Friday, December 17, 2010
See link below for details.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Violets: Down below is a second generation violet seedling from the first generation hybrid Viola X cooperrideri. The F1 hybrid was from a hand pollination of Viola striata by pollen of Viola walteri. I'm encouraged that a few of the F2 seedlings (like this one) have been blooming fairly well in the Fall too. I'm considering putting a little selective pressure on this population to try to push them toward all summer bloom. Actually all of these violets DO bloom all summer but when the day becomes a certain length, they switch over to producing small (non-showy) cleistogamous flowers. I'll just need to select for longer and longer daylength requirement (for that switch-over) and then they'll have the pretty chasmogamous ones all summer.
The Covered Wheats - More primitive wheats that do NOT thresh free of the glumes/hulls that surround the seed while on the stalk. More modern wheats are all free-threshing. Their seeds fall out completely naked of these coverings. These are four covered wheats that I've been maintaining by growing out a batch every couple of years. This year I also used the Black Emmer and the Spelt in some crosses with some free-threshing wheats. I'll be sure to blog about those next Spring when the hybrids should be heading.
The top two are diploid (2N=14) Einkorn wheats.
Bottom left is a tetraploid (2N=28) emmer wheat - the primitive relative of the durum (macaroni) wheats.
Bottom right is a hexaploid (2N=42) spelt wheat - the primitive version of the common bread wheat.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Note the hips maturing... these are from 'Home Run' pollen. I'm hoping for some reblooming offspring that retain a good measure of disease resistance. Keeping the strong fragrance and old-fashioned form would be great too! And who cares what color, if we can have all the rest of that!
Here's a close-up of showing how it takes after its mama in having elongated/pear-shaped hips. The sandwich bag shot shows the full harvest of hips from 'Home Run' pollen. This hybrid has typically only set a couple of open-pollinated hips so I was surprised at how well the crosses seemed to have taken. Now I wonder how many seeds there will be and how well they'll germinate.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Then the squash bug population exploded and after completely killing ALL of the already stunted pumpkins and squashes, they started attacking the watermelons and cucumbers. So, I went ahead and harvested the small (softball size) watermelons to at least save seeds for next year.
At the risk of sounding like whining... I am really amazed that even these few made it through the terrible trials. I'll post a few more of the "2010 successes" (any seed at all) as I get pictures together.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Surprisingly, although they have very reduced fertility, these guys do set a few open-pollinated hips (and seeds). They are also much more cold-tolerant than their mother. They're aslo all monstrous growers and once-bloomers.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Last year I attempted to grow a patch of grain type amaranth using seed I'd purchased from the bulk food section of a local health food store. It didn't grow very well, so I scoured my boxes of seeds for all amaranths I had of any type. This row is the result. From right to left: not visible behind the tall purple - are very short plants of 'Calaloo' (Amaranthus tricolor); the dark purple is 'Hopi Red Dye'; next is light green "Love-Lies-Bleeding" (Amaranthus caudatus); then an equally short stretch of purple 'Polish'; the long stretch of mixed purple and green that follows is a mixture of various grain types (including: 'Guarijio', 'Chinese Giant', 'Mercado Dreadicus', 'Manna de Montana', and 'Burgundy'), finally the miserably short little ones on the far left are 'Elephant Head'.
As well as the local weed (Amaranthus retroflexus) can grow around here, there shouldn't be any reason that I can't select for a locally adapted grain type of amaranth. Ideally this will grow like mad, have light-colored seeds and darkly pigmented leaves. For now, I'm just going to let them intermingle how they please. Later hopefully I'll have various vigorous descendants to start selecting from.
Here are some peppers harvested from the hybrids (three different mild lines X Habanero). They have grown well and are fruiting in spite of this year’s severe drought. I have to think that the Habanero ancestry (and maybe also hybrid vigor) are contributing to the ease of growth of these ones, since several different normal annuum types planted at the same time have almost failed completely.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Here's an end of summer shot, right before they were planted in the ground. Turns out there were ten of them. I'll bet they'll be much happier in the ground, considering how undernourished they were and also suffering from irregular watering.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Here is the first bloom to open (after about five years of waiting) on the hybrid of Rosa davidii X Rosa virginiana. It’s what I would expect. I’ll be curious to see if any open-pollinated seeds will develop or not.
Friday, May 21, 2010
I’m really excited about getting to play around with this seedling. It is only ¼ Hybrid Tea [maternal grandmother was ‘Fragrant cloud’] and ¾ native tetraploid species [1/4 Rosa Carolina, ½ Rosa virginiana]. I’m pretty sure it won’t repeat, but it could possibly produce offspring that would. I’m going to test that out by pollinating with ‘Carefree Sunshine’ pollen.
The flowers open fairly large for being ¾ native and are a darker pink than either parent. They have a relatively strong scent that seems to be a mix of old-rose and something fruity maybe.The plant’s appearance only shows little hints of Hybrid Tea influence. The foliage and growth habit are much like the native tetraploids it comes from… short, bushy and suckering. The leaves (especially new growth) do seem to have much more purple in them than the natives typically would. I haven’t seen any evidence of disease yet at all.