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Messages - Steve1

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Sweet Potatoes / Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« on: 2020-03-30, 07:58:06 PM »
While overseaing some prep work for what will be a 25 x 14 meter extension to the vegetable garden,  I eventually opened my eyes after walking past the SP several times and found,  not one but 4 flowers on the Beaurgard plants. While photographing the flowers for posterity,  I noticed a number of bees about.  Two honey bees flew past,  not stopping and several native bees stopped and checked it out.  One was very interested and spent a couple of minutes inside the flower,  crawling out covered in pollen!!  That bee then crawled into the next flower,  so I should find out if Beauregard is self-compatable or not.  Photos to follow

Whwoz thats good news on the Beauregard front. Is the ornamental still flowering?
I had a soil test done here last December, and the pH was 4.9. I haven't really attempted to ammend it with the exception of some mushroom compost.
I've also got one of the ornamentals flowering as a houseplant and am using pollen from the garden. I may take cuttings of the others that have multiple flowers on different stems to see if that might get me some seed set. Getting too cool outside now.

Sweet Potatoes / Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« on: 2020-03-21, 03:23:32 PM »
Thanks Steve1, last time I grew sweet potato in that soil was the first time I had grown them, from memory 8 kg from 2 plants, so yes, hoping for a good crop. Still not seeing a lot of flowers,  hence the floaters. 

Re clover,  when you next pull one out,  check the roots, if nodules are present you have nitrogen fixing going on, if no nodules,  no nitrogen fixing occurring.  Clover by itself does not fix nitrogen, requires Rhizobium bacteria.

Good to hear about the different varieties flowering, makes me wonder if my soil to high in N.

I can only speculate that N may be part of it. All the legumes I planted last year (as part of the green manure) including the clovers were innoculaed with the right rhizobia. Some clovers are doing better than others, but good point - I'll go look for pink nodules.
The flip side of all this is that I probably wont get the SP yield you will whwoz. 

Sweet Potatoes / Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« on: 2020-03-18, 06:45:36 PM »
Well done whwoz, those sweet potatoes look great, and I reckon you will get a good crop as well. Mine are ok for such a cool season in a first year bed. That clover is my main weed (which I leave if not to close to the plants) says something about the lack of soil nitrogen.
Interestingly, today there are buds on Matt's Purple Flesh which came from Fon later than the others. I thought it might be Okinawan as the leaves are similar shape but the Okinawan I have has a long flower stalk and this is short. The leaves most resemble Kumera / Japanese. Will still be a week or two at least before it flowers.

Sweet Potatoes / Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« on: 2020-03-16, 04:47:49 AM »
I have just found my swee potato flower,  on the ornamental but still a flower!!

Nice whwoz! It's slowly happening.
Wandered over to the vege patch tonight and Evangeline had flowered today and suprisingly to me so had the Okinawan (only a single flower) and the two ornamentals. Slowly, there is a bit of momentum.
Pasted some pollen around and now we wait.

Sweet Potatoes / Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« on: 2020-02-28, 03:29:43 AM »
Ok, so some good news. Firstly, I have buds on what was an unnamed bench scrap which I think I confirmed yesterday as Evangeline (daylength neutral). Also, I have another ornamental (also daylength neutral) purple heart shaped leafed SP in flower which was kindly given to me by Chris who has also been very generous in giving me lots of other varieties I've shared.

Also of note is that in discussions with Chris, I suggested I thought there should be more action on the flowering front and he commented that no, in general most of what he has are short day flowerers around the autumn equinox, with the exception of the ornamentals and Evangeline. I really need to get a list going and work out all the day neutral cultivars he has.

Anyway, with Fon having Northern Star budding, Evangeline and two ornamentals flowering we might have a crack. Fingers crossed for warm weather. 

Sweet Potatoes / Re: Sweet Potato flowering triggers
« on: 2020-02-27, 03:30:50 AM »
I just posted this video in another post as well.  At about 30 minutes he discussed grafting onto Brazilian Morning Glory rootstock to increase flowering.

Thanks Nathan. Fon42 on the Australian SP thread has been grafting to I.carnea this year as a test run for a full scaled effort next year. I think the Japanese papers i've been reading use I. nil. One trick is to make sure there are leaves below the graft for hormone production I believe.


Plant Breeding / Re: Projects at El Huerto, Oz.
« on: 2020-02-26, 06:14:40 PM »
Interesting Gregg. Sounds like youíll be selecting for salinity tolerance this year. Peninsula is great. More garden space than I can poke sticks at. Your storage tomatoís have bean about the earliest for me, which has been surprising. In general tomatoís have been slow this year. I have lost some stuff to wind rock (though not staking tomatoes). Evidently iím going to be selecting for big root systems this year.

