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I've never saved seed from commercial tomatoes before, but I'm going to give it a try this season since my supply of smuggled San Marzano F1 seed is almost used up.

I have a concern about the tomatoes breeding true since I planted Sweet 100's Cherry tomatoes about ten meters from the San Marzanos and I've already had some curiously large, squared-off cherry tomatoes this season.


Hi John,

I don't recognize this tomato. I had a quick look through some of my books on the subject, and didn't see anything like it there either.

Honestly, there is not a lot of harm in trying to save seeds from it and seeing what happens. It will cost you garden space next year of one or more plants to try.

If you REALLY like this tomato, and it turns out to be an unstable hybrid variety, you can try going through the process of dehybridizing it. This is basically replanting it over the course of a few years, each year saving seeds from the plant(s) that most closely resembles the original plant. Each year the plant will become more genetically stable. This process normally takes 6-10 years. There is also no guarantee of sucess in the end.

I was just reading a post today here: http://daughterofthesoil.blogspot.com/2006/08/how-to-hybridise-tomatoes.html About how to make your own F1 hybrids, that you can then go on to try to stablize if you want.

I will have a look through my tomato seeds, and see if I have something interesting I can send you. Have you ever grown 'black' (purple really) tomatoes? These are some of my favorites. Another one I like is called Yellow Taxi, sweet and yellow but not plum shaped.

Do any of these look interesting?


Hanna in Cleveland

It can't hurt to try. Save the seeds and plant them next year.

If you really want, you can try to take cuttings as well. Tomatoes do really well with cuttings but they can be a bit tough to get the resulting plants through the cold months indoors.


Ildi is a commonly found tomato: Indeterminate (cordon) - yellow grape tomato cocktail tomato, how about trying it this year.

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