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Massive volunteer tomato bush - save seeds?

2 months ago

I had a volunteer tomato emerge this Spring in a bed where it has been at least 20+ years since I had a tomato bush. Those were Early Girls, but this one was NOT. Someone told me that Early Girl is a complex hybrid which of course does not come true to its own seed. I get that.

The tomato which emerged in my rose bed (climbing up a rose, of course) grew massively - within a month it had eaten 2 rose bushes, and within 2 months it had expanded to cover 4 of them, and by this time the tomato bush was easily 5 feet deep, 5 feet tall, and 10 feet wide. It bloomed and set fruit endlessly, and would have expanded to block the driveway except that the vehicles kept "pruning" it. I have been picking clusters of ripe tomatoes (each about the size of a ping pong ball) off it for months - perhaps 10 tomatoes per day would suddenly be truly ripe, and they were delicious. Happiness.

So, I am presuming this was an old sort of tomato - the fruit was definitely too fragile to ship, and I learned to cut the clusters off, instead of trying for individual tomatoes, so as to keep them intact.

My question is: I have never had much luck rooting anything from seed, except of course self seeding flowers or weeds, which also self seed. Sorry I am so ignorant, but does anyone know how to dry tomato seeds, and then what to do with them to get another plant or two? Do you need lots of complicated machinery? How do you prevent them from "damping off"?

Of course there may be seeds underneath where the plant was (it is freezing here every night and the tomatoes are not ripening anymore, so I had my gardeners take out the bush today. It was laden with green tomatoes, of course, and they asked if they could take them home - they come from a So American culture which has LOTS of recipes for green tomatoes, and were very happy when I said yes. However, because we have a resident doe which discovered she liked the taste of tomato leaves about a week ago, I would like to grow a bush next year in my fully gated new rose garden. Can I just wait until a sprout comes up naturally and then dig it up and move it?

Sorry this is so long with so many questions, but I grow a lot of roses, and hardly any vegetables. Any ideas would be really appreciated.


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