The folly of self-seeded tomatoes

29 Sep

Have you ever done something that you knew was going to turn out bad, but convinced yourself it would be different this time?

Have you –

Reached between the scalding oven shelves to nudge that cupcake over, because this time you’ll be really careful?

Left the washing on the line for ‘just another 5 minutes’ before the impending thunderstorm?

Eaten oysters at the RSL club buffet?

We’ve all been there, and it ain’t pretty! Why am I so slow to learn these lessons?

It’s the same with self-seeded tomatoes. They pop up with so little effort, reaching decent seedling size before I’ve even noticed them growing. It’s so tempting just to pot them up and let them go, which is what I did in May this year, and what Ali did earlier this year too.

I only started planting heirloom varieties early this year, so I’m certain that this plant is the mutant offspring of some variety of supermarket tomato, or else the hybrid tomatoes I grew last year, possibly one that was carried off by the possums. This plant is now producing fruit that has inherited all the bad characteristics of its parent, and none of the good.

It’s rock hard, and it’s really really small.

I always think that I’ll get lucky and end up with some amazing new variety that tastes fabulous and produces abundantly.

I’m never that lucky.

I am seriously never going to bother again.

Oysters on the other hand…

Seafood night at Blacktown Workers is just such excellent value!

5 Responses to “The folly of self-seeded tomatoes”

  1. Kate September 30, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    Always a risk with hybrids, 2 years ago we bought seed from an organic supplier for zucchinni but what grew was more like a little gourd, and we just left it to grow because it was a pretty little thing and was from a reputable supplier after all. The next year we grew zucchinni from saved seed and a few produced a fruit that was poisonous. It made me quite sick and luckily we tried it before we sold any. I researched it as I’d never heard of such a thing and it is rare but does occur, usually from hybrids that have been let go to seed from the compost or whatever and it’s a throwback to a wild zucchinni. We are thinking that , that little gourd type of zucchini from the year before was a wild zucchini which had cross pollinated with some others and produced a few of the poisonous variety, and really the only way to tell was the taste apart from a slight difference in shape. Very tricky when your selling produce. Luckily no one but me was affected.

  2. L September 30, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    Goodness, Kate! Well if I wasn’t convinced before then I certainly am now- it never even occurred to me that a vegetable could turn out poisonous! Such a fascinating story- thanks for sharing it.

  3. Barbara Good September 30, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    I’m another that tend to make the same mistakes over and over again and every time I think why did I do that again! Well, last year I transplanted two of my self seeded tomatoes too. The plants got to impressive size were covered with fruit, but sadly it was so late in the season that none of the fruit ripened. This turned out to be a blessing, cos it made wonderful green tomato pickles – thankfully they did have decent flavour even if they were pretty hard little things.

  4. Liz October 1, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    Ever the optimist I usually leave mine in because one day all the cross pollination will work perfectly and they will be fabulous and I’ll get to name a tomato….well a girl can dream cant she….

    • ali October 2, 2011 at 11:35 am #

      If I didn’t let my mistakes grow I wouldn’t have any produce at all 😀

      Oven roast your little rocks and I’ll bet they turn out PERFECT!

      ps oysters… euwwwww!!

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