Author Topic: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)  (Read 3105 times)

Ferdzy

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #90 on: 2019-08-23, 06:30:04 AM »
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.

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #91 on: 2019-08-24, 08:04:25 AM »
I think that is a pretty good analogy, especially in regards to them making seeds. Not as sure about some of the other differences. Just don't seem logical they would even have some of the other cards that they seem to be playing, unless they have been holding them a very long time.

I sure am anxious to see what kind of roots I get from this year's volunteers, especially the later sprouting ones. I suppose I could dig some up and see and replant the tops to finish up their seeds but I'm resisting that temptation.

Lauren

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #92 on: 2019-08-24, 11:27:33 AM »
I honestly think that plants seldom, if ever, let go of their "cards," and I think most of the possibilities are there even if the genes have been turned off. There's no discard pile in this game. Under the right conditions, those things will come out again simply because of survival needs.

Every plant, using the game analogy, has a hand they would normally play from and also a pile of cards to draw from under unusual circumstances. Most plants might not draw from the pile except under extreme conditions, but the cards are there.

I think sweet potato is one that draws from the pile easily.

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #93 on: 2019-09-04, 09:41:07 AM »
Getting good seed from the volunteers now, even the later ones. The plants are just as big and vigorous as those started from slips. I'm saving this seed separately from all the other. Since they sprouted, best I can figure, the very last of May and this being start of September it puts them in range of 90 days or a little over from seed to maturity.

Still resisting the temptation of digging them up to see what I'v got in root development but I did dig up a couple other non-flowering ones and found nice sized roots.

90 days approximate from sprouting to maturity? - seems well within reach
pulling that off by direct seeding? - also seems doable
stabilizing a population for that as well as root production while keeping diversity of color and flavor? Only time will tell I reckon but don't see why not.

What to do with all the new varieties that pop up along the way and that seem perfectly good for continuing indefinitely as clones?? I'v already discarded several over last few years because they didn't bloom. Due to garden and storage space constraints I may have to start doing that with some that do bloom. I suppose I can set a limit of say ten, and discard and replace as better ones show up.

Lauren

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #94 on: 2019-09-07, 09:15:00 AM »
I dug up three of my smallest seedlings. Two had tiny roots on them, the other had nothing. I discarded the one with nothing and replanted the other two in my greenhouse. The first had a straight root about as big around as my little finger, the other had a gnarled purple root the same size. Two plants are blooming so far and I harvested my first seeds this morning.

As for those that don't bloom but have nice roots--give them away. Somebody can grow them.

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #95 on: 2019-09-07, 03:33:09 PM »
Glad to hear your getting seeds. I guess by fact your taking them to greenhouse your season is about done?

I tried giving some of my rejects away, they are perfectly good, same or better than those commonly grown around here from clones but nobody local seemed much interested and I'm not in position to ship live plant material.

I guess folks don't want the hassle of storing a root to sprout next year, they just always buy them. Actually I could maybe even sell some if I produced slips from them  in spring but I don't save them for that, we just eat em all. For now I even discard extra slips of those I do clone, someday maybe I'll be able to change that but not ready for it yet.

Lauren

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #96 on: 2019-09-07, 07:01:25 PM »
I'm hoping we have more time, but I figured it doesn't hurt to move a few into the greenhouse. I'd like the greenhouse plants to be established by the time of the first frost, and my instincts are saying early frost.

Maybe with the extra heat they'll actually thrive, which they're not doing outside. Last year the greenhouse sweet potatoes died off in December. I hope by that time they'll either have roots large enough to try again next year, or seeds. I figure the well adapted plants will have the largest roots anyway, so no point in moving them in. Two of the three well adapted plants are blooming.

ImGrimmer

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #97 on: 2019-09-08, 04:10:15 PM »
@reed Today I found 2 flowers and several buds on your seedlings. only purple plants have flowers/buds all green plants don`t have buds.

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #98 on: 2019-09-08, 07:24:15 PM »
@reed Today I found 2 flowers and several buds on your seedlings. only purple plants have flowers/buds all green plants don`t have buds.

