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Tips for making new crosses?

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    Tips for making new crosses?

    Hi all, I feel like I may finally have the guts to do some crossing.
    Any tips for crossing micro's that have been helpful to you?
    Micro as which parent? (If using non micro as 2nd parent)
    Best time of season to cross?
    Crossing techniques or tools to use?
    Great articles or web sites to read?


    Patience, lots of patience. Expect to kill a lot of flowers before getting the moves down. The most difficult thing I found was transferring collected pollen from the hard surface it was on to the stigma of the emasculated flower. The stigma/pistil break off easily. Some folks use a soft brush to transfer the pollen but I have simply been working on developing a light touch...
    There are some very good articles with good photos online that you can read over to learn how to do it. A couple of good sites are and There is another site I used but that link is on my other system so I will have to look for it later... There area also a few videos on YouTube but I didn't find any of them all that useful. That may be how I learn so do look them up and watch a few.

    I got a set of jewelers tweezers off Amazon to use for emasculating the micro flowers. Some of them come to very sharp tips (sharp enough to need tip protectors on them when not in use, these hurt if you punch your self with them)
    A cheap electric kids toothbrush to buzz flowers with. (you can get fancy and buy a gadget designed just for buzzing tomatoes but they cost a lot more)
    You want something smooth and dark that is easy to hold and maneuver to hold under the flowers you are buzzing. Dark surfaces lets you see how much light colored pollen you are getting. (a small kindle or old phone without a cracked screen is nice but a bit difficult to maneuver. I got some black oriental type spoons to try to use this year)
    Which plant you use for which parent is up to you. IF you use a micro as mom and a larger plant for the pollen donor you can tell at seedling stage or just past if your cross was successful. Anything over the size of a micro is a crossbred plant. Doing it the other way around you don't have that visual sign. But as mentioned in Tomato Junction it can be easier as the larger plants have larger flowers and more of them in most cases.
    In the April 2020 issue of Growing For Market, I focused on the selection side of tomato breeding. In this follow-up article, I will discuss how to make crosses and manage breeding projects. The nuts and bolts of crossing tomatoes Crossing two different tomato varieties can be done by physically moving pollen from the flower of one variety to the flower of another. This is accomplished in a series of steps. First, one variety is chosen to be the mother and another the father. I like to use smaller-fruited varieties as mothers. This seems counterintuitive, but from experience I have found that large beefsteaks produce fewer seeds per fruit and take longer to ripen.