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Messages - Doro

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Plant Breeding / Re: TPS 2019
« on: 2019-05-17, 02:09:30 PM »
They look great!

I'm just done with planting out, frost nights made me keep them in the greenhouse for longer than I would have liked. Didn't plant them all, culled about 25%, but it's still plenty enough plants and I'm not sure if I dare to really count them hahaha.

Seed Saving / Re: In Ground -Biennial Roots- Harsh Winters
« on: 2019-04-30, 05:24:59 AM »
I am guessing it's the cell structure that changes through the life of the root.

I found a living little cabbage under the mulch. Which should not happen in my climate. At harvest time it was just tennis ball size, so I left it in and just covered the bed in leafs for wintercomposting. Some days ago I noticed a bump in the mulch and had a look what that was... I might just leave it and see if it makes seed.

Plant Breeding / Re: Fava breeding
« on: 2019-04-23, 01:28:51 AM »
I had planted my last spare F2 seed early in pots in the greenhouse, they are up already and moved outside. But I need to widen the genetic base of this cross after loosing the big batch of F2 last summer.
So since my soil is finally thawing, well at least in some areas of the garden. I sowed the parent lines (Rönnäs and Crimson Flowered) side by side, to produce more F1 seed. There might even pop up some F1 in the Crimson Flowered line already, it is the old original seed batch where I had the first crosses appear.
Fingers crossed that we are not going into a hot and dry summer again. To be a little more safe I'm not interplanting them with the potatoes, they got their own little garden bed this year. If I have to I'll actually water the broad beans this year lol

Plant Breeding / Re: TPS 2019
« on: 2019-04-19, 01:41:59 AM »
@Reed New plantbreeding projects are like rabbits ;D they multiply quickly.
What mulch material do you have available? I stay away from wood shavings or sawdust because they keep the soil cool, but they might be ideal in your situation if you apply them early.

I'm finally done repotting, 216 made it through the first round of selecting. Weak seedlings got discarded and I preferably kept seedlings showing colour in stems and leafs.
Highland Burgundy Red x Blå Congo gave the strongest seedlings, it had the biggest percentage of keepers. Seems like that cross was a good one.
I also got 2 freak plants from Heiderot Second gen. Kept them for now even though they are kind of small. Very narrow leafs that remind me of carrot leaf in tomato plants. It will be interesting to see how they develop through the season. Has anyone else seen carrot leaf in potatoes before? It is new to me.

Being in Europe I'm not able to sell any of my bred veg commercially. Basicly everything needs a license. I breed anyways, just because. Could sell things as ornamentals though lol

I'm not worried about glycoalkaloids, they taste horrible. Found one bitter one last year, a fairly unpleasant surprise biting into it. Any dangerous levels will not go unnoticed at the first taste test. I microwave them with very little water to not wash out things during boiling in a pot of water.

Plant Breeding / Re: TPS 2019
« on: 2019-04-16, 11:22:30 AM »
I think a true seed annual line is totally possible. Most TPS plants make a decent crop in their first year. Some even make a really good crop in the same range as tuber grown plants. So why not :)
Direct seeding is something I would have difficulties with, just because my soil is sprouting a sea of lambsquarter and my short season. But if you don't have terrible amounts of fast growing weeds and a long growing season, direct seeding should be no problem.

I'm still not done with choosing keepers and repotting. But there is still old snow in the garden, so no real hurry. Probably another month until they can be planted out. Mid May seems realistic for last night frosts, spring is late this year.

Plant Breeding / Re: Dahlias and other edible flowers
« on: 2019-04-10, 02:57:34 AM »
I'm not sure if this is true in other countries, but here when buying older varieties you can tell their root production by their shop priceing. The cheap varieties get many roots = lots to divide and sell, the expensive ones don't produce much to divide. New patented varieties are always expensive of course.
I went for cheap varieties last year and can't complain about the size of the root clumps. Nice dense clumps, as big as the 30l pots they were in.
Not sure how reliable that trait passes on in breeding though. The seedlings I got atm are at 2-3 true leaf pairs and all show signs of storage roots already. But I can't tell if that's indicating good root production or if that's just something all Dahlias do.

Plant Breeding / Re: TPS 2019
« on: 2019-04-10, 01:53:06 AM »
I'm just starting to give the seedlings their first pots. The total number is still unknown, but I already know it's more than I should grow lol as always.
So far it's just one line that's potted up, with 30 plants remaining, after discarding 11 weaklings. Might discard another 5.
Probably around 200-300 in total... I need to borrow a rotavator when the ground finally thaws.

Plant Breeding / Re: Dahlias and other edible flowers
« on: 2019-04-04, 11:02:40 AM »
I grew Dahlias last year for the first time. The insects loved the single flowered ones, the plants did not need much attention and they look stunning even from a distance.

I took some seed and have about 20 seedlings now. I'm mostly experimenting with seed because the roots take up an awful lot of space in the root cellar. It's also a little bit too humid and cold there to be good dahlia conditions. It would be nice to just grow them from seed instead. I also like surprise flower colours, so I don't mind that they will look different each year.

Cooking advice is a tough question... just eat potatoes instead?  :P  ;)
I had 6 varieties last year, tried all of them and none was a treat to eat. The varieties with the good tasting roots seem to be rare.
I'll continue to taste test each new plant, but I'm not holding my breath for finding a good one. Just growing them for ornamental reasons atm.

