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Messages - reed

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Plant Breeding / Re: Dahlias and other edible flowers
« on: Today at 03:53:35 AM »
Diane, what type of dahlias do you grow? I have to admit I'm taken with the flowers as much as the prospect of the roots being used for food. Mine are just starting to sprout now on the windowsill, unfortunately I'll have to select down to the best fifty or so as that is all the space I have in the fenced areas and I suspect deer would make short work of them if planted in the open.

 I like the smaller ones with simple flowers and I just read that the genes for single flowers are dominate so that's good since the woman came home with some of those great big dinner plate ones. They will be a good distance from mine in the garden and if any crossing happens I'll just have to keep culling them out in future. If I get any nice size or flavor roots I'll try to keep them over next winter.

Plant Breeding / Re: TPS 2019
« on: Yesterday at 03:01:07 AM »
I don't bring much of anything extra into my garden, got burned on that a several years back with some horse manure and I don't trust bringing in hay or straw either. I do have a big pile of composting wood chips that I may start using. It came from the electric company when they cleared the lines along my road and I know nothing nasty has been sprayed or applied to it. It's been there three years now and is turning into some pretty good stuff.  Generally I just use what ever I scrounge up around the place.  Weeds that I pull, spent plats like bean vines or corn stalks and grass clippings.

When I cleanup my paths I use a sharp hoe to scrape the ground and end up  with green weeds mixed with soil. A pile of that hollowed out in the middle and filled with finished compost is what my little TPS patch is growing in. It's still a little depressed in the middle, I figure as they grow I'll fill in with more good compost and then mulch the whole thing with grass or the rotting wood chips. Trying to keep the ground a little cooler is a big part of it, along with conserving moisture.

Potatoes grow fine here, IF there is good rains but I'v had a couple near total crop failures in last few years from heat and drought.  That's why I had decided not to put much effort into them but I had those seeds and I had that pile of path scrapings so thought what the heck, might as well give it another try.

I'm not worried about the TGA either, I think I'm kind of hypersensitive to that awful taste. I'll just discard everything including seeds from any plant that makes potatoes with even a tiny hint of it. Poison or not, to me anything that tastes like that isn't fit to eat.   

Plant Breeding / Re: TPS 2019
« on: 2019-04-18, 06:09:11 PM »
It is hard to get a useful yield when direct seeding and the mortality rate is high.  Seedling development is so slow that the plants often don't have a chance to produce before the end of the season.  Obviously, this depends on climate.  I think it is pretty easy to work on a two year schedule though.  You could grow seedlings in a bed, perhaps with some protection, and then use the small tubers for seed the following year.  Those plants would produce normally.  Many people grow in pots the first year to get minitubers.
I think my biggest problem will likely be heat and drought. I'v already watered them a couple times and if we don't get tonight's predicted rain will do so again tomorrow. I'm sure there is plenty of moisture deep in the ground but those tiny seedlings don't have enough roots to find it yet and the sun and wind are really drying the surface up. The plants don't even have any true leaves yet. I'm thinking if I can nurse them trough till they get better established and keep em mulched good later in the season, they might just make a little bit of something.

Is TGA the same thing that gives that awful taste if a potato skin has been exposed to light and turns green?

Plant Breeding / Re: TPS 2019
« on: 2019-04-17, 04:36:21 AM »
The only other time I grew TPS it was a diverse mix. I had a lot of small potatoes, several in range of about quarter sized and lots of smaller. Some made a lot of them so despite being small you could still get a meal or two from a hill. There were a few the size of chicken eggs. Most all of them tasted good and most bloomed but only the one that made the little blue potatoes made any seeds and it was just one berry's worth.

All mine are up now, not all the seeds have sprouted  but enough of all three kinds to more than fill out the little plot. It's small enough I can easily cover it if we get a late freeze and easy to keep watered when it gets hot.

I guess if they are willing, I'll have a new breeding project.

Plant Breeding / Re: TPS 2019
« on: 2019-04-16, 09:11:07 AM »
I'm surprised that the idea of potatoes as a seed grown annul has real possibility, and delighted. I'm also surprised to see a lot of my seeds which I planted on the 10th, just six days ago are sprouted. If nothing else I'v discovered that direct seeding works. Just one so far of the blue ones has sprouted and none yet of the heat tolerant but enough of the white superior they will have to be thinned. 

I'm actually a little conflicted on how I want it to turn out. From what I understand the white superior seeds were a bit of an anomaly and although other white superior plants bloomed that year, they all came from two berries on just one plant. On the one hand keeping them pure, for now at least, has it's plus side but for diversity it might be best if they get crossed. If there is any potential for turning into a seed grown line I guess crossing is best but what ever they do is up the them I reckon. I also planted a big row of white superior seed tubers so maybe they they will all bloom together.

Plant Breeding / Re: Dahlias and other edible flowers
« on: 2019-04-15, 03:04:49 AM »
I just learned that the young leaves and flowers of Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) are edible, I'll have to check them that out. I have a nice population of it collected from multiple wild patches around south east IN and northern KY. Flowers vary from dark purple to white with white being the least common. It is one of my most favorite flowers. It can compete and grow mixed in the weeds and grasses outside the tended yard and grows in full sun or under trees. It's perennial but just for a couple years, so the big patches kind of move themselves around from year to year.  When a big patch is blooming the whole place smells wonderful, especially at night.

