Author Topic: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)  (Read 2499 times)

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #75 on: 2019-07-26, 08:02:33 AM »
So far it doesn't look promising I'll get new genetics mixed into my grex. The new varieties just are not very pron to flowering even though they were described as such. There have been a couple flowers and there is still plenty of season so hopefully that might change.

Mine are flowering and setting capsules nicely but getting into full production has been generally later than in previous years. I'm sure that is because of the weird cool, wet period the first three weeks of June. I'm particularly excited about one of the volunteers. I ended up planting them in the ground, not pots, in a spot of their own.  The one is extremely bushy, growing almost in a mound holding its branches eight inches or even a little more off the ground. It's probably not more than a foot and a half across and it is blooming like crazy.  Sure hope it makes nice roots.

I can't believe that local adaption is responsible for the difference between mine and the new ones, the few years I'v been at it just doesn't seem long enough for that. Especially since weather each year has been different.  Maybe it is just that they are seed grown and crossed up, thereby releasing more genetic potential. O'well, don't matter all that much anyway I reckon. If the new ones catch up and at least contribute some pollen I'll be happy and if they don't I'll still be.
« Last Edit: 2019-07-26, 08:04:47 AM by reed »

Richard Watson

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #76 on: 2019-07-27, 05:47:59 PM »
Wouldnt mind seeing a photo of that extremely bushy plant, sounds really interesting.
Changeable year round climate with warming winters - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
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reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #77 on: 2019-07-29, 04:21:23 AM »
Wouldnt mind seeing a photo of that extremely bushy plant, sounds really interesting.

I'v got some in my camera but can't seem to find my usb cord to plug in the computer. It'll show up eventually I reckon.

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #78 on: 2019-07-31, 01:14:13 PM »
Here is my volunteer patch. Lots more have come up since I transplanted these here. I left a couple others where they were but have just discarded the ones that sprouted more recently. The one in the middle is my favorite, sure hope it makes nice roots.
Sorry again about the ugly writing on the picture.

Richard Watson

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #79 on: 2019-07-31, 01:22:40 PM »
What a diverse collection of leaf shapes. Lots of flowers poking out from ya favourite in the middle.
Changeable year round climate with warming winters - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
alps.

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #80 on: 2019-08-01, 02:16:38 AM »
Yes, lots of diversity. The traits involved seem to be:
Leaf shape, either the heart shape or the fan leaf not a lot of variation here, just one or the other
Vine type, ranges from  very long vines to very bushy and everything between.
Leaf color, some range but again mostly one or the other either purple or green.
Blooming, a lot of variation from none to lots
Number of blooms per stem, from two or three up to twenty. Those with fewer per seem to make larger, better seeds that mature better and sprout easier. (bushy and more flowers per stem seem to go together)
And of course root size and color, huge range and lots of different combinations here. They also vary in how they taste, how well they keep and how easily they sprout when placed in wet sand the next spring. 

I was happy to see that green fan leaf one cause I haven't had many of them show up but it hasn't bloomed at all so I probably won't keep it even if it has good roots.
 

Lauren

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #81 on: 2019-08-15, 08:59:24 AM »
This is the best adapted this year. Reed, like yours the mounding shape (I believe this is one of your Bushy Bloomers) but no flowers yet. It's planted in a pit, which in hindsight may have been a mistake. The point being that it's taller than it looks. If I don't get any seeds from it I'll still keep the roots for next spring. Do sweet potatoes do better the following years like potatoes do?

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #82 on: 2019-08-15, 11:56:15 AM »
This is the best adapted this year. Reed, like yours the mounding shape (I believe this is one of your Bushy Bloomers) but no flowers yet. It's planted in a pit, which in hindsight may have been a mistake. The point being that it's taller than it looks.

Yes, similar growth habit to what I often see. Is it seed grown or a clone? What was the point of the pit? To help with water?
 
If I don't get any seeds from it I'll still keep the roots for next spring. Do sweet potatoes do better the following years like potatoes do?

If it makes good roots you can keep them and sprout new slips next spring. If it only makes stringy roots but you still want to keep it you can take cuttings and keep them as house plants.

