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Messages - B. Copping

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Seeds from Andrew have arrived!

Here’s a picture for comparison.
I suspect that the observable differences are caused by growing environment.
Will have confirmation on that theory at harvest.

Would you like a sample of seeds of mine to compare with yours?

Dividing the varieties into strictly ‘Mendel’ types, and bonus types might be useful.

I haven’t grown Midnight Snow yet, but I’m going to guess that it is a purple podded variety.
If that is the case, I would move it to the bonus category.

While Dwarf Grey Sugar has purple flowers and green constricted pods, it is of medium height, so it might be better in the bonus category.

A tall yellow podded variety with purple flowers would be a nice counterpart to a short variety with white flowers.
Does Joni’s Taxi have purple flowers?
(Joni’s Taxi & Mighty Midget)
These two, when crossed, would segregate for height, flower colour (and pod colour).


Plant Breeding / Re: TPS 2019
« on: 2019-04-11, 11:57:55 AM »
Well, as intriguing variety names go, I think ‘Cthulhu’s Jockstrap’ is...fantastic!

I’ll suggest ‘Lovecraft’s Wedgies’ if anyone needs a name for a chipping variety that they have developed. :D

(No space in the garden for tps this year, alas.)

I’m aiming to plant out at least 200 TPS seedlings this year. I potted up the seedlings last weekend into deep 32 cell Nursery type trays and added 8 cubic yards of compost to the 100x10 feet bed designated for 2019 potatoes and tilled it all well. All seed was from a generous trade from Oxbow Farms. Varieties are Magic Dragons, Unknown Diploid,Tree Leaves Mix, Cthulhu’s Jockstrap, Careta Amarilla, Bountiful, Shetland Black # 4 and # 5, Katahdin, and I think one more.😉 I’m super excited to grow these out. I’ve grown TPS before, but not for several years. I had previously grown Magic Dragons, Goldsegen, and Marron Bells.

Plant Breeding / Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« on: 2019-04-04, 04:00:30 PM »
Tack hammer for tacks...sledgehammer for garden stakes.
And all the hammers in between.
Plenty of choices!

For searching the web, “halophyte” is a useful term.

Cultivated veggies that I know of:
Orach, New Zealand Spinach, Okahijiki.

Plant Breeding / Re: Salsify
« on: 2019-03-02, 06:13:00 PM »
Black Salsify, and Yellow Salsify both are listed as having perennial tendancies in mild climates.
I don’t yet know if the Black Salsify will be perennial in my climate.
It’s awfully cold hardy though...I was waiting for the foliage to die back before harvest, but the snow arrived first.

Plant Breeding / Re: Salsify
« on: 2019-03-02, 12:22:30 PM »
Thanks for the info on the flower buds.
I’ve read several recipes for salsify that say to scrub, but not peel the roots.

Wild Salsify:
Less scientific, but interesting (if you can read French).
If nothing else, there is a list of common names in various languages.

I’ve added the Western Salsify (T. dubious) to my list of “Salsifies”.
There have been many times when I have cursed the abundance of common names, often applied to multiple species.

Black Salsify Scorzonera hispanica Yellow flowers; Black skinnned roots. Biennial, perennial in mild climates (?).
(Scorzonera; Spanish Salsify; Viper's Grass; Black Oyster Plant)

Purple Salsify Tragopogon porrifolius Purple flowers; White roots. Biennial.
(Oyster Plant; Havrerod; Haverwortel; Hawwerwurtzel; Vegtable Oyster; John-Go-To-Bed-At-Noon)

Wild Salsify Tragopogon pratensis Yellow flowers; White roots. Biennial.
(Meadow Salsify; Jack-Go-To-Bed-At-Noon; Goat's Beard; Barbe de bouc; Barbouzet; Salsifis: des prés, sauvage, bâtard, d'Orient)

Western Salsify Tragopogon dubius Yellow flowers. Biennial.

Yellow Salsify Reichardia picriodes Yellow flowers. (Might be perennial in some climates)
(R. macrophylla; Picridium vulgare; French Scorzonera; Brighteyes; Common brighteyes)


Plant Breeding / Re: Salsify
« on: 2019-03-01, 07:30:52 PM »
Wild Salsify:

No idea if they will ship to the USA. (If you e-mail in English you will likely get a response in English)
I took my Wild Salsify seeds to the Seedy Weekend, so I only have plants in the ground now.

Plant Breeding / Re: Salsify
« on: 2019-02-28, 03:26:44 PM »
Salsify. Yum.
I figure that anything that tastes good canned, will taste even better fresh.
I’m waiting for the ground to thaw enough to get some out of the ground.

Black Salsify (Scorzonera hispanica) ‘Enorma’
I haven’t been able to pull them like carrots.
I can see that the long thin roots are an advantage if you are going to can them.
I prefer to be able to pull root crops by hand.

Wild Salsify (Tragopogon pratensis)
I bought seeds for this by accident last year.
Remembered the genus, but got the species wrong.
I now know that ‘des pres’ is not a varietal name. :)

Purple Salsify (Tragopogon porrifolius)
This year I made sure that I bought the correct species.
‘Fiore Blu’ and “Salsifis”

Yellow Salsify (Reichardia picriodes)
A friend is growing this, but I haven’t heard the results yet.
I’m interested to know if it will survive the winter here.


