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Messages - reed

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My gardens are very small, all together only about 1/4 of an acre but I still find room for a few musk and watermelons each season. Used too they were about always a disappointment but now I have much better genes in the mix. I plant maybe 100 seeds, whittle them down to ten or so plants and save seed from just 2 or 3 best fruits.

I keep a 12 oz plastic pop bottle of seed all mixed up from all generations. Each season, I dump the seeds out and discard 10% or so and replace the volume with current years best, assuming the current year yielded something worthy of making that trade.

Only been at it three or four years but very pleased with the results. Success is due to how it started. A mix of seeds from Lofthouse, some from an HG member in Canada and a few of my own is all it took.

I do select for bushy habit, early maturity and smaller fruit but a great flavor trumps all of those. I don't worry about disease, drought or bugs cause those things cull out on their own.

... Until then, I had been trying melons one after the other hoping to find one that would do well in my area and with my style of growing. I realised I had been going about it the wrong way...

My sentiment exactly. I wasted a lot of garden seasons trialing one thing or another, keeping track, keeping them separated and so on. The landrace style is a way faster and easier way to find what works in any particular garden. A big share of genetics in my melons came from the Lofthouse-Oliverson Landrace.

A stable variety is about the last thing I will plant now days except maybe to add it in my mix. I wish there were a lot more breeders offering high diversity landrace seeds.

I don't really know how to identify recessive vs dominate genes. I figure by saving things I like and culling those I don't that eventually thins will even  out the to good.

I have in my garden what by any definition is a landrace of wild asters. The are one of my favorite flowers and when I moved here about 25 years ago I just started collecting them from along the road sides. They come in range of color from purple to white with white being quite rare. They also have a range of flower forms some small flowers with lots of peals and some larger flowers with fewer petals.

I don't really cultivate them, rather I just let them be wild. What I do do is cull the ones with small flowers and tag for special attention the white ones. I don't know till they bloom which will be which so pollen from my less favorite gets out before they can be culled each year.  Seeds from the larger flowered, especially the white ones are more carefully dispersed as they mature to make sure they are well represented.

Over the years small flowers still show up but not as often, white shows up more often but still isn't common. Some years there are no white ones even though there was the year before and sometimes the opposite. I have wondered if recessive traits were involved in both those situations, bad and good.

(add) like I said I don't really know what recessive vs dominant means, never cared about such things much and high school biology was a long time ago. Now I guess I'm getting more curious about it, not that I intend to change my gardening habits over it.

So in my example is it that the white flowers that I like are recessive? And that it has to be homozygous in order for the flower to be white and that if it is only heterzygous the dominant purple shows up. PP = purple, WP = purple and only WW = white? Or is it more correct to represent it as PP, wP or ww?

I was cleaning out my camera and came across these pictures. The first one is interesting I think cause it shows how much diversity is in sweet potatoes. Don't remember if I posted it on HG or not. Anyway it shows some root color phenotypes that don't match any of the original parents. ONE original parent of these plants was orange/orange the other were ALL purple/white but you can see these don't match that. And this is just some of those that showed up different than the ancestors. As always no plant material is for sale or trade but these are all extinct anyway. The two on the left cause of the disease or bug damage and the two on the right cause they didn't make seed. Actually the far left one does match a parent type.

The second picture is what I regard as a Grade A sweet potato seed. Perfectly formed, nice dark color. Lighter brown ones and smaller ones do sprout but I think this is what they are supposed ot look like. Sorry nothing for scale but they are bigger than 1/8 inch,smaller than a 1/4.

Plant Breeding / Re: Hybrid Beans
« on: 2018-11-12, 04:55:54 AM »
I also got some of Andy's common/runner crosses. The vines were absolutely huge with extreme amounts of flowers and pods but a lot did not mature seed, despite that I got plenty. If I remember right Andy said this generation would not produce as well as following generations would.

They look very much like some other runners I have except seeds and pods are smaller.
On the left are the beans from Andy's seeds. I had two vines, one was more productive than the other the top ones are more brown color, I only got a dozen or so of those, I got about a cup full of the others. those big ones on the right are some of my regular runner beans.

Plant Breeding / Re: Blight Resistance in Potatoes and Tomatoes
« on: 2018-11-05, 06:40:19 PM »
Plum Regal should segregate and maintain the Ph3 as a homozygous trait unless it gets crossed.  I was not much impressed with the yield on it though, so I stopped dehybridizing it after the F3.

Plum Regal is very nicely productive for me, starts ripening a little later than most of my tomatoes but then comes on and keeps up till frost kills it.

I don't really have any idea what kind of blight is in my garden but it's there in abundance. It must be in the wind and rain,  I can plant tomatoes right in the previous year's old composted vines and others in a new spot where they were never grown before and there is no difference in when and how badly they get it.

Even so, I usually still get a good harvest to process our juice and sauces before the vines completely croak, so I'v made my peace with the vines dying. If I do notice a plant that seems a little less effected I save more of those seeds of course. I don't save any seeds from plants where the skins of the fruits are effected and that seems to have helped in eliminating that for the most part.

Other than Plum regal and the pimpinellifolium crosses my most disease resistant are two that both came from a Brandywine/Rutgers hybrid called Red Rose. They are very similar to each other except one is more lobed and green on top, we like them both a lot fresh and for canning juice. I don't think the F1 was advertised as blight resistant and I don't really remember if it was but it's descendants are more so than those advertised for it.


Plant Breeding / Re: Blight Resistance in Potatoes and Tomatoes
« on: 2018-11-05, 05:02:45 AM »
I'v grown Mountain Magic, Mountain Merit and Defiant and saw no apparent  difference at all in how badly they were with blight compared to any other tomatoes that I grow.  Plum Regal is a little better but still the difference isn't all that significant. They are all good, not great as far as flavor except for defiant which is pretty bad.

