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Messages - Steve1

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Sweet Potatoes / Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« on: 2019-12-19, 07:25:52 PM »
Hi Whwoz, fellow Aussie here. Interested to hear your results. Iíve been chasing a deep purple fleshed variety to grow in the veg patch but all I seem to find is WSPF which isnít that flash of a variety. Iíve grown Beauregard and quite like itís productivity but itís a bit moist - I prefer something a bit drier.

Hi Troppo,
I'm sure I can send you a few purple fleshed slips. I believe the purple flesh intensity can be driven by environment or in some cases plain genetics. Not sure which ones I have though.


Seed Saving / Re: Drought resistant Australian varieties
« on: 2019-12-13, 05:49:30 PM »
Thanks Raymondo!

Yes, we have a lot of heat and drought resistant SW US and Mexican varieties. Even a lot of dent corn bred by eastern farmers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Plenty of rain usually but often late July and August get very hot and dry.

I found that a wild Mexican tomato, Matt's Wild Cherry, is heat and drought resistant. It's a 5/8 inch red tomato. I wonder if it's related to or the same as Matt's Folly?

Yep, Mattís Folly is a Tom Wagner tomato, a cross between Mattís Wild and Cassidyís Folly. Easy to follow his naming as itís often based on pedigree.

Seed Saving / Re: Drought resistant Australian varieties
« on: 2019-11-25, 04:42:28 AM »
A lot of the inland solanums are poisonous unless picked at the right time. In the south east, we have S.laciniatum, and S.aviculare, both edible when fully ripe, but really tomato like. Both are perennial. I have thought of grafting onto them, but my old seed i sowed this spring didn't germinate. need to collect some more.
Carol Deppe points out that frost adapted plants are often hot resistant as well. might be worth looking to Tassie.

Hmm, the toxic compound in those two species is the alkaloid solasodine found in all green parts of the plant (green berries, leaves and stems). I did read that at an unspecified level it could cause liver and heart damage and fetal abortion. It's the same glycoalkaloid in eggplants however. I never grafted it because I wondered whether extra solasodine might be translocated to the grafted eggplants. Just thoughts, no hard facts - just made me nervous enough to back away.

Seed Saving / Re: Tepary Beans
« on: 2019-11-06, 03:08:04 AM »
I'v never seen a tepary bean but think I'll get some and give em a try. If hot dry is what they like, most summers here might accommodate that.

Hi Lauren,
Not my experience with them - but my lines probsbly differ to yours. Mine flowered and produced beans in a glasshouse, irrigated daily. They were way too well watered.
Maybe try and can get as many different lines as you can and plant them all - surely one has to work.

One question here, does anyone plant then with rhizobia inoculant? If so, what strain?
I'm going to plant a few tomorrow and check germination,


The five you see above are the survivors and one Kumara from Chris Morrison that flowered for him. Yes it is single layer glass and the way I see it is if it was  radiant cooling killing some of the plants its sorted out the men from the boys

Fair enough. You gotta crack some eggs to make an omlette... ;)

Thanks reed, most kind of you.

Ive made sure the pots are quite dry which was something you mentioned a while back being important, they are not rotting as the stems look fine, the dying from the leafs down. My latitude is 42.5 degrees, I am sure the daylight hours that is the reason why some have kicked the bucket as the inside temp is not getting below 14C at night inside.

At the end of the day there are some clones that are looking good, wonder if it would help them if i stuck up a poster of a tropical beach instead them having to look out at frost  ;D

Just saw that picture of your sweet potato plants looking out at the frost - is that single glazing Richard? Could it be radiant cooling killing your plants? The only reason I ask is that I left a sweet potato on the front verandah early in winter and it wilted badly and was not dry. 8'c out and no frost. Brought it in and it recovered in about 4 hours. Just a thought.

Interesting topic all. Italian turnip rooted parsley has seeded for me for over 20 years (from the previous owners) and has travelled with me and friends.
Some accessions of the wild species pea (P.fulvum) have black hard seed coats that have to be chipped to germinate. They will last in the seed bank for years and years I imagine, and could be bred with sativum to maintain that trait. They do as a wild species have explosive dehissance - which is wild type parchment in pods (more paper type fibre in the pods than shelling peas), but (perhaps) suprisingly tasted just like normal peas when young. I am not sure what the antinutritional/toxicity status of those mature peas is with that seed coat is though. 
I have never had broad bean volunteer as it always starts to germinate in pod if conditions are damp - and evidently the wild progenitors appear unknown/extinct (Caracuta 2015, Domestication of Faba).


Seed Saving / Re: Tepary Beans
« on: 2019-08-27, 10:06:26 PM »
Hi Lauren,
I grew some last year in a heated glasshouse. They sat there for four or five months over winter (short days) before I stuck a light over them. 10 hrs wasn't enough. Where are you and what is your day length?
(Edit) Have just noticed your in Utah. Should be long enough days.
Sometimes too much N can give excess leaf growth - could that be part of it? I don't have any other thoughts...


Plant Breeding / Re: Breeding for pea weevil resistance
« on: 2019-07-29, 06:58:29 AM »
I have not seen pea weevil (Bruchus) here. Yet. So I don't know.

