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Messages - Chiu-Ki Chan

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Plant Breeding / Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« on: 2019-07-23, 10:36:10 PM »
Mine are in a raised bed, and very slow growing as well, even though it's been really hot and they should be happy.


Heard this Splendid Table episode on the radio today. Quite a few interesting varieties mentioned.

Cucumber that's not bland

Squash that changes color when it's ripe so you know when to harvest

Habanada pepper: Habanero minus the burn

Community & Forum Building / Re: Seed Swap Announcements
« on: 2019-02-27, 09:35:37 PM »
GrowHaus Seed Swap

March 23, 2019 (Saturday)
10am to 5pm
The GrowHaus
4751 York St, Denver, CO 80216
$7.5 / $12 / $15

Plant Breeding / Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« on: 2019-02-22, 05:22:28 PM »
I have bought two more kinds of luffa seeds:
Both are F1 hybrids and early maturing.

In additional to these I already have 3 other kinds luffa seeds. I think that's all I can handle in one season. I'll grow 2 plants per type, see which ones I like, hand-pollinate them and save seeds.

Community & Forum Building / Re: Seed Swap Announcements
« on: 2019-02-18, 01:19:59 PM »
Rosehouse Seed Swap with Rooney Bloom

March 1, 2019 (Friday)
7pm to 8:30pm   
14 South Broadway, Denver, CO 80209

Community & Forum Building / Re: Seed Swap Announcements
« on: 2019-02-16, 07:07:38 PM »
Seed Swap with David Woolley of the Manitou Springs Seed Library

March 16, 2019 (Saturday)
10am to 12pm   
Manitou Springs Seed Library
701 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, Colorado 80829

Community & Forum Building / Re: Seed Swap Announcements
« on: 2019-02-09, 05:07:10 PM »
Annual Seed Swap and Giveaway hosted by The Growing Project in Fort Collins Colorado

March 10, 2019
10am to 1pm
Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House
316 Willow St, Fort Collins, CO 80524

Plant Breeding / Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« on: 2019-01-29, 09:48:27 AM »
No, I didn't know about AgroHaitai. Thank you for sharing!

Looks like they do ship to the US:

These are the smooth luffa they offer:

Emerald F1: Early maturity. Smooth type. The fruits are average 45~50cm and 4~5 cm in diameter, 300g in weight.

Tri-leaf: OP variety. Smooth type. The fruits are 30-40 cm long and 8-12 cm in diameter, up to 700g in weight.

There are also these from Kitazawa:

Dok, Hybrid: Also known as edible luffa, this early maturing, vigorous hybrid is high yielding, has lateral branches and is disease tolerant. Green fruit grows to 1.25" x 11" and can weigh Ĺ pound.

Extra Long: This prolific, vigorous variety produces extra long gourds, up to 15 per plant. The fruit has a green skin and excellent flavor. Fruit weighs up to 1 pound and is 1.5" x 33". Fruit left to mature on the vine can be used for luffa sponges.

Short: This smooth skin sponge gourd has dark green and slightly ribbed fruit. It is grown for food or sponges. The young fruit are cooked or used in salad. The buds, shoots and young leaves are also edible. The immature flesh is especially good stir-fried with chicken, bamboo shoots or cashews. Mature fruit is dried for its fiber.

I want to grow two plants per variety, one winter sown one direct sown. It's is going to be challenging to fit so many luffa plants into my garden!

I am going to build 4 raised beds. If I want to rotate crops I can only use two. But how important it is to not grow luffa in some beds this year in anticipation of next year?

Plant Breeding / Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« on: 2019-01-26, 08:29:39 PM »
Hungry animals in spring arenít suprising. A bit of hardware cloth or chicken wire might help, with the secondary advantage that you can add some plastic for season extention in the spring.

I plan to try some kind of cover this year, haven't decided between floating row cover or hardware cloth.

