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Messages - Ferdzy

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Legumes / Dominance of flower colours in phaseolus vulgaris
« on: 2020-07-24, 04:56:10 PM »
A few years back, we found a cross between Blue Lake and Cherokee Trail of Tears beans. We have been growing them out, in the hopes of getting a bean that looks and tastes like Blue Lake, but has more resistance to anthracnose, like CToT. Early on, I realized that keeping track of which ones were which might be difficult, given that we are selecting for a resemblance to Blue Lake.

Fortunately, some of the resulting offspring had pink flowers, which I thought would be a good way to differentiate between the two strains. Half the seeds we planted this spring were collected from white flowered and purple flowered (which turn out to have purple pods) plants. The other half of the seeds we planted were collected from pink flowered plants, of which we had only 3 or 4 - maybe 5% of the total plants grown.

To my chagrin, of the approximately 60 seeds we planted that were collected from the pink flowered plants, it looks like 7 are going to have flowers in some shade of pink (no purples). Given that the pink flowers were relatively uncommon to start with, I was operating on the assumption that they were recessive, but plainly it's not that simple. You can get a stable pink-flower producing variety, because they exist. Can anyone explain to me, in fairly simple terms, what is happening here?

Edit: Okay, just went and tied pink string around pink flowering vines. There's 9 of them at this point.

Send me a message, Andrew and I'll arrange to mail them.

Cucurbits / Re: Pepo x Argyrosperma (Mixta) "Lotto"
« on: 2020-07-20, 07:03:39 AM »
Okay, cut and ate the first fruit from the second plant. It gets rated as an instructive failure. Firstly, the seeds were more developed than I would want to see this early; the flavour was not just bland but there was also a slight aftertaste that took it from "meh" to "neh"; and the texture was noticeably crisp/tough especially the skin.

I suspect that the other parent of this was an acorn squash.

What was instructive though, was that it suggests one of the limitations I'm going to run into. I want the argyrosperma to bring resistance to vine-borers. That resistance comes through very tough stems. What I'm thinking now, is that if you get really good toughness in the stems, you are going to get toughness in the skin and flesh of the fruit too. A balancing point is going to have to be found.

Think I am going to pull this plant. It is one of the two that came up within a couple inches of each other, and right now it is crowding the other one into non-production. I'm clearly not going to want to save any seeds from this - I can already see (from the other productive plant) that there are better ones out there.

Cucurbits / Re: Pepo x Argyrosperma (Mixta) "Lotto"
« on: 2020-07-18, 08:52:16 PM »
I couldn't tell you offhand whether they do or not. We only grew argyrosperma once, and decided we didn't like it much, so I am not that familiar with the fine details of it. I can say that the traits of the very hard skin, the flesh that stayed crunchy even when long cooked, and the seeds that developed extremely early were all things I have not seen in any pepo squash I'v grown.

I picked the "round" fruit today. It seems like it will be rather strange. The stem was so tough and hard to cut - actually, I think the other ones were too, so that's another difference from straight pepo. This is what makes argyrosperma so resistant to vine borers, I guess, but it looks like it will also make the fruits a little hard to pick.

Tomorrow or Monday I will cut it open and have a look at the round one - I'm calling it round, but it was starting to become an odd heart shape. I wonder if this one actually crossed with an acorn squash? They aren't that close and I was discounting them, but maybe I shouldn't.

Cucurbits / Re: Pepo x Argyrosperma (Mixta) "Lotto"
« on: 2020-07-17, 03:46:37 PM »
Chance, I think there is so much potential variability in these seeds that they could be grown out for years - especially at the rate of three at a time  :P - and some fairly different results would turn up each time.

I don't know where the pollen came from from this first, fairly typical, zucchini came from, but I'm guessing the second one was from Ronde de Nice since it looks like having a fairly similar shape. Both plants seem to be reverting to the skin pattern/colour of Lebanese White Bush. Looks like the one pictured is retaining a little of the argyrosperma "bottle" shape.

I took a photo of the first edible fruit I picked along with a selection of other zucchini picked at the same time to give some sense of scale. I picked it on the small side, as last year at that size they were already developing unpleasantly large and tough seeds. As you can see from the second picture, this year the seeds seem fine. Texture was much better on this properly developing fruit than on the first one, but flavour was just blaaaaaand. A little hard to say for sure, I tasted it raw then grated it up and cooked in vegetable patties so really only could assess it raw.

Cucurbits / Re: Pepo x Argyrosperma (Mixta) "Lotto"
« on: 2020-07-16, 06:48:12 AM »
The bad news is the squash pictured began to turn a little yellow and failed to get any larger, so we picked and ate it. However, there are two more coming along that are already bigger than that one ever got.

