I know, in most veg, you save the biggest and best to replant--like garlic. Is there a advantage to saving seeds from your largest tomatoes? I dont mean varities, I mean the largest on any given plant.
It could end up being a mistake saving seed from your largest tomato if it was a hybrid. It wouldn't breed true from that seed anyway. From an heirloom, if the trait you want is LARGE, then yes, save the seed.
I would save seed from the best plant, not the largest fruit. Think of it this way, what if plant A produced 1 lb fruit and produced 10 lbs of tomatos. Plant B produced 1/2 lb fruit and produced 20 lbs of tomatos. It's obvious to me that you want seeds from plant B, not A.
Luckily with toms you can save seed AND eat them up. I'd save seed of TASTIEST, maybe of easiest (in my weather that'd be 'doesn't turn to moldy mush a day before being ripe') to grow to harvest; BIGGEST only if that is what you value or you want a size prize winning strain.
OK, now I think I get what you are saying. I think that all the viable seed of the same plant will have the same genetic potential. Just because a fruit is larger doesn't mean it's seeds will have better genetics. It could be that it was one of the first fruit to form, that it formed while more water or nutrients were available, etc.
Yes, no, maybe! The correct answer would be to save fruit only which exhibits the standard for that variety. Just because a certain plant has some fruit which are 50% bigger than standard does not mean that those fruit are genetically the same. The rule of thumb for origin of each tomato variety is that 95% are fixed hybrids. The other 5% are mutants or somatic changes. Some early-maturing varieties were produced by collecting seed only from the earliest fruit. Others were established by going through a field and picking out the largest fruit. (Many of Livingston's varieties came about that way.) There's a big fuss in the tomato world right now as to the correct Box Car Willie. Seems that what many companies are offering has larger fruit than according to descriptions in a certain book. Apparently it's identical otherwise except for the fruit size. Somatic changes can be where there are two obviously different fruit on a single plant such as yellow and red. It can also happen with fruit of the same color and that would not be so obvious. Personally, if the plant and fruit are according to the standards except for some extra large fruit, I look at the larger one as just being more seed than a smaller one!
Thanks everyone, Tinknal, exactly what I was meaning. And good advice on the healtiest plant. And Martin, these extra large tomatoes seem to fit description. Tomato was (sp?) Cuoro De Toro, or Bulls Heart. And I'm definetly finding out which heirloom tomato does best in our climate.
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