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Messages - Ferdzy

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I'm not sure what Carol means by "not based in epigenetic change".

Pardon a rather muddled analogy...

If we think of the genes that a plant has as a hand of cards that the plant plays, the cards that the plant will play depend on factors like climate, soil, etc. So the cards being played may change, but the hand the plant was originally dealt was the hand the plant was dealt - if it doesn't have an ace, there will be no aces in the offspring - when it gets crossed or otherwise produces offspring through sexual reproduction the cards are coming out of that hand, as well as that of one other player. I do think that your best plants among the offspring will have received the best cards (genes) for your soil and climate, so yes, epigenetics does affect what you get. But there's nothing there you wouldn't have gotten through chance anyway, because the plant can only play the cards it has. It's just that not all cards get played in every round...

... clear as mud?  :o I thought so.

Plant Breeding / Re: TPS 2019
« on: 2019-08-15, 06:12:13 AM »
So, yesterday I collected all the seed balls I could find except for a couple that got marked and left on the plants for further development. Both of those were on Russet Burbank.

Otherwise, as expected, there were about 2 cups of Blue Russian Berries. I include one plant which was grown from seed from Russian Blue, but which looks a lot like Russian Blue.

Second most productive was Purple Viking, with about half a cup of seed balls.

The remainder are about 8 very small seed balls from one of the seedlings, which were dropped or aborted fairly early. I am hoping to extract some seeds after leaving them to ripen for a while, and one collected Russet Burbanks with the 2 still on plants.

Russet Burbank is supposed to be female fertile only, and very very shy of producing seeds - usually in "lab" conditions only. I do not know if what I have is not actually Russet Burbank even though that's what it was sold to me as, or if something else is going on. I am hopeful it's something else. We had the kind of cool, steady temperatures that Russet Burbank requires to produce seeds both last year and this spring. Also, it is only one plant that has produced seeds - I am certain that the one seeding this year is a tuber that got missed during harvest last year as it is coming up in the exact same place as the plant that produced a seed ball last year. I understand mutations are not uncommon in potatoes and maybe I have a plant that has mutated to be moderately more fertile? However, I cannot dismiss the idea that what I have is not Russet Burbank but some other very similar Russet potato sold under the wrong name. Still, all the other Russet plants have been firmly non-fertile.

We did not grow out any new seedlings this year but continued with seedlings from 2016 and 2018. I'm pretty sure the herd is going to thinned to a sliver this year, so maybe we will be growing some of these seeds out next spring.

Plant Breeding / Re: TPS 2019
« on: 2019-08-14, 06:40:09 AM »
Doro, it's been an odd, difficult year here too, although not as bad as yours I don't think.

So we pulled out all the potatoes that looked virused. The rest have looked pretty good and show no signs. Some of them are starting to look yellow but I think that is just the season moving on as opposed to any actual problem. One of the really productive seedlings dropped some leaves due to what looks like septoria leaf spot but it did not get too bad and they seemed to carry on regardless. We'll find out when we dig them. One of the really productive seedlings showed no signs of trouble at all so that's good.

Seed ball production has been frustrating. The Blue Russian as usual have produced quite a lot, other things not so much. The seedlings in particular seemed to flower profusely then abort. It was absurdly hot and dry when they were flowering so I still hope that they may fruit in the future.

I do have one Russet Burbank (?) that came up where they had been planted before and produce a couple of very tiny seed balls which fell off before they got very big. Once I've let them ripen a bit I will see if it looks like there are any viable seeds. I'm pretty sure this is the same potato that produced a seed ball with viable seeds 2 years ago, judging from where it came up. It seems to be just the one potato; the other Russet Burbanks as per their reputation produced nothing.

I think today is a good day to collect and label seed balls, and see what I have.

Plant Breeding / Some Nice Beans
« on: 2019-08-10, 05:49:54 PM »
Here are the f3 of a cross that showed up a few years back. I was initially a bit disappointed with the f2 (last year) because they didn't flush with a purple haze as nicely as the f1. Also the beans were rather short. On the other hand they are really delicious and have very decent anthracnose resistance. I believe them to be a cross between Anellino Giallo (Anellino Yellow) and Cherokee Trail of Tears. (No, not all my bean crosses are fathered by CTOT, just 95% of them.)

I'm actually seeing more variation in them this year; some of them flush purple more quickly than others, and some of them are quite long while others are still fairly short. I know some of them have strings and some of them don't and I need to work on getting that out. We also have yellow mosaic virus in the beans this year, quite badly, and there is variation in how well they are handling that.

I'm quite hopeful that another few years of selection will make these a distinctive and rather special bean.

Plant Breeding / Re: Carouby de Maussane x Amish Snap Peas
« on: 2019-08-03, 05:17:54 AM »
Actually, Galina, I think these are f3s, hence the reasonable degree of uniformity. At least that's what I had listed in my seed inventory and it sounds right.

I have a vague recollection of a year of growing out some weird all-over-the-place plants, and only saving the seeds from a couple of the best plants. I think that then I was a bit put-off by how mediocre most of the plants were, and also I had planted them too close together (spaaaace!) and had a hard time sorting through them.  I set the project aside for a couple of years and forgot about them. Now that I am just growing the one (or two) best results, they are reasonably uniform and very nice quality, and I have gotten excited about them again.

Not sure they have any commercial qualities as they are a kind of ugly ducklings and seem large and coarse. Well, they are large, just very tender with it but it's an unexpected combination.

Plant Breeding / Re: Carouby de Maussane x Amish Snap Peas
« on: 2019-07-28, 06:25:26 PM »
Ah! Excellent.

