sequence from one species and putting into the genome of another species. The TreeHuggers who object to this must be conflicted because their objections are not consistent with The Gaia Theory that they all seem to love so much


In regards spending a lot of psychic energy fretting about choice of varieties, assuming you're not in commercial growing and needing to squeeze every last cent of profit out of your land, the difference from one variety to the next is small and probably not meaningful to the hobbyist. I view discussions along these lines to be kinda like wine snobs discussing the subtle differences between vintage years. To paraphrase a famous saying about another activity: even a bad tomato is still good
Home garden. We want salad tomatoes, slicers and cooking type, like Romas.
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Old 08-18-2018, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
26,910 posts, read 5,779,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmellc View Post
Home garden. We want salad tomatoes, slicers and cooking type, like Romas.


I like Cherokee Purple....mine are just now beginning to ripen here in western NC.
Also Brandywine.
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Old 08-18-2018, 03:38 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
22,547 posts, read 28,491,298 times
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It's almost impossible to recomend tomatoes because they are so highly affected by soil and climate. A perfect tomato in one location might not be the best, even a mile away. Tomatoes are a thing that you keep trying varieties until you find one you like.

Forget about gmo. You can not accidently buy genetically modified seeds. The gmo seeds are extremely tightly controlled and the buyer has to sign controlling contracts. You are going to be very aware that is what you are buying.

Heirlooms can have wonderful flavor. They can also be fussy about weather. Many of them need a long growing season.

Some of the hybrids are preferable if you aren't in premium tomato growing country. You can buy hybrids that have a short growing season. Or that don't require as much heat.

I've got a short growing season and I've tried dozens of varieties. What gives me the very best tomato flavor and texture is the hybrid Celebrity. Which seems rediculous, considering it is a commonly grown commercial tomato, and is generally awful from the supermarket. But left on the vine until ripe, they are excellent and they ripen in a short growing season and tolerate a heat suppliment when needed.

Heirlooms don't do well for me, except for one heirloom from Russia that I was never able to find again.

Last edited by oregonwoodsmoke; 08-18-2018 at 03:54 PM..
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Durham
1,727 posts, read 2,192,029 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
It's almost impossible to recomend tomatoes because they are so highly affected by soil and climate. A perfect tomato in one location might not be the best, even a mile away. Tomatoes are a thing that you keep trying varieties until you find one you like.

Forget about gmo. You can not accidently buy genetically modified seeds. The gmo seeds are extremely tightly controlled and the buyer has to sign controlling contracts. You are going to be very aware that is what you are buying.

Heirlooms can have wonderful flavor. They can also be fussy about weather. Many of them need a long growing season.

Some of the hybrids are preferable if you aren't in premium tomato growing country. You can buy hybrids that have a short growing season. Or that don't require as much heat.

I've got a short growing season and I've tried dozens of varieties. What gives me the very best tomato flavor and texture is the hybrid Celebrity. Which seems rediculous, considering it is a commonly grown commercial tomato, and is generally awful from the supermarket. But left on the vine until ripe, they are excellent and they ripen in a short growing season and tolerate a heat suppliment when needed.

Heirlooms don't do well for me, except for one heirloom from Russia that I was never able to find again.
I found a co called Baker Creek. Website is rareseeds.com. I am seeing some varieties there that look good and checking reviews from my state and others with similar summer climates, like Texas, Alabama & SC so far. Yes, I know location is a lot of the game. I'm also looking for suppliers in my region. We have a few local garden centers I haven't had a chance to visit yet.

Keep the info coming. I'm hoping to narrow down to 4-5 types and start seeds about March or so.
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:31 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
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myself I like goliath and mortgage lifters . those two did wonderful for me this season and I got an hefty crop .
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Old 08-18-2018, 08:01 PM
 
337 posts, read 137,387 times
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I have grown them all and currently do not grow any tomatoes at all.
Heirlooms do have wonderful flavor but are very susceptible to disease of all kinds. In Florida the diseases are never-ending and then there is RKN, root knot nematodes, which cripple a plant.

That's the main reason I switched to hybrid tomatoes, just to get some non-diseased tomatoes. I do not apply pesticide anywhere and hybrids worked for a year or two until whitefly showed up. Nasty little critters who cause a vigorous plant to wither and die. I quit tomatoes for a year hoping the whitefly would die out. Nope.

I even went to the trouble of growing in a completely different location couple miles away yet the whitefly appeared there too.
I cannot imagine the drenching of pesticides that commercial tomato growers must use to bring a crop in.

Florida seems like it would be a great place to grow tomatoes but in my Zone 9 location it has been terrible.
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