Seed Saving / Re: Separating wind pollinated crops (beetroot)
« on: 2019-03-28, 01:57:32 AM »
Offsetting planting time is a great idea, thank you! I wasn't thinking of that at all because of their long flowering time.
But when combined with at least a decent distance and some fabric barriers around the stalks, that sould stil work good enough.
Cuttinf off the late flowers on the first planted variety and discarding the first seeds from saving on the last flowering one will reduce risks even more. I let 10 roots go to flower on average, that's tons of seed and discarding a few does not hurt.

Planting them late will be the trickiest part though. All my seed roots spend 5-6 Months in the root cellar, winter is awfully long here. They usually are desperate for planting as soon as possible. But some varieties store better than others, so it should work out somehow.

Seed Saving / Separating wind pollinated crops (beetroot)
« on: 2019-03-27, 03:47:21 AM »
Usually I only grow out one variety of seed beetroot for the swedish seedsavers per year. Just to avoid crosspollination.
However I got my hands on an older seed sample of a rare sugar beet and I'd also need to up my own seed stock for my favourite beetroot variety. So now I'm having three varieties waiting for seed production next year :/ but there is no way I could plant all tree in the required distance to avoid crosspollination.
Having a seed cage would also be nice to keep beetroot from crossing to Swiss chard. I'd eventually need to take seeds from that again too.

But how should I go about building a seed cage for wind pollinating crops?
I assume garden fabric could be used, but I am worried it will become too hot and humid under it for beetroot. Can't just open the cages to air them, right? Any ideas how this is done?

Plant Breeding / Re: Sunflower - Giant Russian.
« on: 2019-03-27, 02:55:02 AM »
This topic brings up long forgotten memories.
My grandpa used to send little me to pull all sunflower plants, because 'they are not good for other plants'. We used to have the bird feeder in the veg area during winter and got lots of volunteers all over the place. I tried to convince him to keep some, but he was very firm about not having them near anything else.
He was really good with old fashioned companion planting, so I assume sunflowers were considered bad neighbours to most things.

Plant Breeding / Re: TPS 2019
« on: 2019-03-23, 03:19:21 AM »
Yeah, by now I have a whole list of potato variety synonyms. And another list with things to grow out side by side, where I am suspecting it's two varieties sharing a name.

Now I'm wondering if All Blue was a third variety originally and the imported B.C. and S.B. just got lumped into it because they are all blue hahaha I'll grow Blå Congo and Salad Blue this year. I can do a side by side picture comparison of them for reference. The differences between the two are quite obvious. It should be possible to tell if there is a third one hiding in the All Blue mystery.
Anyone growing All Blue? I know Tim isn't ;)

The daylength is indeed rapidly increasing for me. Daylight today is 12h 25m, in 4 weeks it's 15h already and on Midsummer it's almost 19h. Not real midnight sun, but pretty long.
The only issues I have at hardening off time is the strong spring sun burning seedlings if I'm not careful. I got triple glass windows at the house, UV rays are not going through. So any plants going from the house outside have to be placed in shade for a while. Ideally I bring them out during a cloudy week.

Plant Breeding / Re: TPS 2019
« on: 2019-03-22, 12:28:08 PM »
@Rowan 3 crops of diploids in one year sounds wonderful! My high dormancy diploids are really struggling with the long storage. I hope they survive until planting time.

@Bill they might be considered synonyms in the US. Sadly names of varieties get confused and lumped into a familiar name a lot when they travel. But they are actually 2 different varieties in Europe. Blå Congo is an old Swedish variety. It's often called Blue Swede or Blue Congo in other European countries, but it's from Sweden. It's on the floury side, a mid season variety. The plant habit, flowers and tuber characteristics are different from the UK Salad Blue. Tuber skin colour is a warm purple on Blå Congo and a cool blueishpurple on Salad Blue. Colour saturation in the tuber is less uniform in B.C. than in S.B. The UK Salad Blue is also a very waxy salad potato, not floury at all. Both are different in taste too. Blå Congo has a good strong oldfashioned potato flavour, getting earthy if overfertilized. Salad Blue is very mild and well balanced.

I always grow them like that :) daylight in march is ok here, as long as it's not too cloudy all the time. I find that more light isn't really necessary for potatoes.
They get repotted once or twice before I can plant outdoors. Since I plant them deep each time, just letting the top leafs stick out, they make lots of roots on the leggy stems. I think deep rooted TPS give a better harvest than shallow plants.

Plant Breeding / Re: TPS 2019
« on: 2019-03-22, 02:55:41 AM »
They are up after a week and germination was quite good in all of them.

Plant Breeding / Re: TPS 2019
« on: 2019-03-13, 07:02:35 AM »
That's sad that climate change makes them increasingly difficult to grow for you. I could not imagine having to stop growing them... worst nightmare kind of thing for me. Just love potatoes lol
Have you tried first earlies? They are tricky to breed with, but they make a crop very quick. They are done in June for me or can be planted late as an autumn crop, ~4 months before fist frost. That avoids any hot dry months if that's the issue.
My TPS does not have a chance of getting old ;) because I sow them as soon as I can. But I also heard they stay viable for some years.

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