Flowers and Fruits · Seeds and Seedlings · Vegetation

Preserving DNA

For the first time ever I got a beefsteak tomato plant to actually produce some fruit. I am now doing everything possible to preserve this plant and its DNA. I’ve harvested two tomatoes from the plant so far and saved the seeds from both fruits. To get the seeds, I scooped out the pulp with a spoon and then removed the outer gel coating by dragging each seed across a paper towel. I’ve done this before and find it works well (as opposed to fermentation) since I’m doing things on such a small scale.

I have also propagated this plant via a cutting. I cut off a newly-emerged sucker (with about 3 inches of stem) and stuck it into a 4″ starter pot with potting soil. I set it outside and less than one month later I had roots growing out from the bottom of the pot. I transplanted my cutting to a gallon pot and cut off the two bottom leaves so I could plant it deep.

Despite the consistent triple-digit temperatures this cutting is doing well. What will happen to it over the winter? I’ll probably move it to the garage. Or maybe just cover it up at night. I’ve experimented with overwintering tomatoes before and have had some success so I have to decide how much I want to gamble with this prized cutting. Regardless, I’ll soon be taking another cutting or two to help increase my odds of success.

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