That is, make your own hybrid tomato variety by cross pollinating two varieties and give nature a helping hand!

The great thing about growing tomatoes, or anything for that matter, is that there is always something new to try.

So, how about crossing two different varieties such as Moneymaker and Alicante for example, to obtain a new variety that is more vigorous and more likely to mature before the end of the season!

Not that there is anything wrong with these two great varieties, but in a poor season, a faster maturing tomato could be handy.

Mum and Dad – Two Open Pollinated Varieties

Firstly, you decide which plant is going to be Mum and which is going to be Dad. It’s best if Mum is the one that produces the most seeds.

Because tomato flowers contain both male and female parts, we need to remove the male part from Mum, which is the male anther cone (yellow).

Now that Mum can’t self pollinate, we then collect pollen from the plant that we’ve decided is Dad, and then introduce that pollen to Mum (the green part above).

The Hybrid F1 Tomato

When Mum’s part of the flower has been pollinated, the tomato that the flower produces, will contain the seeds of the Hybrid F1 (first generation cross). We can then sow these seeds the following season.

Here’s a short video below, that explains how to cross pollinate in a technical way – stick with it if you can – the fuzz sound at the beginning doesn’t last too long!

Here’s a short video (below) that explains about cross pollinating in a less technical way – the gentleman obviously likes eating tomatoes!

Here are two ladies having fun shaking their flowers and enjoying their tomato garden – that’s the way it should be I think! They aren’t cross pollinating  their tomato flowers, just encouraging them to pollinate – something we may all need to do later in the season – a good video though!

If you cross a Moneymaker with an Alicante you could call it Alimoney. If you can think of anymore crosses – Sungold and Moneymaker = Sunmaker, please put them in the comments below. Choose any varieties you like, Moneymaker and Alicante were only an example.

7 Responses

  1. Bakr
    | Reply

    Hi , Steve
    Please add me ,
    I need information about , how get the pure parents seeds from F1 hybrids tomato? By self- pollination of F1, F2,F3,F4,F5 and F6 which produce seeds of both pure parents , right?
    New information please give me
    Thank you very much
    Bakr hommi

  2. Geoff
    | Reply

    Hi Nick,
    Like you, I have been growing tomatoes for many, many years (about 60 actually). Seed prices, especially F1 hybrids, have risen dramtically in recent years, and it is tempting to try your own hand at hybridisation. It seems impossible to find what are the parent strains of a hybrid like ‘Shirley’. Surely the seed companies have not managed to keep this a trade secret for so many years ?

    • Nick
      | Reply

      Hi Geoff, that’s an interesting idea – about discovering the parents of Shirley and maybe some other hybrids too!
      If I find any info. I’ll let you know.

  3. Rhys Jaggar
    | Reply

    Anyone crossed a low-temperature-tolerant species with a sweet, tasty, high producing variety?

    Might be good for the UK for those without resource to a greenhouse……

  4. Dave
    | Reply

    Has anyone crossed a bush with a cordon?

  5. Steve
    | Reply

    Hi Nick and everybody.

    This year, as an experiment, I’m working the other way round. I must add that it’s not for my main crops of tomatoes, that’s down to Tumbling Tom, Sparta, Gardeners’ Delight and a couple more.

    My mate couldn’t stop telling me how good Piccolo were. Now Piccolo is an F1 hybrid. We removed the seeds from one and planted them, germination is superb and the plants are strong and healthy.

    My wife bought some Sainsbury’s basic tomatoes and there were two types in the bag. One was a smallish plum tomato and, surprisingly for a shop bought tomato, very nice to eat. I have no idea whether this was an F1, determinate or indeterminate, but it’s seeds were very fertile. In both cases, I’ll have to wait and see what I get.

    Has anyone else tried this?

    Also, what results have you all had with a minature variety called “Minibel”

    • Nick
      | Reply

      Hi Steve,
      If you sow seeds from a Hybrid F1 tomato, you’ll get F2’s. This means that the results will be a bit unpredictable in shape, size colour etc. It’s not until the sixth generation that the tomatoes become stable and consistent in size and so on.

      Some gardeners don’t care – it’s the fun of not knowing what you’ll get. Other gardeners would prefer to know what sort of toms they’re growing.

      I’ve grown Minibel and they give a good crop of good size cherry toms for a windowsill variety.

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