I kept Plum Regal to dehybridize and in F4 or 5, not sure what it is now, it is pretty much the same as the F1, never segregated much at all. My other tomatoes, later in the season, too varying degrees get disease on the skin of the fruits not just the leaves. If it is the same organism then Plum Regal is way more tolerant of that. The fruits have a tendency to dry easily instead of rotting and I think they might be good for sun drying.

As far as vines staying healthy all season the accidental pimpinellifolium crosses are by far the best. Unfortunately the largest of those is about the size of a ping pong ball and they are too sweet for canning juice or sauce.

Plant Breeding / Re: Blight Resistance in Potatoes and Tomatoes
« on: 2018-11-04, 03:19:27 PM »
I haven't seen blight in potatoes, though frequently in tomatoes.

Perhaps it is because of our dry summers.  If our tomatoes are going to get blight, it happens
when the rains start in the fall, and by then the potatoes have been dug.

I also don't have much blight on potatoes but lots on tomatoes, perhaps for the same reason. Potatoes however are becoming more and more difficult to grow in my garden, I think because of more frequent hot dry spells rather than disease.  Unless I can make better arrangements for irrigation than I ever used to need and maybe use shade cloth, I may have to give them up entirely. Last year was a 100% failure of potatoes.

I have an ample supply of TPS and have found them easy to sprout and transplant, Next year I'm going to try a lot of plants, maybe something will come through and make both edible sized tubers and seeds.

Plant Breeding / Re: Solanum pimpinillifolium
« on: 2018-11-02, 12:51:03 AM »
Pimpinillifolium is almost a weed in my garden. It's flowers are as tightly closed as can be, but still a random cross somehow happened. Bunches of variations in fruit size and color have showed up. I'v saved seed from some last couple years but haven't planted any as they always pop up anyway.

I'd like to see a category for Landrace and Grex building. I started to start a topic "What Landrace / Grex projects are you working on? " under plant breeding but thought I'd pop over here instead to see what others think.

I think of breeding as being more controlled and specific, moving a crop to a particular outcome, like I'm trying to do with my corn but most of my projects are much more hands off. Just planting as much as I can and letting the seeds and climate do much of the selection on their own. 

Anyway, whether it is under the existing breeding section or has a new one of it's own I really like reading about and seeing pictures of what others are doing in this area.

I also don't agree on the soil compaction theory. Now that I think about it, some modern sweet corns I'v seen may not have the aerial roots but most corn I'v grown does. It can help lodging but only if they are nice and strong, originated four or five inches above the ground and are well anchored before a strong wind hit. We always just called them anchor roots or prop roots. A lot of corn has multiple tiers of them and some corn when it lodges just roots down and stands back up with the bottom having rooted down horizontally a foot or so on the ground.

It might just be a case of corn getting back to it's roots,so to speak. I don't know about other ancient teosinte but zea diploperennis I am fairly sure grows the air roots, possibly among other things as a means of propagating itself. Here is a section of stalk with the air roots growing at every single node. (sorry for the image quality, you have to look close) It is about four feet long and the cut end was another four feet off the ground.

It was tied up to a post so it couldn't fall over but others that did, rooted down and the side shoots grew into new stalks.

I'm still interested in the notion of nitrogen fixing but I have never seen the goo forming as in some of the pictures. It just occurred to me, might the air roots be epiphytic to a degree, like the spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) I bring in each winter and almost never water? I'm told that z dip is native to cloud forest where it might easily extract water if nothing else from the air.

I'll keep watching this thread for any more info on the nitrogen fixing aspect but for me prop roots are prop roots. I like them if nothing else cause I think they are cool looking but I don't think I'll select for or against.   

Plant Breeding / Re: Diploid Ipomoea Breeding
« on: 2018-10-28, 02:48:24 AM »
I found some interesting info on i  pandurata, It says, among other things that only the young roots are really good to eat.

I haven't grown it yet but know of several wild specimens and have collected plenty of seeds. I'm very interested in trying to cross it to i batatas but it's hard having to make the long walk or drives to the wild plants to collect pollen. I'll get some plants started next year but the link above says it takes a few years to start flowering.

I'm not much interested in working with other species and I don't like to send seeds outside the US but if someone in the US wants some to  forward on in trades send me a private message.

I thought pretty much all corn has aerial roots at least most I'v grown has, some more than others of course. Might they be environmentally encouraged to some degree?  The Zapalote Chico that I fell in love with this past season has lots.

I'v never noticed the goo, but I never thought to look for either, I will from now on.

Plant Breeding / Re: Books about plant breeding
« on: 2018-10-26, 08:35:56 AM »
It isn't intended for that but Suzanne Ashworth's "Seed to Seed" is great for beginners such as myself in that it has lots of information on classifications, species, flower structure and the like. I use it a lot, although often opposite it's intention of preserving varietal purity. It is just a great reference of crops and their seeding habits.  I also like it's descriptions of how to gather, clean and process seeds of particular things.

Plant Breeding / Re: Salanova lettuce Questions
« on: 2018-10-24, 05:00:51 AM »
At least as it applies to commercial stuff like at the grocery store or in restaurants there must be something about the process or storage, or maybe just having been sealed up in bags that cause a bacteria or toxin that my body doesn't like. I never eat it cause it pretty much always made me sick. My theory is it must be the sealing in the bags that causes it cause surely it can't all be contaminated from the growers but I don't know.

My own is fine, even though I occasionally eat a little dirt or bugs along with it.

As far as the Salanova goes, there lots of other kinds, 83 varieties just at OSSI, surely there are good options other than the one with an r by it's name.

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