Author Topic: Breeding short season cold climate luffa  (Read 4539 times)

Ocimum

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Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« Reply #15 on: 2019-07-23, 10:42:23 AM »
How are your luffa growing?

My tropical ones are quite slow growing even in the greenhouse, and I am not sure to even be able to harvest one.

Chiu-Ki Chan

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Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« Reply #16 on: 2019-07-23, 10:36:10 PM »
Mine are in a raised bed, and very slow growing as well, even though it's been really hot and they should be happy.

Peter

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Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« Reply #17 on: 2019-07-23, 11:54:17 PM »
I looked up Lagenaria siceraria. It's a gourd that I've only seen dried as a water bottle in kung fu movies. I am familiar with bitter melon but in Cantonese cuisine we usually cook it with fermented black bean or other strong flavor to make it taste good, and I prefer lighter dishes.

Just for the record, Kikinda Competition Strain gourds are Lagenaria siceraria, and they have excellent taste (granted, I cook them). They can be cooked for a long time at extra hot temperatures, too (should a recipe call for it). They're good to eat even when fairly large, as long as they haven't hardened sufficiently, yet. They're really fun to grow, and aren't bothered by squash bugs like zucchini.

It produces a lot of fruit, and I've had success transplanting it two years in a row (but it wasn't early or heat-tolerant for me). Another variety of the species with long fruit was stunted in the same dry, steppe-climate conditions.

My plants were started in foam cups in my unheated greenhouse (similar to winter sowing), and transplanted outside in either May or early June.
« Last Edit: 2019-07-24, 12:08:35 AM by naiku »

Ocimum

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Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« Reply #18 on: 2019-07-24, 03:43:44 PM »
Mine are in a raised bed, and very slow growing as well, even though it's been really hot and they should be happy.
Ok, thanks for the reply. Let's hope they speed up when days are getting shorter... When I grew another strain a few years back, it seemed to me that they grew way faster, but am not sure.

Andrew Barney

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Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« Reply #19 on: 2019-07-24, 09:34:43 PM »
Though I don't grow luffa, I am in the same climate as you,  so I know what struggles you may be experiencing.  If luffa is anything like Watermelon I think you may have the best luck with shorter and less-long fruited types if at all possible. That way you will have the best chance of getting decently ripe fruit.  August and September hopefully they will put on some good growth before winter hits in mid to late October or November.

Though we have gotten lots of extra rain this year my watermelon project has nearly failed this year.  Poor germination and growth. Squash even worse. So it seems like a poor year for melon type crops here to me. :/
« Last Edit: 2019-07-24, 09:38:55 PM by Andrew Barney »

Peter

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Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« Reply #20 on: 2019-07-25, 01:02:07 AM »
@Andrew

That's really sad news. I hope things start looking up for the plants that did sprout.

Have you ever used black plastic with watermelon? The warmer soil helps the plants to get a more vigorous start earlier in the season (and it keeps the weeds out). It might help warm the soil for germination, too (if you direct-seed). I don't usually direct-seed watermelon, though, since I've had better results with starting them early. Also, if last year is an indicator, black plastic helps them ripen more consistently.

Black plastic might get in the way of acclimatization goals, though (unless you always use it), since it changes the growing environment significantly.
« Last Edit: 2019-07-25, 01:05:52 AM by naiku »

Mike Crane

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Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« Reply #21 on: 2020-11-26, 07:25:11 PM »
Am new to both this site and growing luffa. I grew first luffa this year. As pilot pilot wound up planting late but id pick 1 mature and 50 almost mature luffs. Am not 100% sure which variety I grew but rareseeds.com says it is Luffa aegyptiaca. Two aspects want to improve are size of sponges and length to maturity. I am in zone 7a

Mike Crane

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Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« Reply #22 on: 2020-12-01, 09:22:57 AM »
I am new at both plant breeding and growing luffa. We harvested 51 Luffa aegyptiaca   this year from Baker Creek. Due to late freeze would up planting at end of june, so lost about 6 weeks of growing season. In August probably cut at least 50 small luffa.

I found that out of the 51 we had 3 different characterisics:

1) Light Green smooth pattern
2) Dark green smooth pattern
3) light green raised pattern (only 3)

One other feature was 3 holes or 4 holes inside.

We saved seeds by:

1) largest couple dark green
2) Largest couple light green
3) Raised pattern
4) 4 hole inside (started after skinning so do not know whether light or dark green)
5) Everything else

The dark green seemed to mature faster.

Nest year planning on planting two groups: 4 hole inside and large dark green. Will do transplants for half of each group.

