Author Topic: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (early stage)  (Read 2634 times)

Lauren

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (early stage)
« Reply #15 on: 2021-04-13, 07:24:41 AM »
This year I have 12 plants, all from the oldest (original) seeds. Initially planted in my bad soil, with plenty of water and bottom heat.

I was babying them, trying to get the max germination without nicking the seeds and got tired of the constant fuss, so I dumped what was left in a pot and stuck it in the cold greenhouse--three days later, they were starting to germinate. Quite amusing. I'm watching, and so far it appears that only a few are struggling with the cold.

Last year I got one good clump root plant, which I'm growing out this year. I tried to overwinter 6 plants, and kept roots from the same plants, but only one survived the winter. I have a decent number of seeds from the population. The seeds I got last year from my own plants will be planted next year so I should get only the strongest.

I'll mix the populations the following year.

Kevin Collignon

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (early stage)
« Reply #16 on: 2021-04-13, 08:19:27 AM »
Thank you for the update. I hope some of my plants put on seed this year so I can start my own breeding project.
Full time small scale farmer and aspiring landrace plant breeder. Current breeding focus for the season are Tomatoes, Melons, watermelons, and potatoes.

Andrew Barney

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (early stage)
« Reply #17 on: 2021-06-08, 08:30:31 AM »
Lauren, I could send you a few sweet potato seeds to get you started. PM me if interested. Most of the seeds I produced this year came from seeds that Reed shared with me last year. I've been sharing them with a several new people, but I still have some left I could send out. I'll be planting my seeds for this year's crop any day now!

Depending on how many seeds I can produce this summer (which I hope to be a lot), I was thinking about starting something similar to the Kenosha Potato Project seed trains or maybe starting a new project with the Experimental Farm Network, and really start getting as many people as possible breeding sweet potatoes.

Also, massive thanks to Reed for all the work he's done with sweet potatoes, and being able to share seeds. This is one of the most exciting breeding projects I am currently working on.

Any update on this from either Lauren or Mike?

Lauren

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (early stage)
« Reply #18 on: 2021-06-08, 09:38:48 AM »
I received and planted the seeds Mike sent me. In 2019 I got only 5 seeds from my seedlings, probably because I didn't know what I was looking for. None of those seeds came up the following spring so I replanted from the original seeds. Six plants survived to produce seeds, but the roots were small and only one survived the winter. It has currently been planted out, along with the 15 seedlings from this year.

Based on the last few years I am going to breed for easy germination, easy slip creation, and keeping ability first. This year 6 of the 15 seedlings germinated in plain garden dirt, in a cold greenhouse, without bottom heat or any other assistance. They are being kept separate and will have priority for keeping seeds. Seeds were not nicked for any of the 15.

Lauren

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (early stage)
« Reply #19 on: 2021-10-06, 05:20:51 PM »
Mine was a failure this year. Out of 18 plants, 6 that germinated in cold conditions, I got no flowers and only a couple of small roots. I put them in the main garden where they would get plenty of water, thinking that would help them grow better, but it didn't work. No seeds.

I did acquire a commercial variety that seems to be a heavy bloomer, but it doesn't seem to be self-compatible. No seeds.

I have three small roots that I will try to overwinter and I got stems from all that survived. They are currently in water and I hope to keep them over the winter.

I'll try again next year.

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (early stage)
« Reply #20 on: 2021-10-07, 03:47:33 AM »
Hi Lauren, sorry yours didn't turn out this year.  I've never seen a named variety that was self compatible. What was the commercial variety that bloomed for you? Did you notice pollinator activity on it's flowers?

Lauren

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (early stage)
« Reply #21 on: 2021-10-07, 10:04:06 AM »
No, I didn't notice any bees. I hand pollinated the flowers I found, but none of them took. I honestly don't know what variety it was, but it's stronger than the other commercial varieties I have seen in this area. I planted the starts from the other commercial varieties at the edge of the garden and at best they got a few short stalks. That's about normal. This one sprawls everywhere, the leaves are huge (comparatively) and everywhere I planted it (main garden or under trees, under woodchips or in straight sand, well watered or drought conditions) it thrived.

At this point I'm mostly using the commercial varieties to improve the soil, leaving most of the roots in ground to rot over the winter. This one sprouted immediately, grew faster than the other commercial varieties, didn't seem to object to transplant and it's getting usable sized roots under conditions that made the others expire in agony. The skin is orange/pink and white inside. I still have usable roots from two of last year's survivors, one a pink and white the other purple all the way through, but it has a white ring which is quite interesting. I think if the roots were larger it might be striped white and purple.