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Topics - Richard Watson

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Blogs & Media / Our weather 2021
« on: 2021-01-10, 11:46:11 PM »
 Today was a overcast summers day, high of 17C - 62F, sunny tomorrow though with a predicted high of 25C - 77F

Tinkering / Posting photos
« on: 2021-01-09, 01:24:03 PM »
I was using a photo storage website till I found it linked to a Russian dating site,( I was wondering why i was getting emails from lovely young ladies). :D now I'm having no luck using the file attachment on here, is there a wee trick to it that I dont know??

Potatoes / Pink/red potato
« on: 2020-12-28, 12:21:51 PM »
Advice please. I found a tuber last growing season which is the only one Ive seen of it, came from a TPS about 10 years ago. I put one in a pot which grew through the winter inside the tunnelhouse, then planted it out in spring thinking it would grow for the summer but it didn't, instead it died back, in fear of misplacing it I dug out what tubers it grew. Question now is what's best of these considering its mid summer and its a long time to store these till coming spring.


Legumes / Extraordionery tall fava beans
« on: 2020-11-01, 08:34:40 PM »
Had a message from a customer who had bought 'El Beano' from us a couple of year ago to say they have had plants grow as tall as 3 meters and given huge yields. She grows organic and is passionate about permaculture growing, so there's been no high flouting modern fertilizer used to have caused this amazing growth. Anyone experienced anything like this

https image hosting

Corn / Billiard maize
« on: 2020-01-28, 09:54:45 PM »
I was given this maize by an old gardener who no longer had the physical means of carrying on growing this variety, I know little of its history or where it came from but its currently showing lots and lots of diversity, from dark red to green in the silks and stems. Plan is to select from the most productive with the plan stabilized it so as to pledge this as a new variety at some later stage.

Click on photos for larger viewing

This cob is growing off the base on one plant

This plant has 10 cobs developing and is a plant that stands out from all others.

Some of the longest silks ive ever seen

Blogs & Media / Our Weather -2020
« on: 2019-12-31, 12:14:27 PM »
First day of 2020 and we have terrible smoke from Australia this morning, a red sun that's casting no shadows. Has brought warm air with it though.

Allium / Onion crossing and stabilizing projest
« on: 2019-12-17, 11:54:37 AM »
Ive never played around cross breeding any of the my onions varieties, which are - Pukekohe Long keeper (brown), a lost named variety I call Medbury Red, tree onions and clone Amuri Red.
In June I bought,  I managed to plant out two lots of seedlings, one lot you can see in the photo and the rest have pretty much fulled a 6mx1m bed. The inside plants are huge that have leaves about a metre long, outside plants not as big but still much larger the PLK and MR but about the size of AR.
Thinking that mixing those three and buying seed of a white onion would make for an interesting project, So plans are, I want to flower/seed the Mammoth this time next year in the garden here. In a friends garden 3kms away who is even more isolated than here I could plant a few of each while hunting down a few white onions to stick in also. There garden is a free draining, an old alluvial river flat that has had enough time to build a 30-40cm soil sitting on up to 50kg rocks. With water it grows well.

Question- what would you say be a good number of each? Onion crossing and stabilizing

Plant Breeding / ribed leaf leeks
« on: 2019-11-28, 10:23:39 AM »
Quite taken by the wavy leaves that have turned up in my leek seed bed this spring, thinking I might save the seed from these as a point of difference.
Anyone had leeks do this?

Allium / Portage Leek
« on: 2019-10-04, 02:20:59 PM »
 Thought I had already started a thread for this breeding project, there was one on HGG though.

Ferdzy and I had swooped seed a few years ago that we had ourselves mixed up from our local seed lines. This year I'm seeing a 50/50 of two colour types, a blue green that throws to the NZ varieties and the more green of the Canadian types. But this growing season a wavy leaf has shown itself in three plants, ive not seen this before in my Portage line so I will be differently taking seed from these three for further breeding


Plant Breeding / Skirret breeding project
« on: 2019-07-02, 11:07:16 PM »
Third year growing skirret. I think what an absolutely divine parsnip like tasting root vegetable!! but skirret is really next level again, my tribe loves em too, so next spring I intend to sow much larger area in them.
Ive decided that I might start selecting the thickest roots/ best growers etc etc.
The plant in the photo was the strongest growing plant last summer, root length on this plant is 40cm but would been another 20cm that got cut off, I took the photo for a NZ gardening mag who are going to run a feature on skirret, I expect a tsunami of orders but I have enough seed though.

Plant Breeding / Galangal Ginger
« on: 2019-03-26, 10:44:19 PM »
Ive tried looking online to learn if Galangal is open pollinate or a clone. Ive got some flowering in my tunnel house and keen to know if it could produce seed.

Plant Breeding / Sunflower - Giant Russian.
« on: 2019-03-22, 10:55:53 PM »
Its being twenty four years now since I started growing my current strain of GR, in the early days it grew a range of variables from multi stems, seed head that faced from near straight up to some horizontally facing down, thin stems and height differentials also. The first to be eliminated was the multi stems, have not had one show in past 4-5 years. The summer just gone though is the first time ive achieved all but one of thee original undesirable traits, last being to crack the stem thicknesses, this summer has produced three plants that are thicker than the rest so those will make up some of my seed for next summer. That current bed you can see is pleasing that its of even height and every head points down and is of even size, this I felt has been a crucial selection achievement as horizontal seed heads hinder sparrows from getting near the crop.

Maintaining the variable seed colour is something i'm uncertain of, Ive always taken from from black, white and 50/50 both, should I be selecting one colour only.

Allium / Stabilizing the Walking Onion F1 Hybrid
« on: 2018-12-24, 12:09:31 PM »
So far I've managed to get as far as the F2 line as the last two years there's been no seed set. Last growing season and not by design ended up sowing the bulbils much later than i would,  late summer, so the results are a shorter plant of 60cm tall and has 2x the amount of flowers over previous years , planting the bulbils later may not be why a different growth habit, we are currently having a start to summer that is quite rare- wet cool and cloudy, normally the hills are changing to a light terracotta colour and the fire bans have been declared, but then this sort of weather is what the Allium family love, my other onions are the best they have been for a few years. But maybe this has helped with the number of flowers per scape?.

Greens & Brassicas / None flowering brussels sprout
« on: 2018-12-12, 10:52:01 AM »
I had a full bed of brussels sprout plants which during the past winter produced a wonderful crop, though some plants were better than others so I kept the best for breeding, the seed is nearly ready but one plant did not flower and doesn't look likely to this summer either, looks so much Daubenton like, I'll leave it in the ground and see what it does, maybe it will want to flower this time next year, but i wont be letting it because I will have a cabbage variety flowering by then

Allium / True Garlic Seed (TGS)
« on: 2018-10-14, 01:04:58 PM »
Given that there's quite a number of grower members here are already having fun playing around with true garlic seed breeding, (though one member namely me has yet to get to first base) a thread devoted to it may as well be kicked into gear  :)

This has to be the year surely that someone from NZ can achieve TGS, though it did inadvertently happened to a gardener a few years in the North Island who thankfully not knowing the importance of what the small black seed was that fall out on her sorting table sowed it and ended up producing bulbs, I have some of that growing in my garden. Each year its seems we (we as in a NZ FB group) are getting closer, last summer a few of us got seed, but were hollow.... sliding into first base but getting tagged out.  ::)

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