Author Topic: Skirret breeding project  (Read 1255 times)

Richard Watson

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Skirret breeding project
« on: 2019-07-02, 11:07:16 PM »
Third year growing skirret. I think what an absolutely divine parsnip like tasting root vegetable!! but skirret is really next level again, my tribe loves em too, so next spring I intend to sow much larger area in them.
Ive decided that I might start selecting the thickest roots/ best growers etc etc.
The plant in the photo was the strongest growing plant last summer, root length on this plant is 40cm but would been another 20cm that got cut off, I took the photo for a NZ gardening mag who are going to run a feature on skirret, I expect a tsunami of orders but I have enough seed though.
   
Changeable year round climate, less so summertime, 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: Skirret breeding project
« Reply #1 on: 2019-07-03, 12:29:07 PM »
Sounds interesting, I guess I'll have to give them a try. I think I might have some seeds but didn't get them in this year.

Richard Watson

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Re: Skirret breeding project
« Reply #2 on: 2019-07-03, 01:34:18 PM »
If you can find your seed reed I can flick ya some

Ive had second thoughts, seeing that skirret flowers in its first year I wouldn't mind only having the best selected plants flowering at one time, so I would have to skip sowing another crop in spring
Changeable year round climate, less so summertime, 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.

Zach E.

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Re: Skirret breeding project
« Reply #3 on: 2019-07-03, 05:23:20 PM »
That's a massive skirret root! Very nice. This is my third year growing skirret, but the first year i've taken it seriously. What conditions do you grow your plants in? Do you irrigate them, give them full sun, rich soil, mulch, etc.? I live in a wet climate (about 45-65 inches of rain per year), but grow them in unirrigated conditions, with part shade... will see how the roots turn out. This is one crop I really want to do well with in the future.

Richard Watson

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Re: Skirret breeding project
« Reply #4 on: 2019-07-04, 12:01:12 AM »
Hi Zach, needs a deep loam soil to get the sort of length I'm getting, wouldn't think a clay soil would suit them.
Mine were in full sun, irrigated too as my summers are generally dry. 
« Last Edit: 2019-07-04, 12:08:42 AM by Richard Watson »
Changeable year round climate, less so summertime, 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.

Gustav H. L.

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Re: Skirret breeding project
« Reply #5 on: 2019-07-04, 02:43:18 PM »
I have been quite interested in skirret and wanted to try plant it next year as I recently got a little more land to work with than my current small bed, so I'll definitely be watching this thread. The one in your picture looks different from the ones I have seen in the pictures from seed companies here though, those tend to show a bunch of similarly-sized roots rather than a clear primary taproot like yours. They also say that some of the larger roots can be woody.

Your note on soil texture is somewhat discouraging for me though, since the place I got some space has clay so heavy I suspect it might be more suitable for brickworks than vegetables. Some thorough digging might alleviate that though, and the worst that can happen is that I end up with tiny roots having learnt something in the process.

Interestingly I have also read about some people doing them as fall plantings from seed here (though not sure if they are meant to overwinter as seeds or small plants in that state, maybe someone here knows?), or propagating them vegetatively, either from root pieces, cuttings in a way I assume is similar to how arracacha is propagated (root top and a shoot), or simply just replanting plants with about a third of the roots left on (going back to the different root growth patterns the type(s?) sold here possibly has); the plants supposedly overwintering here without much issue.

B. Copping

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Re: Skirret breeding project
« Reply #6 on: 2019-07-04, 08:09:39 PM »
I donít know if they are meant to overwinter as seedlings or not.
The folks I bought seeds from this year were careful to tell me that the seeds would need one month cold stratification to germinate.
Because of this, I plan to plant part of the seeds in the fall, to overwinter in the garden.
This will be my first time growing skirret.

(Yet another plant that will confuse the other gardeners in the Community Garden...)

Richard Watson

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Re: Skirret breeding project
« Reply #7 on: 2019-07-04, 11:41:03 PM »
The one in your picture looks different from the ones I have seen in the pictures from seed companies here though, those tend to show a bunch of similarly-sized roots rather than a clear primary taproot like yours. They also say that some of the larger roots can be woody.
That plant in the photo was not the rest of the crop which were 'bunch of similarly-sized roots', I liked that particular plant because it had more of a tap root which I reckon would worth selecting for, a more carrot like root. 


Your note on soil texture is somewhat discouraging for me though, since the place I got some space has clay so heavy I suspect it might be more suitable for brickworks than vegetables. Some thorough digging might alleviate that though, and the worst that can happen is that I end up with tiny roots having learnt something in the process.


You could grow them in elevated beds using concrete blocks stacked up as walls down each side, 1 metre tall and say a metre wide fulled with compost, end of the growing season you pull the blocks away so as to expose the skirret roots
Changeable year round climate, less so summertime, 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.

Richard Watson

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Re: Skirret breeding project
« Reply #8 on: 2019-07-04, 11:44:25 PM »
I donít know if they are meant to overwinter as seedlings or not.
The folks I bought seeds from this year were careful to tell me that the seeds would need one month cold stratification to germinate.
Because of this, I plan to plant part of the seeds in the fall, to overwinter in the garden.
This will be my first time growing skirret.

(Yet another plant that will confuse the other gardeners in the Community Garden...)
Ive not stratified my seed before, but then my seed is in the freezer 
Changeable year round climate, less so summertime, 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.

Richard Watson

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Re: Skirret breeding project
« Reply #9 on: 2019-07-05, 12:08:41 AM »
Found this photo online, if I had dug this it would have found itself in the compost heap pronto.
Changeable year round climate, less so summertime, 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.

Richard Watson

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Re: Skirret breeding project
« Reply #10 on: 2019-12-26, 10:43:19 AM »
Getting close to flowering, bit of bottle neck breeding this season with only four plants, but one year wont hurt.

click on photo for closer look

« Last Edit: 2019-12-26, 10:45:08 AM by Richard Watson »
Changeable year round climate, less so summertime, 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.

Richard Watson

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Re: Skirret breeding project
« Reply #11 on: 2019-12-26, 10:53:10 AM »
 At the moment I'm experimenting with growing young plants closer together to see if that produces less lateral roots

Changeable year round climate, less so summertime, 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.

bill

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Re: Skirret breeding project
« Reply #12 on: 2019-12-26, 09:13:26 PM »
I haven't found that skirret seed has any dormancy or needs any stratification.

Richard Watson

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Re: Skirret breeding project
« Reply #13 on: 2019-12-27, 01:11:53 AM »
There wouldn't be many of the Apiaceae family that be, would they?
Changeable year round climate, less so summertime, 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.

Zach E.

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Re: Skirret breeding project
« Reply #14 on: 2020-06-19, 10:45:12 AM »
I've been having trouble keeping skirret seed. I have collected and sown it now two or three years in a row, but nothing comes up. Although I only have 1-2 varieties, so there may be self-incompatibility issues, even seed I've bought doesn't come up. What am I doing wrong?