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Breeding Practices

Documentation

Part 5

We have discussed how to time and apply pollen to the mother plant in order to make a successful cross. After all those tasks are complete, there are some important steps in the documentation process to remember.
On the day the pollen touches the stigma, hang a paper jeweler’s tag from the blossom cluster and record the parents: Mother X Father (“ladies first” is a way to easily remember the order). Also, don’t forget to record the date. A separate notebook or computer file is another place to record your parents and date information; it is here you will also keep track of future progress.
The last step of the initial documentation is recording a photo of the fertilized blossom. Some choose to skip this step, but I prefer to have as much baseline information as possible. From here, I will take pictures of the developing ovary every few weeks, recording the date in my photo album.
The resulting ripe tomato will look exactly like any other fruit from the mother plant; the seeds you save from this pollinated fruit will become your F1 generation of seed.

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