Author Topic: Breeding Brassica oleracea for winter greens  (Read 109 times)

reed

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Breeding Brassica oleracea for winter greens
« on: 2019-08-26, 09:25:14 AM »
I'v mentioned my interest in this before and have made previous attempts that failed miserably for the most part although I do have a small amount of my own seed from a cabbage, kale, Brussels sprout mix.

I also have a very large amount of other seed, cabbage, kohlrabi, Brussels sprout, broccoli cauliflower, collards and so on from commercial sources as well as a number of grexes and  mixed seed from trades. A lot of this seed is a few years old so I'm going to do a mass planting in the next day or so of all of it. I'm just going to mix it up and broadcast over the entire garden. Some areas have been prepped like a seed bed but others are still maturing other crops. I'll put more precious seed such as the one cross I mentioned in the beds bu the rest is just going be scattered to the wind over the whole area.

Goal, along with maybe some nice greens this fall and winter is to try to get something to survive to resume growing next year and make seed. I don't care what and I don't care what it crosses with. I haven't had good luck in the past with getting seed from any of these crops nor with any of the overwintering, except kale and the biggest goal and most important trait is overwintering.

I don't care if any successful seed yields something completely unrecognizable in the traditional sense.  Round balls of cabbage, kohlrabi roots, broccoli heads, I don't care if it has them or not. I don't care what it has, all I want is leaves, stalks, flower clusters, or seed pods that taste like Brassica oleracea and that can reliably overwinter and seed.

I want that so I can grow fresh food during the cooler wetter weather of fall and at least early winter and also importantly, in temps cold enough to discourage if not freeze cabbage worms to death.

Like said I'v tried and failed at this before but since some of seed is getting old and pretty much none of these crops do especially well for me if planted in spring because of weather and worms, I'm going all in this time. Planting many thousands of seed of many varieties I'm hopeful I'll get some success this time.
« Last Edit: 2019-08-26, 09:29:43 AM by reed »

Raymondo

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Re: Breeding Brassica oleracea for winter greens
« Reply #1 on: 2019-08-29, 04:11:23 PM »
A worthy goal. Good luck with it. Iíve done something like it though Iím sure itís not as cold here. Broccolis, cabbages and kales seem to overwinter the best here in the open garden. At least, thatís what ended up in the mix come spring. I dropped this project a few years back because we couldnít sell the mixed leaves. People just want a relatively uniform looking bunch of kale.
Ray
Mildly acidic clay loam over clay and ironstone; temperate climate modified by altitude (1000m); avg rainfall 780mm; usually wet summers and dry winters.

reed

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Re: Breeding Brassica oleracea for winter greens
« Reply #2 on: 2019-08-30, 06:05:40 AM »
I have on rare occasions had cabbage and Brussels sprouts overwinter to flower the next year but kale is by far the most reliable. One time I had broccoli planted in spring that never flowered and lived overwinter. That was before I was interested in breeding and I never kept it, a major screw up cause it has never happened again.

I doubt what I'm hoping for would ever be much use as a market crop but that's OK. Still it would be pretty neat if it eventually settled into something fairly uniform. Reliably producing greens in the cool/cold weather is the biggest goal, and of course seeds. 


reed

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Re: Breeding Brassica oleracea for winter greens
« Reply #3 on: 2019-09-04, 09:53:22 AM »
Got a nice bunch of sprouts coming up all around the garden. Mostly in the prepped areas cause I'v been watering them. Germination is way higher than I expected since much of the seed was old. The rest is just being left to sprout on it's own later.