Heirloom Tomatoes

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The Difference between Hybrid and Heirloom Tomatoes

 Heirloom tomatoes are non-hybrid/ Open pollinated cultivars of tomato. Many varieties of Heirloom tomatoes were in danger of extinction but in recent years have become increasingly popular and more readily available. Heirloom tomatoes can be either indeterminate or determinate. Indeterminate means they produce tomatoes all season long. Determinate means they will bear most of their fruits at one time.

Heirloom vegetables are any type of variety of seed that has been saved and grown for multiple generations . All Heirlooms are Open pollinated or OP plants , Open Pollinated simply means cultivars that produce seeds / seedlings with the same characteristics as the parent plant. Rarely will a hybrid do this.

A Hybrid Tomato is cross bred with other compatible plants in an effort to create a plant with desirable characteristics from both parents. New varieties of Hybrids are introduced every season and are labeled as hybrids or F1 (first-generation hybrid),F2 (second-generation hybrid). These may eventually stabilize after multiple generations.
 

 





Hybrids are not genetically modified organisms {GMOs}. A GMO is a plant, whose genetic material has been altered in order to give it characteristics that it could not acquire naturally.

Seed Quality of Heirloom Tomatoes


 If you decide to grow Heirloom Tomatoes I recommend you use only high quality seeds, purchased from a reputable source.  
 

There are up to 250 tomato seeds per one gram; approximately 150 and possibly as many as 200 good plants are produced per gram that is sown. The process of seed extraction used both commercially and by Tomato enthusiasts is actually very complex and tedious and does have a major impact on the ultimate quality of the plants and tomatoes produced.  Propagation and cultivation techniques for Heirloom Tomatoes is no different from standard practices used to grow tomatoes at home. See Home Grown Tomatoes

Varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom tomato varieties vary widely in color, taste, shape, and size. One drawback to some heirloom cultivars is that they lack resistance to many diseases, some are also prone to splitting and cracking.

 

Heirloom Tomatoes - Visual identification

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Heirloom Tomatoes
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