Plant Breeding / Re: Projects at El Huerto, Oz.
« on: 2020-02-25, 06:11:17 PM »
Yep, well done Gregg! You have made some great progress in 6 months.
Looks like the bore water is working well.

Sweet Potatoes / Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« on: 2020-02-24, 04:54:23 PM »
Great Gregg, at least it should save your back looking for the buds.
Just found an interesting paper from Japan (1977) looking at the effects of Gibberelins on flowering in SP.

For me the salient points from this paper were mostly summarised on p255

1) Field grown plants didn't flower

2) Short day photoperiod is necessary to induce flowering

3) GA's do increase flowering in SP under short day conditions.

4) Fall grown cuttings flower much easier than summer grown cuttings (even under short day photoperiod conditions) - and I think this one is likely key looking at Richards overwintered SP's and how much flowering they have in NZ.

Whilst there is genetic variability in SP's, as demonstrated by the ornamental purple leaf which is flowering now - this probably demonstrates why ours are generally dragging their feet.

Sweet Potatoes / Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« on: 2020-02-23, 07:24:21 AM »
For me Reed, looking at it mean min 15.7'c and mean max 23'c. A couple of nights sub 10'c over the last few days and 8 days over 25'c so far for the month. Has been foggy here too at times. It was warm and sunny today though...

Sweet Potatoes / Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« on: 2020-02-23, 05:13:51 AM »
no buds or flowers on mine. Next year, maybe.

Don't give up hope yet Gregg. It's slim but we'll see. Another mate I gave some slips too, ornamental purple flowering - but nothing else.
I did drop by Uni the other day where I got a number of the other slips, and he has 4 other varieties in flower/bud now. Not sure what they are as they were unlabelled and he wasn't around to ask at the time. Further investigation there, and hopefully more genetics for next year. My patches of Okinawan, Kumera and Wanmun are large, the others not so much as they were planted later, but with the eqinox coming we can at least see what might be short day.

Sweet Potatoes / Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« on: 2020-02-20, 08:45:46 PM »
Fantastic Steve. Wouldnt mind some of your rain, only had 18mm this year so far.

Richard, I'd be happy to swap you some of the 200 odd mm of rain from the last month for some sun and heat? It's weird when you get a long stretches of 17-20'c in Feb. I hear its pretty droughty in NZ, particularly Auckland - is that right?

Sweet Potatoes / Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« on: 2020-02-18, 03:39:02 PM »
First flower, 13íc this morning after 50mm of rain. Not to mention the wind.

Sweet Potatoes / Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« on: 2020-02-17, 05:39:57 AM »

I've not heard of the elevation or Tuber theory before only that daylength and hormones play a big part. also stressing the plant to near death sometimes works with other species. That said whwoz i'm trellising mine for convienience and will try a method used in fruit trees were they bend the branch at 45 deg or even downward to accumulate more hormones.


i can now report i have my first flower buds but on the northern star. the other varieties show no signs yet.

Going to Muirs n sons Monday and will be checking out "biostimulants" at the very least it "seems" cysteine and zinc play a big role in flowering. need to check if this is just hype

Cheers :D

Is that a grafted one Fon??

Sweet Potatoes / Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« on: 2020-02-15, 05:20:07 AM »
Looking good Fon.

Giving the elevation promotes flowering theory a good test this year, have extended the mesh the full width of the SP bed, but I am wondering if the crazy season we are having is working against me here.

From what I understand whwoz, hormones are a large part of the puzzle - which is why big SP breeding programs graft to ornamental flowering morning glory species. The flipside to this is genetic load or the accumultion of deleterious mutations (which are really part and parcel of clonal vegetative crops and in one paper I read referred to as part of the domestication process of clonal crops) that that affect the ability of the plant to flower - perhaps by inhibiting these hormones.
The third question is does growing from slips affect hormone production and flowering. I have considered doing a study comparing slip vs tuber plants and flowering over multiple years to nut this out. It's interesting at least on the surface that the NZ SP's that have flowered so much more than ours have been overwintered as house plants and also likely well advanced in terms of maturity. And finally there is the environment. Heat is likely to have a role here - perhaps in hormone production too.
My ornamental SP has buds that are getting bigger but none I can see on any other variety, but here we have had cool weather, lots of fog and rain. The Solanum potatoes are doing well though...
These are just my thoughts, I'd be keen to hear any others...

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