Have no idea if these characteristic are environmental or genetic. My goal is to select on early maturity and size of luffa.

As a newcomer am open to suggestions and if anything comes from this will welcome requests for seeds. I did sacrifice one to check out eating, tasted like a sponge. I did read somewhere that the angles variety is better for being edible.



Jeremy Weiss

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Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« Reply #23 on: 2020-12-01, 12:49:34 PM »
L. cylindrica (smooth luffa) and L. acutangula (ridged) are close enough they interbreed quite readily. That's probably where the raised pattern came from. It's sort of similar to how you will get intergrades on the seeds between the shape normal for angled (an "etched" seed coat with clean sides) and pure round (a smooth seed coat with a sort of fragile "skirt" all around it). This is especially true for any seed whose origins lie in China, where the two grow side by side often.

To EAT luffa you pick it YOUNG, too young for seed saving. Then, it tastes sort of like zucchini.   

Mike Crane

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Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« Reply #24 on: 2020-12-02, 07:18:27 PM »
Thanks.

That was my assumption about the raised pattern luffa. It was 2 of 30 plants and 3 of 51 luffa that we picked. The seeds came from Baker Creek which said they were Luffa aegyptiaca. As for eating it  was one of the dark green and about 5 inches long, perhaps it was mental but all I could think of was sponge. We grow a lot of squash so going to concentrate on the sponge aspect.


Can't wit until spring to get started.


Dominic J

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Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« Reply #25 on: 2020-12-03, 12:21:34 PM »
How short a season can you get out of them? The luffas grown here mature when grown in greenhouses, but those planted outside never reach maturity before frost.

Jeremy Weiss

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Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« Reply #26 on: 2020-12-03, 12:33:37 PM »
Thanks.

That was my assumption about the raised pattern luffa. It was 2 of 30 plants and 3 of 51 luffa that we picked. The seeds came from Baker Creek which said they were Luffa aegyptiaca. As for eating it  was one of the dark green and about 5 inches long, perhaps it was mental but all I could think of was sponge. We grow a lot of squash so going to concentrate on the sponge aspect.


Can't wit until spring to get started.

aegyptica and cylindrica are the same species, aegyptica is just the old species name.

I actually have a few odd luffas of my own to work with this spring. There's a single seed I found in a bag of beans which looks like a normal cylindrica seed except it's about half the size.  Maybe a mini version?

I also have a pack of something I got from Thailand called miniature luffas. Though I am not sure if those actually ARE luffas (the picture of the fruit shown wasn't all that luffa like, and the seeds don't look much like luffa seeds either.)

Garrett Schantz

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Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« Reply #27 on: 2020-12-03, 12:34:45 PM »
You can get some pretty short season luffa if really wanted. There are European types that are somewhat early. Will probably to similar to squash in terms of how early you can get them. There are also some wild species which have smaller fruits, which could ripen faster as well.

Mike Crane

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Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa
« Reply #28 on: 2020-12-04, 02:48:12 PM »
With the generic seeds from Baker Creek, planted on June 27, first luffa matured and was picked on October 22, that is 128 days. I planted them after everything else, and July was a very dry month. But basically missed the whole month of June and second half of May which were certainly warmer than latter September and October. Since these were just a test to see if they would grow did not keep much in the way of records. Will do better this coming season.

Mike Crane

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Re: Breeding short season cold climate luffa and large luffa
« Reply #29 on: 2021-09-14, 06:04:48 PM »
From an earlier reply last year separated seeds into light and dark green and within each regular or large size. This year planted only from the group of large dark green.

Results:

1) All fruits have been the dark green color. Most likely the dark green coloring is genetic.
2) Sizes have roughly same range as last year, small, regular and large.
3) Maturity dates, seem to growing at at about same pace as last and do not have detailed enough records (sadly) to be able to draw any conclusion.
4) Have two luffa, one each on different plants, that are larger than rest. Will keep seeds from two independent from others
5) One luffa did mature first and was not in first batch planted, will save seeds from it separate.

Tentative plans for next year:

Will plant seeds from the two largest intermixed and a couple each somewhat isolated. Will bag male/female flowers from each isolated group and largest luffa and force a cross by manually pollinating. Will plant a few seeds from the early mature somewhat isolated. Selection will be for largest luffa (and the largest luffa forced cross) and earliest maturity.

This has been interesting in a hard to garden year and consider first year moderately successful if for nothing else possibly isolating the dark green. A couple culture observations, looks like the largest luffa are on main stem. Largest luffa were not ones with most sunlight.

Learned that very frequent record keeping is very important, especially the older we get.