Timmy's Wild Rajah
Finally, after seven years of (often frustrating) selective breeding, I have developed what I think will be an excellent choice as rootstock for grafting tomatoes! I started in 2011 with a common, hybrid grafting variety. For years I could hardly get any blossoms, let alone fruit set. But after perseverance, and perhaps a little luck with cross-pollination, I present this open-pollinated Timmy's Wild Rajah Grafting tomato.
This vine shows multiple character traits of Solanum habrochaites:
- Distinctive broad, heavily serrated, lighter green foliage
- Distinctive "wild" odor to leaves that is potent but hard to describe
- Fine, very pointed yellow flowers
- Enormous, extremely healthy, rambling vines with extreme branching
For the first several years of breeding, fruits were very sparse, tiny, hard, green, fuzzy, and seemed to never ripen. It was all I could do to harvest enough seeds to try again the next year. In 2017, fruit production was much improved on two of the nine vines, and fruits started to show a distinctive pattern of 2-3 dark green stripes over light green, and were marginally edible. A few fruits even started to show a light salmon color when left for many weeks. These were edible, though not very flavorful.
Then in 2018, one enormous plant (among eight grown) produced a pleasant surprise: loads of fruits that were 3-4 times larger than in previous generations, and they ripened to an unique color something like topaz or caramel. But the color that comes closest is Rajah, depicted here: https://www.colorcombos.com/tags/colors/rajah
Most surprising is these fruits are very tasty, scoring a 7.5 on a scale of 10! They have that distinctive wild flavor of varieties such as coyote, but the have a nice sweetness and a pleasant, complementing flavor. The fruits do have a tendency to split with overwatering, but this can likely be prevented with more careful gardening practices.
For gardeners who have trouble with soil-borne diseases on tomato vines, grafting is a viable alternative to settling for those (mostly) boring hybrids which claim to have multiple disease resistance. This variety has been bred as an alternative to those hybrid, and often very expensive commercial seeds sold for grafting. That the fruit is also very edible was a very pleasant surprise! Well worth growing for the fruits alone.
Disclaimer - my experience with grafting is limited. Please consult experts if this is your first time attempting grafting. Also, as this is still an ongoing project, I can make no guarantee that this variety will be as effective for rootstock for grafting as the proven commercial varieties; nor can I assure that segregating is completed. I simply don't have the manpower or resources to trial dozens or hundreds of crosses like the big, commercial, corporate seed producers have. So consider this an adventure, an experiment, and I welcome all feedback! firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh yes, the name! Timmy is a young relative who, from the age of three years old, has been an enthusiastic and energetic helper in the garden, and who also has a particular fondness for tasty little tomatoes like this one.
Rajah refers to the distinctive color, as mentioned, and also derived from the Sanskrit word for prince or ruler. Wild refers to the S. habrochaites genetic heritage.
Seeds are being offered at the same rate as other seeds on this site, $2.40 for 20-25 seeds. If you are interested in larger quantities, please contact me by email. I can arrange for a few batches of 100+ seeds. I am interested in supplying gardeners, farmers and researchers only - NOT seed re-sellers who abound on eBay and the like.
Best of luck with this one - I am looking forward to your feedback, whether negative or positive!
Growouts in later years are producing a variety of sizes and colors...