Nice looking plants!

Plant Breeding / Re: Plant breeders without borders
« on: 2019-02-26, 04:42:58 PM »
I applaud the idea of empowering people by encouraging plant breeding.
If nothing else, after learning to save seeds, maintain varieties, and how to develop a variety, there is a much greater appreciation for high quality seeds.
In turn, this makes makes clear the value of quality varieties (offered by reputable commercial or non-commercial sources).

I’m afraid I still find your answers vague. Please help me understand.

Public Domain. Yes or No.
Available with a MTA. Yes or No.
Nagoya protocol. Yes or No.


Plant Breeding / Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« on: 2019-02-25, 03:36:10 PM »
I’m not aware of any specifically Canadian varieties.

I have not personally grown Momordica charantia since they are a taste I haven’t aquired.
I have seen other gardeners sucessfully grow them and save seed here.
(The seed origins are likely India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.)

The gourd that I have grown in the past is 'Serpente di Sicilia'. This seed came from Italy.

In general, they do need to be pampered here (Montreal) by using transplants, and not planting them in the garden until *after* the tomatoes.
Once the summer warms up enough, they take off.

Are there special canadian varieties available or just asian ones?
I wonder because I never had success with both (and luffa too).
Seems they need to be pampered a lot when cultivated here in northern Germany.

Seed Saving / Re: General Pea Information.
« on: 2019-02-25, 03:09:08 PM »
The variability in seed colouration could be a normal part of ‘Kent Blue’.
If the other plant traits are uniform, that makes it more likely.
There is nothing wrong with having different coloured long as it’s normal for that variety.

A later emergence for some of the seeds could result in a longer harvest period (with smaller daily harvests).
That can be an advantage in the home garden. (Although it is difficult to have too many peas. Yum.)

I tend to soak DGS prior to planting.
The majority (95%) sprout within 3 days, max.
This is from seed I have saved.

You may find that you have different results when soaking the seeds that you save from this year’s plants.
Your saved seed may have more uniform maturity, so dormancy mechanisms might not show up as clearly.

I didn’t pay close attention to the emergence time for seed I planted dry last year.
Another item added to the list for this year.

In 2017, DGS went into the garden as transplants.
I had a plastic cup of seeds soaking, and then life interfered.
I changed the water daily, and had a cup full of 4” transplants by the time I was able to get back in the garden.
Gently teased them apart, planted ‘em, and they didn’t even flinch.

The soil is still frozen solid here in balmy Canuckistan. Enjoy your seedlings!!!

There were a few seeds that appeared completely green and also a couple brownish types. They germinated faster than any of my other varieties. The rest are green with anthocyanin spots, as you describe for Dwarf Grey Sugar. It's possible the greens and browns are rogues - so I've labeled everything and grown in different modules.

I only have 10 Kent Blue from the heritage seed library, so not much to compare until the end of the season.

The speckled seed has been in the soil for a week with no signs of life. Stripped off some of the testa and resoaked - they're alive! If I left them to their own devices I'm not sure how many weeks later they would have naturally germinated. It's definitely a strategy for later emergence. And no signs of mold.

Plant Breeding / Re: Plant breeders without borders
« on: 2019-02-24, 01:16:21 AM »
For those who would “develop germplasm at home”:
Do you intend to supply germplasm from which to derive cultivars? (Or offer that as an option.)
If so, under what terms?


My name is Anthony Leddin and I am developing an NGO called Plant breeders without borders ( ). I thought I would throw this idea out to you all and let me know what you think. The idea is to get plant breeders to volunteer their time to train smallholder farmers in developing countries how to breed in underutilised crops. I thought the network might be able to help out by developing germplasm in crops where there is little diversity available and this could be then sent to the projects so the smallholder farmers had something to start with. We are currently working on a list of underutilised crops that are of interest. If you want to help out by being a volunteer or helping develop germplasm at home for projects let me know and feel free to ask any questions or give any suggestions, thanks for your help

Seed Saving / Re: General Pea Information.
« on: 2019-02-23, 11:57:08 PM »
I have never grown ‘Kent Blue’.
Does that variety have seeds that are completely green?

I have never seen completely green seed in my population of ‘Dwarf Gray Sugar’
For me they are all green with purple/blue spots, which might turn brown with age.

Testa thickness: a general adaption to generally crappy growing conditions/mold/fungi in the spring?
(I haven’t had DGS rot in the ground yet.)

Great project  :)

Last night I updated some of the JIC SeedStor accession and Pgene database links. New to editing a wiki so learning as I go.

I'll be recording data on all the varieties I grow this year, around 25. One early observation made while soaking some 'Kent Blue' peas - the blue-speckled seed remains desiccated and hard in the same time it takes the greens and browns to swell and fully germinate. Which may conform to the assertion that proanthocyandins in the seedcoat act as a germination inhibitor . Or maybe they have thicker testa. Could this be an adaptation to dry climate?

(That pink flowered Golden Sweet is truly beautiful!)

Plant Breeding / Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« on: 2019-02-23, 11:37:57 PM »

I now have seeds for Luffa operculata (seed swaps are fun!).
I’ll keep track of it’s performance here, and will let you know if the results are promising.

Seed Saving / Re: General Pea Information.
« on: 2019-02-19, 01:26:42 PM »

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