The Q&A Archives: Growing Heirloom Tomatoes

Question: I'm planting 3 different types of tomatoes this year. Two of which are heirlooms (I want to learn about seed saving) but also another non-heirloom variety (hybrid) .. Is this a problem with cross pollination? My garden is 45 x 45.. Maybe keeping them apart on different ends of the garden !!<br>Thanks....

Answer: Cross-pollination is not normally a problem with modern tomato varieties, however your heirloom tomato may have the flower structure that permits cross-pollination by insects. To be sure, keep the different varieties on different sides of the garden, separated by at least 10 feet. Planting a tall crop of some kind between the tomato patches will also help. <br><br>Here are some tips on saving the seed: Scoop the pulpy flesh from the fruit into a glass jar containing water. Stir and allow to ferment for two or more days at 75-80 degrees F. Stir frequently. The good seed will eventually fall to the bottom and can be removed by pouring off the remaining pulp and seeds. Rinse the good seed with water and allow to settle. Pour off the water and repeat this process two more times. Dry the seed out of direct sunlight and store in an airtight container.

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