Plant Breeding / Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« on: 2019-01-26, 02:39:20 PM »
When you say "transplants" do you mean seedlings grown by a nursery? I've never seen luffa seedlings at local garden centers so that it isn't really an option. I'll winter sow and transplant the resulting seedlings. Will also direct sow just in case winter sowing doesn't work.

I don't have much choice in terms of varieties. Within Luffa cylindrica I plan to use:

Dok, Hybrid:
Botanical Interests:

Kitazawa is the only company I found varieties. The rest of seed places just sell "luffa".

I'm going to Hong Kong for Chinese New Year and I'll see if I can find any seeds there.

Plant Breeding / Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« on: 2019-01-23, 06:22:40 PM »
In Northern Colorado we have 129 frost free days:

I looked up Lagenaria siceraria. It's a gourd that I've only seen dried as a water bottle in kung fu movies. I am familiar with bitter melon but in Cantonese cuisine we usually cook it with fermented black bean or other strong flavor to make it taste good, and I prefer lighter dishes.

I want to grow luffa because it tastes much better fresh off the vine. The ones I buy from Asian groceries tend to be limp.

I have grown luffa successfully here, in 2016. But last year something ate the seedlings before it's established so this year I want to try winter sowing to see if I can get a head start, both in terms of extending the growing season and also have more leaves so the seedlings can survive nibblers. No idea if that would work, but it does, effectively I'll be selecting the ones that can be winter sown.

Community & Forum Building / Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« on: 2019-01-16, 10:15:52 AM »
The Designation Agreement you sign as part of the application to Pledge a variety includes language to the effect that none of the germplasm used has any patents or restrictions on it that would preclude Pledging it to the best of your knowledge.

That's good to know! Makes me much more comfortable with breeding for OSSI.

Hi and welcome Chiu-Ki Chan,

I am also interested in Luffa for short season/cold climate. I managed to produce them only once, and this in a greenhouse.

If you are interested you can work publicly with the experimental farm network.
You can pledge the seeds OSSI, and exchange them with other breeders.


Hi Ocimum! Yes I would love to work with you and others to breed short season cold climate luffa.

Thanks for letting me know about experimental farm network. I don't think I have enough clarity to create a project there yet, but I made a thread here to get started:

Plant Breeding / Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« on: 2019-01-16, 10:13:46 AM »
I don't really have any plant breeding experience, though I did save some seeds from the luffa I grew in a container two years ago. I am thinking of trying luffa as my first breeding project since it operates like a zucchini (male and female easy-to-seal flowers) so it is easy to control the pollination. I love eating luffas and I want to adapt them to Colorado climate.

Starting a new thread on luffa breeding.

I have chosen smooth luffa (Luffa aegyptiaca / Luffa cylindrica) instead of angled luffa (Luffa_acutangula). The lack of ridges makes it easier to peel for cooking and also to make sponges.

The goal is to make a variety that works well in cold climates, which have short growing seasons. My definition of "cold climate" is somewhere that snows. I am in northern Colorado (zone 5b), which is also dry and windy.

Selection criteria:
  • Transplants well. I just heard about winter sowing and will try to start my seeds this way.
  • Fruits early.
  • Large total production.

I have never done any plant breeding so I'd appreciate your help and guidance.

Also, if you'd like to breed luffa with me please reply with your location, climate, and why you are interested in luffas. I'd love to collaborate.


Community & Forum Building / Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« on: 2019-01-15, 11:03:30 AM »
Hello Chiu-Ki. I'm the cheerfully greedy Chair of the OSSI Variety Review Committee. OSSI doesn't have any luffas....  ;)

Hi Carol! I'm very new to plant breeding and I'm getting a headache reading all the legal ramifications. If I want to breed for OSSI, do I need to trace the legal status of each of the parent plants?

I got my first packet of luffa from Amazon and it was shipped from China. There isn't any mention of patents or anything like that (it's in Chinese but I read Chinese). I also have a packet of seed that I bought in Japan (which was produced in China) plus a packet from Botanical Interest.

Am I in the clear to use these seeds to breed for OSSI?

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