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Topic: very old tomato seeds

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Subject: very old tomato seeds
Date Posted: 2/4/2010 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,439
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Just this week, sorting through some of Mother's bird books deciding which ones to post (Mother passed in '99), I encountered a package of tomato seeds (Super Sioux) with the label, "A gift of seeds from Family Circle."  Since we had to take Mother off the farm in '82 when she got legionairre's disease, they have to predate that.

Odds on any of them coming up in a couple of months when I plant them?

I don't suppose there is any special treatment to give them, is there? I would suspect that either they are dead or they are not.

Subject: very old tomato seeds
Date Posted: 2/22/2010 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2009
Posts: 45
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I tried old seeds before, the germination rate was about 30%. Put them in the fridge for a few days to help trick them into growing,I don't know about seeds that old but give it a try. good luck

Date Posted: 2/23/2010 9:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 2,433
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I've had good luck with old seeds. †Some from my grandfather's stash were close to 30 years old and I got about a 20% germination rate. †It's wonderful to bring back one of his old favorites; I didn't remember the cultivar but I save them every year now.

Date Posted: 2/24/2010 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 4,955
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I agree it's definitely worth a try.† (I recall reading somewhere once that they were able to grow stuff from ancient seeds found in the Pyramids, so who can say what is too old?)†

I start all my seeds like this each year---and then plant in the ground only those that sprout:† Dampen a paper towel.† Not sopping, just damp.†† Fold it in half a couple times. Scatter some seeds on the towel, then gently fold the paper towel one more time over them.† Place the paper towel inside a plastic bag,and just fold the edge down, do not seal the bag.† Put it in a sunny warm†place (a windowsill) and check back in 5 or 6 days.† There should be some condensation on the inside of the bag.† When you open the paper towel, you'll see which seeds have sprouted, and those are the ones you should plant.† If NONE have spouted, close it all up again and wait another few days just to give it another try.† †

Good luck!

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 1:45 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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Seeds vary from species as to how older seeds sprout.† They have sprouted seeds of Amaranth from prehistoric Peru.† Then some hybrids types drop sharply in their viability within a year or two.† The percent that sprout will probably be much lower than fresh seeds.

It seems to partially have to do with if the seed developed a need to withstand drought or not.† And if it is a hybrid or not.

Date Posted: 3/4/2010 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,439
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The package has been examined and found to contain 32 seeds. I have no idea whether Super Sioux is a hybird or not, determinate or indeterminate. 12 to plant using Stephanie's method; 10 to plant using Donald's; 10 to do like I usually do: put 2 seeds in one plug from Parks, put it in the grow-dome, put heat under it, wait and see. This gets over 90% of new seeds. I will plant the seeds around the 1st of April, hoping to put them in the ground around 15 May. Last killing frost here is about 15 April, but in my experience it is not productive to put the seedlings out in the garden early as all they will do for about a month is try to survive. And as Chuck used to say, "Sometimes they do, then again sometimes they don't."Thanks much to all. I will incorporate new ideas if I get any. Expect a progress report about 15 April. :P

Date Posted: 3/4/2010 10:53 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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Heirloom (non hybrid) and indeterminate.†

Sioux
This heirloom variety was originally released in 1944 by the University of Nebraska and is worth planting today because of its incredible flavor and reliably large harvests even in hot weather. Although this appears to be an average size (6 oz.), unassuming red tomato, you just have to grow it to believe how good it is -- sweet yet tangy and full of those rich, complex flavors that make a delicious tomato memorable. Extraordinary taste in a round, red tomato. Indeterminate. 70 days.

Super Sioux
An improved Sioux. Sets fruit dependably even in high temperatures; 4 ounce, smooth, round fruit. Indeterminate. 70 days.

Subject: tomato's
Date Posted: 3/13/2010 1:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 362
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I live in a apartment in Texas. I realy love home grown tomato. I have been seeing alot about those tomato you can grow up side down or the† those tomato tree. What do you think would be the best way† to grow tomato in a apartment? I plan to shop for some this weekend.

Date Posted: 3/13/2010 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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How warm is it there at night?† Tomatoes really don't thrive until it stays warm enough.† We still have several months before the plants would be happy here in California.† Mid to late May here.† I saw tomatoes for sale already.† But they don't do well without heat.†

I have grown the upside down ones.† Will do so again this year.† Make sure where you hang it is strong enough.† They get very heavy when watered.

Date Posted: 4/19/2010 10:32 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,439
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Ten Super Sioux seeds were planted in my Parks Gro Dome a week ago. First I kept them in the ice box for four or five days. Two have come up! I will continue to post progress reports.

Date Posted: 4/20/2010 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2009
Posts: 45
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Great news John!