Great news,I was wondering how your's were doing. Just a very general observation and I'v seen exceptions but purple ones do seem to bloom a little sooner than green ones. Do you have enough season left to wait them out?

ImGrimmer

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #99 on: 2019-09-09, 12:03:37 AM »
It is getting cooler now but there are at least 2 months before first frost probably more. There is a good chance for seeds.

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #100 on: 2019-09-11, 08:38:02 AM »
Well, I'v got about 25 seeds so far from the new commercial varieties and looks like should double that or maybe a little more. Still don't understand why they grew so poorly. They arrived in very good condition and were planted just a few days later than mine but they just didn't take off growing very good and still haven't. Still I'm pretty happy to have gotten at least some seeds and they were closely interplanted with mine so probably got some crossing. Will be interesting to see how the less than spectacular vines did in root production.

Those two volunteers that I mentioned before have exploded in size and bloom over last few weeks. They have not even been watered during the extended dry spell and look better that those that were transplanted and watered regularly.  They are in a little afternoon shade, maybe that is the difference although they are also competing with the roots of the same trees providing the shade so I don't know. If these two plants have nice roots I think they will be the parents of the majority of next years crop.

I wonder about the effects of genetic depression in sweet potatoes?? They are supposedly very genetically diverse and I'v seen that with phenotypes not resembling either parent so for now I'm going on the assumption that it isn't a problem or if so not for many generations.
« Last Edit: 2019-09-11, 08:45:00 AM by reed »

Lauren

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #101 on: 2019-09-13, 08:39:49 AM »
The sweet potato seedlings were planted in pretty much straight sand (since that's what I have), with a heavy layer of mulch for water retention. This is one of the least adapted of the seedlings. I assume that thing at the base is the start of a root? It's not adapted, it's obviously not short season, and it didn't even get close to blooming. Maybe not enough sun? Not enough heat?

Do you see any reason to try to save this? Also, can a root this small be kept over winter to be planted in the spring?
« Last Edit: 2019-09-13, 09:01:50 AM by Lauren »

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #102 on: 2019-09-13, 10:57:32 AM »
I doubt that a root that small could be kept but it could be easily planted and kept as a house plant if you have a nice bright south window. I plant and keep cuttings in 12 ounce drinking cups. Based on the rest of your description though, I would probably just compost it.

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #103 on: 2019-09-18, 10:38:52 AM »
I thought about asking this in a new thread but decided I'd just leave it here and hope for some replies. I need advice and or opinions about some of my sweet potatoes.

My two favorite volunteers are simply covered in flowers, flower buds and seed capsules in all stages of development and the bumblebees are continuing pollinating the new flowers. I mean there are a LOT of them.  The seeds I'v collected so far are nice large, dark black and fully formed, I mean really nice, the best I think I'v ever seen.

I'm confident of getting a lot more seeds even if I do nothing but the new flowers, maybe not even the most recently set capsules  are going to have time to mature before frost so I'm thinking about cutting them all off. At least maybe the buds that haven't even opened yet.

Might doing so:
speed up maturity on the others? thereby increasing the total I end up with?
increase over all quality of the others, even though I hardly see how that's possible?
be in any way detrimental to the others??? I commonly remove a lot of leaves at this time of year to make seeds easier to find and have not seen a problems but I'v never cut the new growing tips before.


« Last Edit: 2019-09-18, 10:43:20 AM by reed »

Ferdzy

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #104 on: 2019-09-18, 10:45:01 AM »
I often feel comfortable thinking, "the plant knows what it is doing", but in this case you are dealing with an essentially tropical plant... that thinks it has all year to ripen seeds. So yeah, I would be inclined to trim off the flowers at this point, at least. It might give the seed pods still in process a little boost.

I am so frustrated by my sweet potatoes this year. One of the ones we bought from the supermarket a couple of years back has been blooming nicely for about a month. Normally Georgia Jet would be also blooming like crazy - but not a single blossom to be seen this year. Not one! DAAAAAAmmmmmnnn.