Has anyone tried it in salads or cooked? Is it good?

Community & Forum Building / Re: Seed Swap Announcements
« on: 2019-04-14, 07:11:44 AM »
Yep, already ate a lot of the beans, most corn I reckon will go to chickens. Planted a lot of old peas, radishes, turnips yesterday just for soil improvement in spots where corn or something will go in later.

Plant Breeding / Re: TPS 2019
« on: 2019-04-13, 04:26:42 AM »
I broke down and planted some TPS the other day. I was cleaning out paths and pilling the weeds/soil up to rot and decided to hollow out the middle, throw in some compost and just direct seed. Put in about 25 of my White Superior, all 15 or so of a little blue one. No idea of what kind the blue one is, it came from Joseph's bountiful mix and only other one that has made seeds for me. For good measure I added some from Oxbow farm whose tag said they produce berries in hot weather.

The whole thing is about 7 feet long and three feet wide, assuming they come up I'll thin out to ten or so plants and see what they do. I'm leaving the decision whether or not to keep growing TPS in coming seasons up to these seeds.

Like I said potatoes are getting harder and harder to grow here, plus I don't have good storage to overwinter tubers and I don't like digging potatoes. All that said I would not all be opposed to a line that could be grown as a true seed annual, even if they did only produce small tubers. Wonder if that is even remotely possible.

Community & Forum Building / Re: Seed Swap Announcements
« on: 2019-04-13, 04:06:55 AM »
This is kind of related to seed swap I think. I have a lot of seed I don't want so I started dropping it all in a box thinking I would donate it to the seed library but as the box filled I realized it would take forever to pack it all up in small packets with labels so people would know what it is, way more time and trouble than I want to mess with. I have several two liter bottles of sweet corn, probably a pint of tomato seeds, good golly, where did it all come from?   

I'm thinking of roughly tilling a spot out in the weeds and tossing it all in or scattering it up and down the road. Go back a few months later and see if anything grew. What do others do with extra seed?

Community & Forum Building / Re: Homegrown Goodness Forum
« on: 2019-04-13, 03:56:05 AM »
According to the ProBoards terms of service page they do not take ownership of people's content so that's good. As far as saving the content I just copy pasted the stuff I may want to look back at. I actually printed some, not a lot. Just parts where someone explained things about genetics and inheritance that I might want to reference again.

Plant Breeding / Re: Dahlias and other edible flowers
« on: 2019-04-12, 03:34:14 AM »
That is interesting how they describe them as having different flavors, I'll have to watch for that. All the ones I'v tasted so far I would describe as being a little bit peppery.

Seed Saving / Re: In Ground -Biennial Roots- Harsh Winters
« on: 2019-04-12, 03:05:22 AM »
I have had poor luck with carrots overwintering, have never harvested a single carrot seed but right now I have a pretty good stand of carrots that made it through the winter. They were seed planted last fall instead of like I have tried before which is replanting selected larger roots. I am hopeful that although they are small they will bloom this year and if I'm lucky they will do so before the QAL.

I know I won't be able to select roots in what I guess is the traditional way but if/when they look to be starting a flower stalk I will pull some and see what the root looks and tastes like then replant it and see what happens. If this works it might solve my problem of getting carrot seeds. From then on I'll plant two crops each year, spring to harvest as always and fall to overwinter for seed.

Seed Saving / Re: Propagating Green Cacti Fruit
« on: 2019-04-11, 04:57:05 AM »
I planted a bunch couple years ago on the state's hunting preserve about an hour hike from here, guess I should take a walk and see how they did. Some discarded chunks took root and are growing by the garden fence. I guess I'll keep them around for now at least. They are lovely plants but man they are mean.

Do the big spines act as triggers when touched looked at, to shoot the little ones at you or is that just my imagination?

Seed Saving / Re: Propagating Green Cacti Fruit
« on: 2019-04-10, 04:49:39 AM »
The "spineless" ones in the pictures on that link look to me like they still have the tufts of little spines just not the big ones. Is that so? The little ones that get in your skin and stay are the ones I hate most.

Plant Breeding / Re: Dahlias and other edible flowers
« on: 2019-04-10, 03:50:39 AM »
I'll be starting my dahlias in next day or two. Got lots of seed from the little single flowered Mignon mix and as much as I hate the idea of tagging and tracking I guess that's what I'll have to do. I'm just not good at record keeping, I just go mostly on remembering but since I won't know till fall what kind of roots I have I'll number my plants and save seed from them individually. Then at harvest seed from those with the best roots will be saved in greater amount than those wit poor roots.

I'v read that there are differences in flavor so I'll taste test them too and save larger number of seed from good flavor ones even if they are not as big.

Hostas are popping up and I'v just been tasting them raw and finding flavor differences in them too, so I'll keep track and collect seed from the best ones. One of my favorites is large with fragrant white flowers, I think it's variety name is Royal Standard, it and another large one that has purple flowers are the best flavor. The smaller ones seem not to be as good. I'm still curious about eating the seed pods on hosta rather than the spring shoots. I suppose they would be safe, don't know why not. They are abundant and no harm to the plant in harvesting them. I'm a bit of a chicken about eating weird things but I'm gonna give them a taste test this year.

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