Last year's crop gone to seed...

Last year, we left several tomato plants as well as quite a number of unripened tomatoes go to compost in our small garden plot. This year there are about twenty really healthy looking tomato plants that have come up from last year’s tomatoes gone to seed. I’ve never seen this happen before, will they produce fruit as last years? Do the seed companies do something to them to prevent successive generations from producing? Sorry, if this is a stupid question but I really don’t know.

I don’t know about tomatoes specifically. But a lot of crop seeds are hybrids of specific stable varieties. There off springs will probably not have the desirable characteristics that seeds you purchased will have.

Planting a red delicious apple seed will not give you an apple tree that produces red delicious apples.

Most commercial tomato plants are F1 hybrids. Their seeds will be F2’s. You shouldn’t expect the consistency of last year’s plants, but some of them may produce as well as their parent plants did last year.

I am not aware of any “funny stuff” done to tomato genetics by seed companies. Corn, soy bean and cotton seed are a different matter, however.

I had this exact thing happen one year, after the year when we got so many tomatoes I couldn’t eat, can, or give them away fast enough. There must have been dozens that fell and rotted into the soil. The “volunteers” produced tomatoes that were quite good as far as I can recall. Don’t remember what variety we started with, though.

I’ve been growing heirloom tomatoes from seed for five years now. Each year I select a few of the best tomatoes, clean and dry the seeds, and plant them in the spring.
I always get a decent yield, however, a couple years ago my Black Krim hybridized with my Caspian Pink, and I ended up with Black Caspians. It made for tasty big tomatoes, but was not what I expected.
Different types of tomato cross-pollinate very easily. Most of the progeny produce a decent amount of fruit, but you won’t know what the things will look or taste like until they’re ripe.

Thanks for the replies, I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how good the fruit is. I’m concerned it might be way too many tomatoes, though. I canned last year’s remnants as some pretty good salsa and I still couldn’t use them all up. Tomato recipes if you got them.

I know a guy who believed for years that cherry tomatoes were a perennial plant. They produce so fast that some tomatoes always fall and rot, growing the next year. He always had a new plant next year, so…

Sometimes, bad science is harmless, like in this case. Other times, :eek:

Tomatoes are perennials in their native climate. It’s possible, if you live in an area where the winters are mild, for a tomato plant to survive and continue to produce the year after it was planted.