On the upper left you have some Carouby de Maussane. On the upper right you have some Amish Snap. On the bottom you have a variety of the offspring, different plants, different stages of development. They are all a bit paler green than I would like, but ho-hum. Also photo was taken at dusk. I have adjusted the light and colours but they may not be that accurate.

Plant Breeding / Carouby de Maussane x Amish Snap Peas
« on: 2019-07-28, 06:21:59 PM »
A few years back I got interested in trying to cross these two peas to create the perfect pea - edible at every stage of development: as a snow pea, a snap pea, and a shelled pea. My conclusion was that I was not successful.

This year I planted a bunch of what I thought were saved Carouby de Maussane snow peas. They are not. I believe they are the result of this cross. We ate a bunch for dinner and I was quite impressed: large, tender pods with semi-developed peas in them that mingled the flavours of snow peas and shelled peas. I think the secret is that you just have to go ahead and eat them, even though they look kind of weird, which means that probably nobody but me will be much interested in them. And, I hope, you lot of oddballs and kooks.

Have I attached a picture? I'm trying to attach a picture.

We just gave the leeks their second transplant, and they are looking nice!

I guess I should say we start them in flats, transplant them to shallow trenches when about 4" tall, then at the end of June - hem, hem - we use a dibble to form 8" deep holes and drop 1 good leek into each hole, then water them in. There are always a lot of smaller leeks that get discarded (to the kitchen). This is the second transplant to which I refer. A month late, mostly due to weather related problems. However, I also get the impression that these are going to be fairly slow-growing in the first half of their lives. They seem to get as big as most leeks by the time I want to pick them though, so that's good.

In spite of their hardiness, these are not the "blue-est" leeks we've ever grown, but they have an odd stiff, almost prickly, quality to them. That's to the touch - they were lovely and tender to eat in the spring.

In short, getting kind of excited about these again.

Plant Breeding / Re: TPS 2019
« on: 2019-07-17, 07:02:46 PM »
Thanks, Doro and Bill.

We've dug out the worst looking plants and I took some photos. I'm going to show them to a potato specialist I am acquainted with. Actually, here is one: (Sorry, actual photo does not seem to want to attach). May be digging out a lot of potatoes this week... damn.

Plant Breeding / Re: TPS 2019
« on: 2019-07-17, 09:13:25 AM »
We planted about half named potato varieties and half seedling potatoes, a mix of 1 and 2 years old this spring, some of which I am (was?) quite excited about.

I am now seeing that we have a potato virus. At first I was not too concerned as it doesn't look bad. About half the potatoes - interestingly, it's half the named varieties and half the seedlings, roughly - look like they have it. Unfortunately a little research suggests it's potato virus Y (PVY) which is a quite serious version of the mosaic virus. It can leave the potatoes with brown spots and lesions that make them inedible, even when the leaves don't look too bad. Apparently it is wreaking havoc in the potato industry. One of the problems is you get "typhoid Mary" varieties of potatoes which don't show it but spread it to other potatoes readily. I recall buying some potatoes in the spring at the grocery and being very unimpressed by their quality. I'd say, in retrospect, that they had this virus.

I am trying to decide what to do. Yank everything? Yank the ones the that show the virus? Wait to the end of the season and assess things then? It's in the garden now, clearly enough. In the past viruses have mostly been a one-year wonder then they have burnt themselves out and not reappeared the next year. (Fungi and bacteria are much more persistent). This has the look of something different, though. Any experience with this out there?

Some of my leeks have triangular bulbils that come off if I pull the leek, and then I have a perennial clump.

You mean at the base, Diane? I had that happen with some of this group too. But how about actually growing from overwintered seeds?

Two summers ago I was very excited to find that some leek seeds that had dropped from seed heads had overwintered. This is the first time I have seen that happen. We grew them out, and they seemed particularly good the spring after that, which is to say last spring. They went to seed last fall and I saved the seed with the idea that we would be continuing to select these for early spring eating. Then I thought I had lost the seed and was heartbroken, but I have just figured out where it went: half our Rose de Roscoff seedlings are turning out to be leeks.  :-[

Has anyone else had leek seed overwinter in the garden, and if so, what kind of winter? The winter these seeds/seedlings survived was not particularly cold, but still, it was winter in Canada. I would say it got down to near or just below -20C only a few times. Spring had quite a bit of freezing and thawing. As far as I can tell, the mother of these seeds was Verdonnet, allowed to cross with Bandit (Green Winter), Giant Musselburgh, and Inegol which is a Turkish landrace (?) as well as itself, of course. Seedlings were only found within range of the Verdonnet section but I can see signs of the other varieties in them, even the Inegol which is the least apparently winter hardy.

Our goal with these is to be able to dig them as soon as the ground thaws in the spring, and for them to actually look nice - marketable, even - when that happens. When we grow them out again we will be looking for late bolters, again so they can be usable in the spring for as long as possible.

Plant Breeding / Re: Peas 2019
« on: 2019-06-16, 09:03:31 AM »
Yes, @reed that sounds like Sugar Magnolia, which I have and may very well have sent to you. Sugar Magnolia has both the hyper-tendril trait (tho not always) and the purple pods.

Wow, Reed, that's fascinating. I have never even heard of i pandurata even though according to Wikipedia it is native up into southern Ontario (where I live). It is very striking so I'm sure I would have noticed it if I had ever seen it in bloom. I will be watching this with interest!

Plant Breeding / Re: Peas 2019
« on: 2019-06-08, 07:31:24 AM »
Wow, what beautiful flowers! I thought they were Sweet Peas (the flower) at first glance.

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