The pea maggots (Cydonia) are a problem in some years. I think some winters are too harsh, other winters they survive close enough to travel to my garden. I don't think they have overwintered yet in my zone, but sooner or later that's going to change. Typically they are worst in late July and August here. When it's a maggot year, they attacked all kinds of peas. Even the tough high fibre pods with high tannin of some grey pea varieties are eaten. They seem to prefer sweet snow peas and go for them first, but if nothing else is there they will eat any pea. Fleece as a physical barrier is the only thing that helped, but that's not exactly practical for a larger growing area.
I usually just hope for the best and discard damaged pods, so far they leave me enough edible harvest.

The fulvum are much slighter plants. We grow them every year as part of a student project. The line I have has orange flowers which are perhaps a little larger than a tepary.

Plant Breeding / Re: Salsify
« on: 2019-07-10, 05:37:35 AM »
Wow, look what I found now, These are worth it just for the flowers! But the article goes on to say that in 250 years of hybridization T pratensis and T porrifolius hae not made a new species.

But the article also says

So I can go dig up or collect seeds of wild T dubious and I'v got  T porrifolius from Richard so all I need now is to get some T pratensis and throw em all together and let em do their thing.

Here is another picture of various hybrids,'s-legacy.-Soltis-Liu/04a58ab6b49f64ab06ede38eee46e1ea53cde7c3/figure/1
Goes a long way to explain why there is so much conflicting and erroneous info in the old blogasphere regarding these plants.

Righto, just had a glance throught that non speciation paper - and the kicker to me seems that in the offspring examined of pratensis x porrifolius were all diploid. Maybe the crosses with dibius somehow are more likely to spontaneously double and form allopolyploids and speciate (or are more weedy and hit with herbicide more frequently).
Seems like a ripe opertunity for those with the plants and some Oryzalin in the cupboard to see what happens.
Really good work Richard on the more carrot like salsify roots.

Just a thought, the short stumpy carrots which grow well in clay are a result of some very particulary stubborn person selecting for okay carrots on clay soil. Persistance is perhaps the key.


Plant Breeding / Re: Canna edulis breeding
« on: 2019-06-28, 03:55:36 PM »
Flavor is my main problem with achira.  It is funny because, as has already been mentioned, it is hard to identify why I don't want to eat more of it.  The taste is fine, it just isn't great.  It makes me appreciate how much complexity there is to potato flavor, because it is something like a potato that has had all the non-starch flavor elements removed.  So, before I get excited about it, I need to find a way to develop better flavor.

The triploid achiras that I have do taste a little better than the starch extraction types.  Too bad they're triploid and therefore sterile.  I have it on my to-do list to try doubling them to hexaploids to see if they can be crossed that way.

Hi Bill,
Do yo think there is any hope for restoring the fertility of the triploids by doubling the chromosomes (of the triploids) by dabbing on colchicine or soaking tubers in a weak solution of oryzalin?

Just a thought. Oops. Just saw the next post.
I have to find some Oryzalin. The only seem to sell it here in 50 or more litre containers.


Plant Breeding / Re: Breeding for pea weevil resistance
« on: 2019-06-20, 04:51:39 AM »
What is the Latin name for the pea maggots Galina?
Interested to know...
Bruchids worldwide are a huge problem in stored seed, particularly field peas. I did some more searching and could find no reference in the Australian field peas as to whether the resistance had been introgressed. Might send the author an email next week.


Plant Breeding / Re: Breeding for pea weevil resistance
« on: 2019-06-18, 04:12:04 PM »
Resistance to pea bruchid (Bruchus pisorum) has been described in P. fulvum and is conferred by three genes and a number of polymorphic AFLP bands for resistance have been identified [42,194]. This is from Smykal 2012 (Pea in the genomic era). According to that paper it's supposed to be pretty well introgressed into field pea lines. Evidently pod and seed infection are controlled by separate genes.

This is an Australian paper from 2008. Again, 3 genes from fulvum.

According to that paper it's supposed to be pretty well introgressed into field pea lines. Evidently pod and seed infection are controlled by separate genes. None of the resistance is complete.

Transferring the genes from fulvum all over would be painful. The five F1 plants from my fulvum x sativum cross gave two seeds. In hindsight I should likely of done congruity backcrossing and used germinated pollen from the stigma of the parent. My guess is that helps overcome the stigmatic imcompatibilty.


Plant Breeding / Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« on: 2019-06-14, 03:57:04 PM »
Here is a link to a free book/pdf that covers drought/salinity breeding for lots of crops. A molecular focus, but plenty of conventional background. I've only read the maize section.
800 pages of review. Lovely light fireside reading.
Should be something for everybody.


Plant Breeding / Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« on: 2019-06-13, 05:11:13 AM »
Sea kale?? Seems obvious, but might be ripe for a project. Perennial sea kale too. There is a supplier in Aus.
I also recently came across an ebay seller in Queensland with more pumpkin/squash than I could poke a stick at. Lots of indigenous US Indian and Mexican squash. My gut feeling is that there is lots of drought tolerant genetics there. As saline tolerance overlaps physiology wise that might be somewhere to look. Some of those lines are quite short season too.
PM me if you're interested.

I think I'm going to try the kales too.


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