Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The French Dona

I have a sig line on my email that I've used for years. On the search for the PERFECT tomato It's a line that is meant to work on a number of levels. PERFECT-anything is beyond this world and a search is a quest. tomato is an old slang word for an attractive girl. Early in my hydroponics tomato growing I did fall in love with the French Dona, a medium size indeterminate hybrid tomato that is perfectly beautiful, round, a luscious red, and simply delicious. It doesn't hurt that my wife has some French heritage so I kid her that she is the PERFECT tomato, and a French Dona (Lady) as well.

But don't just take my word for the fact that this is a great tomato. When I was looking for seeds yesterday I first looked in my Totally Tomatoes catalog where I have usually purchased my seeds. No French Dona was to be found. Then I googled French Dona and found a nice entry on Reimer Seeds but they didn't have any. Renee's Garden gave me the horrible news:

"Dona is a hybrid tomato from an old French seed company. As you may know, hybrids need to be made by hand each generation. A seed company has to maintain a pure line of both the mother and the father tomatoes, and cross them each time the hybrid seed is being produced. The company decided for their own reasons that they wanted to discontinue making the variety Dona - probably they have something they think is better, but still want to keep the parent lines for their own continued use, so the breeding material isn't available to other people to make the hybrid cross themselves. So that ends Dona as we have known it. ..."

Frankly I'm horrified, so part of my seed quest is to see what can replace the Dona in my tomato love life. Just in case you think I'm exaggerating let me point you at another link that talks about the Dona. Dave's Garden

So I was pretty happy when I found some Dona seeds (see yesterday's post) I also may have some old one's in the basement but they may be too old to germinate. It should be an interesting Spring.

1 comment:

Red Icculus said...

Just grow out as many hybrid Dona seeds as possible. Find one with the most desirable traits and cross the child seeds with the original plant 3 times. It will 99% like the original. It will take some time, but will turn your hybrid into an heirloom in no time.