I'm not sure about potatoes but new sweet potato plants are generally grown from freshly sprouted clones called slips,  rather than whole roots or pieces of roots. (sweet potatoes are roots, not tubers) although I don't entirely know the difference. So no I don't think successive years make any difference. Except that they can occasionally mutate as slips and supposedly this is more common in first few years after anew seed grown variety comes in existence. I wans't sure I believed it but I'v seen it happen a couple times now.

Mine are in good bloom and seed production right now after starting 3 - 4 weeks later than usual, due no doubt to the three weeks of cold rain at beginning of June, they didn't like that. Generally I have a few seeds mature before first of August, this year I just harvested the first ones a couple days ago. I select for the early seeders, among other things.

A few but just a few flowers are now showing up on some of the new varieties too but my tags faded so I don't know which, o'well.

« Last Edit: 2019-08-15, 12:02:03 PM by reed »

Lauren

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #83 on: 2019-08-15, 04:11:25 PM »
Seed grown, and the pit was for water conservation. However, the soil closer to the surface would have been warmer so I'm not sure the pit was a good idea.

I figure even if it has bad roots I can maybe get seeds the following season. Right now my main goal is seeds.

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #84 on: 2019-08-16, 02:52:43 AM »
Of course nothing grows without water but warmth is very important for sweet potatoes and they can tolerate a lot of it. They also tolerate a lot of drought. Mine often, as they do right now wilt in the intense heat of the day. It doesn't seem to slow them down much though. They also seem to do ok with some shade. Probably a happy medium or sweet spot on all those things that might maximize production but I don't care. I'm after a strain that is easy to grow from seed and tolerates what ever comes it's way. Tolerating the hot and dry seems to be built in, what they need is more tolerance of cool and wet.

Hey! I think I figured out the difference or a difference between roots and tubers. If you plant a potato (tuber) it grows new plants and tubers but the one you planted rots. If you plant a sweet potato (root), which is not recommended for disease and production but if you do it doesn't rot, it just starts growing again.   


Lauren

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #85 on: 2019-08-16, 08:56:12 AM »
That may be why the plants in another area aren't doing as well--they're under deep mulch in an area that gets watered every other day. Although the plants in the dry areas aren't doing any better.

These seeds were started in regular garden soil, with no bottom heat, no fertilizers, no additional lighting, no special treatment of any kind. Of those that survived to be planted, 100% survival. In comparison, the slips from commercial varieties had about a 25% survival rate. I'm hoping to get some seeds so I can get that second generation...

I'll keep roots for the best adapted of this year's seedlings, and try again next year.

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #86 on: 2019-08-18, 03:31:46 AM »
I'm getting more and more taken with the volunteers this year. This picture is of a couple that I did not transplant to the patch, still in the spot where they came up. I'm terrible at records but my computer tells me it was June 1st, when I posted a picture of them as seedlings so they must have come up just a few days before that. That would have put it in the hot dry part of late May before the cold wet three weeks of early June.

So at around 80 days they are flowering, well the purple one is and the green one will be in another couple days. They are both compact and bushy and together only span a couple feet around. They have not been watered at all in the current drought, (nearly 6 weeks, no rain) and they look great. Due to their very close proximity, I'm guessing they came form the same parent and they are far enough away from the other patch that a high % of seed will be between the two, or maybe selfed.   

Those that I did transplant are looking great too, blooming and setting seed like mad. Only exception and disappointment id the green ivy leafed ones, they haven't bloomed. I also am now wishing that I had not discarded those that came up later but I figured if you don't come up till late June or into July you probably won't make anything. In future I'm not gonna make that assumption.

Could it be that the best way to select for short season, regionally adapted, seed grown, annual sweet potatoes all ya gotta do is nothing? :D It will be another 50 days or so till I know what the roots look like, sure hope they  come out nice.

« Last Edit: 2019-08-18, 03:37:08 AM by reed »

Lauren

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #87 on: 2019-08-18, 10:05:31 AM »
That would be good. :)     

No seed on the one blooming plant yet. I was reading something about sweet potatoes being self incompatible. Is that correct? From what you said above it doesn't sound like it.

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #88 on: 2019-08-18, 10:12:14 AM »
That would be good. :)     

No seed on the one blooming plant yet. I was reading something about sweet potatoes being self incompatible. Is that correct? From what you said above it doesn't sound like it.

Lots of sources say that and I suppose it is generally true but I know for sure that it sometimes isn't.