The more bad news is that even at that size, it was noticeably crisper in texture than a couple of other, regular pepo, zucchini I had picked at the same time, and extremely bland.

Seed Saving / Re: Carrots going to seed in their first year
« on: 2020-07-15, 07:12:59 AM »
1) Faster breeding is not necessarily better breeding.
2) Yes, definitely. The minute they even think of bolting they turn to wood.
3) I'm sure the seeds would be very viable.
4) Low maintenance, self seeded = weed.

I think you would be basically breeding Queen Anne's Lace, which I don't see as progress, I'm afraid. In general I don't think encouraging biennials to become annuals is a good idea (although let's talk about cauliflower, because I don't see how else I will get any seeds)

Seriously, I think you are right about the late frost/then heat and drought triggering them to bloom. It might not actually show up as a tendency in better years. Still, my immediate impulse when dealing with first year bolting carrots is, pull 'em. The inevitable woodiness means I just don't see any upside here.

OSSI pledged varieties / Re: Ontario Gold Watermelon
« on: 2020-07-14, 06:22:29 AM »
Well, happy to say I was wrong about there being three melons. I'm still a bit unimpressed by the numbers, but they are coming. And I should remember that every year I think there aren't that many and then the leaves start to subside a bit, and they breach like a big pod of whales.

Grains / Re: Naked Barley!
« on: 2020-07-14, 06:19:49 AM »
Okay; they are drying at different rates (no surprise given they are a mix, and their position in the sloped bed seems to matter too) but I will let them dry completely.

Grains / Re: Naked Barley!
« on: 2020-07-12, 04:59:15 PM »
Well surviving barley is surviving, and in fact forming barley heads. Are they getting close to ripe? I could use some advice on deciding.

Cucurbits / Re: Pepo x Argyrosperma (Mixta) "Lotto"
« on: 2020-07-12, 02:15:58 PM »
The first two fruits are starting to form on the two different plants; the third plant has only male flowers. Male flower production on all the cucurbits has been insane this year, with scarcely a female one to be seen. However they finally seem to be starting. The other fruit is equally pale, but looks like it will be rounder. It is not as far along as this one. I'm encouraged that it looks fairly zucchini-like at the moment. I guess we'll eat this one and see what we think, and not start leaving them to go to seed until later. A plan that makes me a little nervous, but really, there's loads of time.

OSSI pledged varieties / Re: Ontario Gold Watermelon
« on: 2020-07-12, 02:12:38 PM »
Here we are about a month out from that first picture. Plants have, uh, filled out a bit. There are a few relatively large melons forming (like, 3, I think) but mostly the vines are full of male flowers and male flowers only. I think what happened is our heatwave/drought struck just as flowering started and they almost completely stopped producing female flowers in response. We've gotten a lot of rain the last couple days and it has cooled things off to a more reasonable 25C (about 75F) or so, so I hope we will get another wave of fruit forming in the next few days before it heats up again.

All three of the fruits forming seem to be the round ones, not the oval ones.

Allium / Re: Overwintering leeks for immediate use in the spring
« on: 2020-07-08, 01:27:23 PM »
Richard, the ones I am growing now are a very small subset of the types I sent to you, being selected only from ones that spent the winter in the ground as seed and sprouted in the spring. They definitely seem to behave a little differently than any other leeks I've grown.

OSSI pledged varieties / Re: Ontario Gold Watermelon
« on: 2020-07-08, 11:57:37 AM »
Ha, I'll tell Mr. Ferdzy. That was more his mix. I went down the rabbit hole chasing after the golden-when-ripe gene. He's looking forward to this project finishing and having a more eclectic mix again.

Allium / Re: Overwintering leeks for immediate use in the spring
« on: 2020-07-08, 11:30:19 AM »
We just did the second transplant of our leeks from seed from this strain. We got good germination and planted them out in trenches earlier in the spring; by now they have sized up enough to be dug up and dropped into 8" holes for their final positions.

Size has been all over the place with these leeks. Some of them seem to stay very tiny, no matter what. Most of them grow quite slowly and only really seem to hit a good size in their second spring. However, we re-planted only the largest ones this time. We re-planted 84 leeks - about 1/4 of what we had - and all but about 10 were a quite decent size. We've certainly planted leeks as poor as the remaining 10 too, so that's not unheard-of. Discarded the rest, they were too small for me to even want to fiddle around with them in the kitchen.

However, my overall impression is that even after only 2 years of growing these out, we are succeeding in selecting for better early growth. They continue to be oddly stiff to the touch, compared to any other leeks we've grown, although they cook up as tender as any.

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