Author Topic: Brassica crosses  (Read 112 times)

Steph S

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Brassica crosses
« on: 2019-11-29, 08:16:21 PM »
I had to start a few Michihili for our winter greens, so I picked a pack that was most likely to have crosses, planted 14 seeds, four of them are crossed.   Michihili is B. rapa and so were many of the possible crosses, but there is an obvious Red Russian Kale cross there too (B napus).

One thing I noticed with the Michihili is that the growth rate/vigor is really variable (not just this seed lot but the previous years as well).  You pot up two seedlings that look about the same and one grows much faster than the other.   I  see that the crossed seedlings are more vigorous compared to the selfed Michihili.   So maybe there is some inbreeding depression there, which is relieved in the crosses.  Or maybe it is the genetics of growth rate, which could lead to a faster growing cabbage.

Pic at the bottom is the normal Michihili phenotype.   First two crosses  RRK is obvious and Bok Choy as well, in the leaf shape.  The second two have some mustard blood in them (I nibbled.  RRK cross tasted like a rich romaine, Bok cross mild, the other two are kaley/turnipy).



Richard Watson

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Re: Brassica crosses
« Reply #1 on: 2019-11-29, 09:12:55 PM »
So i take it you are doing these under lights are you steph.
Changeable year round climate with 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: Brassica crosses
« Reply #2 on: 2019-11-30, 03:07:16 AM »
I'v been trying for several seasons to make a mix up brassica that will overwinter and or reliably self sow. Haven't had much luck as mostly just kale and turnips ave survived winter.

Steph S

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Re: Brassica crosses
« Reply #3 on: 2019-11-30, 06:39:31 AM »
So i take it you are doing these under lights are you steph.
Yep.   All kinds of greens under lights in the winter.  I have a greenhouse attached to my house, and a few things are there as well but nothing grows without lights in the cold and less than ten hours of daylight - except for leeks.   We won't see ten hours again until the tenth of february, and by then I expect the greenhouse to be pretty cold.   Although I have cut some trees that were blocking the sun on that side, so perhaps it will warm up earlier than in recent years.   
When the mich. cabbage and crosses are big enough we'll eat from them by harvesting outer leaves instead of cutting the whole thing.  That way I can get seeds from the same plants when I put them outdoors in spring.   

Steph S

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Re: Brassica crosses
« Reply #4 on: 2019-11-30, 07:03:03 AM »
I'v been trying for several seasons to make a mix up brassica that will overwinter and or reliably self sow. Haven't had much luck as mostly just kale and turnips ave survived winter.
My mom had a brassica patch that was left to self seed for a number of years.  I have seen Bok Choy, Red Russian Kale, curly kale,  and Osaka Purple mustard popping up from seed, as well as some random crosses.   They are near the ocean so that moderates winter conditions somewhat - although afaik the ground has been frozen hard there without snow cover in the course of winter.
The problem with self sowing brassicas IMO is that they aren't set up by nature to get big and bumptious.  If you just leave them where they lay, you can get baby greens alright but more of them will soon bolt and never produce much of anything.  This is why I decided to collect the seed instead and put transplants in after some bed prep and with suitable ferts.   There are still strays coming up, so I  take a few of those and give them space in the row for variety sake, and they mostly do alright.
We had a really nice 'kale' of unknown origin with tender blue-green leaves and mild taste, which overwintered and the following spring would produce a 5-6 foot spike full of "mockoli" as well as the tender leaves, small but just as nice as broc.   My seeds are getting old, and I failed to get any this year as besides the cold season the cabbage butterflies stripped them bare and they appeared not to recover so the roots were chucked.  :-\ I will try to get some growing again in the greenhouse later this winter, and get some big plants out into one or both gardens.  I wouldn't want to lose it, but when it does produce seed look out there's lots.  :)  You may want to try it.

Steph S

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Re: Brassica crosses
« Reply #5 on: 2019-11-30, 07:28:52 AM »
I forgot to post this really useful link.   It is a research paper from NZ that contains all the information afaict you would ever need to save pure lines of brassicas or attempt their crosses.
https://www.agronomysociety.org.nz/files/2002_9._Review_-_Brassica_cross-pollination.pdf

Also, I don't know anything at all about the genetics of brassicas, so I'm looking at the phenos of these crosses to try to glean some intel.
1) hairy leaf from the Michihili parent seems to be dominant, as all the crossed plants have it including the Bok Choy cross which would otherwise be smooth.
2) the leaf shapes of the pollen donors definitely came through over Michihili's pheno of evenly, lightly serrated leaf. 
3) the anthocyanin from RRK appears to be dominant

Also from the above research paper, it seems the Michihili X RRK is now a Brassica napus.

reed

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Re: Brassica crosses
« Reply #6 on: 2019-12-01, 02:39:56 AM »
I'm at 38.70 N and inland a few hundred miles so way different here of course, temp and day length wise. Big reason I want to mix up the brassicas is to arrive at something that can produce leaves or flower stalks in cool weather of spring and fall, outside the temp range of the cabbage worms which are awful here.  I just want fresh green stuff when little of such is normally available and that isn't covered in worms.

I think a lot of things might actually be more hardy in a colder place cause it can just go dormant especially if covered with snow. Here we have weeks above freezing then a couple nights below zero F without snow. Then back to above freezing again, plants don't know what to do. This year we have only been below freezing maybe a week of nights but one of them was  8 F. My mustard and turnip patches look fine although some did freeze out.

Over in the other patch RRK, a single Brussels Sprout and some collards are all that's left. The 8 degree night was three weeks ago and they have resumed some growth. I think I will transplant them close together and set a cold frame over so I can close it up if necessary. Ultimately they need to survive colder that 8 F cause it can go to -15 F but these few plants are tougher than the others so seed from them might be a good start.

I don't really know much about the genetics of things myself.  I use Ashworth's "Seed to Seed" as a general reference. It is written with intention of keeping things pure but the info is equally useful in doing the opposite.



« Last Edit: 2019-12-01, 02:55:57 AM by reed »