Tomatoes from outer space!

ESSINGTON, PA

My tomatoes are doing something really weird. Whenever a branch contacts a support--a string, a stake, or even another tomato branch--it "bends" the whole branch around it. I've never known tomatoes to climb like that. I come out and see individual leaves "grabbing" stuff like alien fingers. Only the Chocolate Cherry vines seem to be doing this.
I'm sure this is normal adaptive behavior... But is it typical for a tomato to do this? It's like they crossed with a pole bean from Mars!

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

I'd love to see a 'photo of your alien tomato.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

My Chocolate Cherry plant is not doing that.
I also want to see a picture of your aliens.

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

wow, yeah show us, maybe that one was taking lessons from a cucumber or other plant that has those grasping tendrils ;)

Tiskilwa, IL

Oh, do save some seed & see if the next generation does it too! You may have a new mutation or cross. Maybe it's not useful, but it might be, and anyway it makes a cool novelty...

In case you actually do want to save the seed, the absolute easiest tomato-seed-saving method (just in case you don't already know): smear the tomato seeds on a sheet of paper. Write the name of the variety on the paper ("Alien Chocolate Cherry"?) Let the paper sit in a dry place till it's totally dry. Fold it up and store it in a dry place (wherever you store seeds) till spring. In spring, pick the dried seeds off the paper & plant. It's that easy.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Uh, don't those seeds need to be fermented?

Tiskilwa, IL

No, they don't. That's how the professionals do it, but it's not necessary. The woman who taught me the paper method has done it for a dozen years, and I've now done it for two, so I can testify that those seeds are viable.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

They don't have to ferment (after all we get volunteers in our gardens) but it is advised. It aids in germination and kills seed born pathogens, that's why the professionals do it. That's one reason that I no longer participate in swaps bc I don't know how the seeds have been processed. I got a fungus in my garden in 2010 that ive never seen before the only way I can figure it got in was by seeds. There is also a hot water treatment that can be used.

If your keeping the seeds for yourself and don't have any disease issues you should be fine. Coffee filters work well too.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks for the explanation, Lisa.

I ferment all my seeds cause that's the way I learned to do it here, from Carolyn, Horseshoe, and Farmerdill's tutorials.

I, too, have become wary of the seed swaps, unless I have some background on the method used to save 'em. Which is basically why I grow heroines -- so I can save my own seeds!

Linda

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I think fermenting them is the best bet. You learned that from the best of the best. But it's not essential.

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