Author Topic: Ipomoea batatas - breeding of Sweet Potato - Camote clones - New Zealand  (Read 4948 times)

Richard Watson

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Two weeks ago I tipped out the pots that I was growing the cuttings in, gave some away and then took the best single cuttings of each clone for re-potting, given them good sized pots so they have plenty of room to get through to spring. These have only just gone into the tunnelhouse and will be enjoying the warmth against the north facing wall that's still warm from summer, when if winter arrives they can be shifted inside the house. 



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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They are pretty easy to keep over winter like that, don't really need much space. I keep mine in pots no bigger than a large plastic drinking cup, that way they don't take up too much room and I don't catch too much grief for gardening in the kitchen all winter. A good south or I guess in your case north facing window is all ya need. I keep them on the dry side too, even with good light and warm it's easy to get rot if they are too wet.

If your tunnel house stays above 10 all the time they will be fine, but will get pretty poorly looking below that.

Richard Watson

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Its only a single skin plastic so it gets close to freezing when it like -5-6degC outside, they dont like that sorta cold. BBcuzzie is still producing flower buds which I reckon it might carry on through winter. And we have eaten a few tubers too which have been very nice tasting.
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.

Steve1

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Hi All,
Well done Richard and Reed.
For the Australians (Gregg, Raymondo and others as well) who are sweet potato cultivar poor and want to have a go, send me a PM. A mate has been collecting them for a number of years. Some he got from the Queensland sweet potato repository. I'm going to hit him up for samples of as many as I can get, he grows large amounts - so I should be able to sort small tubers without any problems. He's keen for some people to work on this too.
I did have a crack at some hand pollinations 3 or 4 years ago on some of his varieties, but it was in Autumn and was likely to cold and wet and I had no success. I was playing with 3 or 4 CV's at that time.
I'm going to get cracking on this come summer too now I have space.

Cheers
Steve


Richard Watson

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 It sounds promising that you have had flowers in the past Steve.
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.

Steve1

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It sounds promising that you have had flowers in the past Steve.

Yes, there were three varieties flowering simulatanously when I had a crack three or four years ago. The main problem was it was June/July when I got to attempted pollinations. Probably too cold. The plants were in 6 inch pots and had been neglected for a few years and potbound. Of the three varieties, something like 8/12 plants were in flower. Its a hunch that when the plants get pot bound and neglected (no fertilizer) they direct energy to flowering.
One of the lines flowers mid winter from slips in a heated glasshouse.
I reckon there is almost certainly enough genetic variation in his lines for seed.
Offer still stands for those Aussies wanting some germplasm. I dont think I can send them across the ditch?

reed

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The plants were in 6 inch pots and had been neglected for a few years and potbound. Of the three varieties, something like 8/12 plants were in flower.
The plants were growing in the same pots for years??

Its a hunch that when the plants get pot bound and neglected (no fertilizer) they direct energy to flowering.
I'v found literature that supports that and that other stresses such as drought might also induce flowering but I can't confirm it. I did grow a usually non flowering type hydroponically one time and it bloomed like crazy but made no seeds.

I reckon there is almost certainly enough genetic variation in his lines for seed.
I'v found there is a lot of diversity, even in the offspring from self pollination. Contrary to generally accepted thought on that, I'v confirmed that some are indeed self fertile.

I don't have any to spare right now but out of curiosity, can you import seeds?
« Last Edit: 2019-05-28, 07:26:22 AM by reed »

Richard Watson

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I dont think I can send them across the ditch?


No not tubers, but seed from Oz would be ok coming this way, pity it cant go the other way though. Shame really but your seed restrictions are way over the top.
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.

Steve1

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Hi Reed,
Yes, years in the same pots. These were extras planned to be planted out somewhere I imagine, but for whatever reason sat there in the tunnel until the poor plants were completely potbound. These were not drought stressed as they were irrigated regularly. There is only a frost every few years here, and these were more than happy overwintering in the tunnel. Actually, they overwinter in the ground ok here too, except the rodents get into them. 

I don't think seed import will be feasible, but have asked the question.

Cheers
Steve

Richard Watson

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Are your pots on some sort of drip watering Steve?

Sad news, the last seeding that popped up 6 months after all the rest turned its toes up and died, it was never a strong seedling anyway. As for the rest of the clones, they are still happy enough in the tunnelhouse as the weather has not been overly cold yet.
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.

Richard Watson

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Its reached the stage where two plants are going inside the house for the rest of winter, looking quite yellow. One was a cutting off one of two that spent the summer in the tunnelhouse, the other was a non flowering outside clone (#4). Mean while the remainder are looking fine, some even growing new leaves, and Bbcuzzie still has flower buds
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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Environment in our house is not at all friendly to sweet potatoes and we have long periods of little to no sunshine in winter.  My plants can look pretty bad by spring but only thing I'v done that actually killed one was keeping them too wet.

Richard Watson

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They are behind some north facing windows which get plenty of light, I would think that maybe 75% of our winter days are sunny, half those days would be frosty while the remainder are foehn wind westerly's. Our house is a lot warmer than last winter thanks to a new hot water radiator running off the wood stove, yet the three Kumara plants I had inside last year still managed to grow quite well, so these two 'soft' clones I have inside will come away again I reckon. Interesting though that there is clearly better cold tolerance in some, but then #3 last spring wasn't doing well when the weather was cool/cloudy yet is looking good now, so buggered if I know  :-\
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.

Richard Watson

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Compared to the NZ Kumara clone some the Camote clones are incredibly soft, even inside where I would consider it warm enough some have died, thankfully some seem ok and have been brought inside, cant loose these ones otherwise I will be gutted
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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Incredibly soft? Do you mean very intolerant of cold?

It surprises me a little but I'v seen considerable variation in how they react to cold as well as how they act as house plants. Some stay alive and little more while some keep growing a little. My plants outside this year are variable in how they are responding to the cool wet weather we're having. Some growing almost normally and some not much at all.