How to Breed Tomatoes. 5 Useful Tips to Follow

Although learning how to breed tomatoes takes time, every backyard or greenhouse gardener would tell you that it’s well worth the effort. The art of tomato breeding involves the process of combining various types of tomatoes in order to produce cultivars that are new and improved.

Those who practice this art are either trying to come up with a better-tasting fruit (yes, the tomato is a fruit) or they’re looking to form new tomato varieties that are able to withstand harsh weather conditions.

 

How to Breed Tomatoes. 5 Useful Tips to Follow

What are the Benefits of Breeding Tomatoes?

In case you’re wondering, breeding tomatoes can offer you plenty of great benefits. For example, the process of tomato breeding can cause you to create tomato plants that are more resistant to diseases that include bacterial canker, as well as bacterial spot. You can also breed tomatoes to create a new variety that has an improved color, smoothness, fruit quality, crack resistance, and a better taste.

With tomato breeding, you can even produce vine-ripened tomato varieties that contain more antioxidants than any regular tomato. It’s also possible for you to create bigger and more productive tomato cultivars with more unique tastes and longer shelf life.

 

How to Breed Tomatoes

One of the most common reasons why greens aficionados pursue tomato breeding is to create a tomato cultivar that delivers the proper balance of sweetness, acidity, as well as that indescribable flavor that hits the tongue. However, others who have tomato breeding goals that go beyond taste are probably looking to produce a tomato variety that exhibits strong resistance against pest infestations and diseases. No matter what your goal might be, here’s what you need to remember when you’re trying to breed tomatoes:

 

Tip #1: Choose plants that possess your desired qualities

To achieve your desired results, you need to carefully choose the tomato plants that you’re going to use for the breeding process. These must have the characteristics that you’d want to combine into the tomato cultivar that you’re planning to create.

 

Tip #2: Create DNA markers

Those who are doing professional research make sure that they get to identify the genes that carry the characteristics that they want. Once they do, they use DNA markers to allow them to identify and produce the tomato cultivars that display these characteristics.

 

Tip #3: Use different types of techniques

Breeding tomatoes can be performed with the use of various techniques. However, these methods are dependent on the breeder’s experience and skills.

Other gardening enthusiasts choose to pull off the anther cone in order to emasculate the tomato flowers. A dissecting needle is used to gather pollen and transfer it on an exposed stigma. A clear indication of your selected method’s success is the enlargement of the plant’s ovary.

 

Tip #4: Mark the area where the pollination occurred

You may use colored twist ties to mark the spot where the pollination took place.

 

Tip #5: Prevent cross-pollination

Make sure that you prevent any occurrence of cross-pollination that could potentially affect the breeding process. One way of doing this is to tie a paper bag on top of the plant’s flowers.

 

What You Need to Consider

Since tomato breeding involves the use of trial and error methods, don’t be discouraged if you don’t end up with a tomato cultivar that has better quality. It’s important to note that research into the process of breeding tomatoes is still going on. More and more professional researchers are trying to create and develop plants that are able to withstand the ever-changing weather conditions.

 

Can You Breed Tomatoes in a Hobby Greenhouse?

Yes, you can! Growing your plants inside a hobby greenhouse proves to be more advantageous than growing them outside. Here are some of the best reasons why your plants would thank you if you try your hand at greenhouse gardening:

 

You can plant anything you like

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to grow cacti or bonsais – you can grow any type of plant inside a hobby greenhouse because you won’t be planting them directly into the ground. This also means that you can move them anywhere you want! Growing a full range of vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs won’t be an issue at all.

 

You get to extend your plants’ growing seasons

If you have your own hobby greenhouse, you’ll be able to extend the growing season because the enclosed space allows you to control the climate. This means that you can still manage to grow your favorite tropical plants even if you live in a colder region. Conversely, you may also choose to keep your hobby greenhouse’s internal temperature cool for your plant babies that thrive in cooler temperatures.

 

Your plants will be well-protected

Since your hobby greenhouse provides your plants with a layer of protection against the external environment, you can be sure that they will be shielded from the elements. This eliminates the need to make emergency preparations to keep your plants safe from harsh weather conditions that include strong winds, heavy rains, snow, sleet, hail, and blizzards. What’s more, your hobby greenhouse will also serve as a barrier between your plants and the constant threat of pests and vermin.

 

The Takeaway

Now that you know how to breed tomatoes, consider growing your cultivars in a hobby greenhouse so that your plants can enjoy the benefits listed above!

 

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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