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Author Topic: SEEDS...  (Read 37729 times)

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #210 on: July 22, 2019, 07:40:03 AM »
Back to the tomato comparison:

Glacier and Bloody Butcher are at this point eliminated from the trial, having only put on growth measurable in inches.  Glacier may need a longer day length appropriate to Arctic summers?

Here are Stupice on the left and Volkov on the right, with both producing green fruit presently.  Volkov is becoming gangly at this point, and I've had to prune several bottom branches off of it.  The tire planter idea was from Solani:

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #211 on: July 22, 2019, 11:09:19 AM »
Follow-up on the mini-sweet-pepper trial:

Bangles Blend is still a bit ahead of Mini-Belle in growth and had a 100% germination rate compared with an 83% germination rate for Mini-Belle.  Overall growth rate for both has been slow, and since they are frost-tender perennials, am thinking of moving them in early October into extra-large zip-lock bags to a sunny indoor location for the winter to give them a head start next spring, as yet another trial.

A tulip poplar tree seedling has snuck into this planting bed, which needs to be weeded out :)
« Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 11:37:48 AM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #212 on: July 22, 2019, 12:20:56 PM »
These seed/plant trials are really what is needed--we read all these glowing ads in various catalogs and articles, but really need to know what a given plant does in the real world, as reported by a real person!  Thanks for keeping your comparisons going and reporting them here.

Now for one of my comparisons:
As mentioned before my Zelenolistnaja 42 beets showed rather poor germination this year, but the survivors are growing nicely.  The strange thing is that because of the germination problem, I planted five, yes 5, other beet varieties in the same soil and they germinated poorly as well, and in fact some even worse.

The varieties are Robushka, Feuer Kugel, Golden, MacGregor, and Three Root Griex.  It appears that ZERO Feuer Kugel, ZERO golden, only 1 Three Root Griex, and a few stragglers of MacGregor survive, while there may be about 10 Robushka.  But it should be noted that a few did peek through the ground, but not all of them survived.

So, am wondering what is going on with beets this year.  My separate seed beet crop, is not a disaster, but could have been.  The rule of thumb is to plant 6-12 of your best saved roots the following spring for seeds, which I did, but checked yesterday to weed the bed and discovered most of the roots had rotten in the ground.  Was it because they were too close together?  I plant them close, then cage them or the wildlife will gnaw away at the roots till there's not much left.  At least there are some seed stalks on the 2-3 remaining beets.  This will mean reduced genetic diversity if these seeds are not interplanted with the same variety from a different year.  Always something to learn, eh?

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #213 on: July 22, 2019, 01:17:08 PM »
That's quite a quandary Ilinda.  Am guessing that the seed supply is completely organic?  Were they winter-sown?

ilinda

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #214 on: July 25, 2019, 07:19:00 PM »
That's quite a quandary Ilinda.  Am guessing that the seed supply is completely organic?  Were they winter-sown?
Yes, all the other beet varieties are/were organic.  They were sown not too long after the Zelenolistnaja 42 beet which I always grow.  The best guess I can make is that since beets don't germinate too well in hot weather, possibly the temps has risen enough that the other five did not germinate readily, due only to temperatures, but not to fact of being deficient in some way.  I'll not likely plant any of those varieties again.

I do plan to contact the USDA, as someone in seed circles stated that anyone can obtain seeds from the USDA's own seed bank, so that is next.  Update to follow.

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #215 on: July 26, 2019, 09:49:56 AM »
I wonder if your Missouri Ag Extension agency might have some information about the experiences of other farmers in your area with those and other beets?  There could be an issue arising that needs to be shared among growers maybe?

ilinda

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #216 on: August 18, 2019, 05:42:14 PM »
Pictured is the harvest from one volunteer potato plant, which grew from a potato I accidentally left in the ground while harvesting potatoes last year.  The question is always this:  why is it that with careful digging, planting, mulching, weeding, more mulcing, my volunteers are always more prolific than those I plant!   

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #217 on: August 18, 2019, 05:56:00 PM »
Astounding Ilinda!  Maybe the volunteers are so successful because they've actually had 2 seasons to establish themselves, creating a network of mycelium in order to wick up and utilize probiotics from the soil (per Matt Powers) which supposedly make minerals bio-available to the plants?

(Did I get that sequence right?)

ilinda

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #218 on: August 19, 2019, 01:28:12 PM »
Astounding Ilinda!  Maybe the volunteers are so successful because they've actually had 2 seasons to establish themselves, creating a network of mycelium in order to wick up and utilize probiotics from the soil (per Matt Powers) which supposedly make minerals bio-available to the plants?

(Did I get that sequence right?)
Good point about the extended time they have to sequester minerals and other nutrients from the soil.  It makes me think it might be a good idea to plant at least part of the 2020 seed potatoes this fall, then compare them to the rest of the bed which won't be planted until around April-May 2020, all of which will be harvested around August to September, 2020.

On a related note, I had three beds of Purple Peruvian potatoes this year, and have only dug one.  The oldest bed was the one planted in late 2018, which didn't have time to flower and mature, so I just buried it under lots and lots of hay for this past winter.  They have mostly flowered, and could be dug now, but after reading about optimum temperature for potato storage in Carol Deppe's book, The Resiliant Gardener, I decided to wait as long as possible, so that when the last two beds are dug, it will be cool enough that they can sit in a back, unheated room.  So much to think about.

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #219 on: August 20, 2019, 10:56:51 AM »
Here's a comparison between Cosmonaut Volkov (left) and Stupice (right) tomatoes:


As you can see, the Russian Cosmonaut tomato is beefsteak-size, while Stupice produces golf-ball size.  Both vines are equally sprawling right now, and really should have been pruned weeks ago.  Both are also ripening at the same time.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 11:09:12 AM by R.R. Book »

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #220 on: August 20, 2019, 01:20:01 PM »
Astounding Ilinda!  Maybe the volunteers are so successful because they've actually had 2 seasons to establish themselves, creating a network of mycelium in order to wick up and utilize probiotics from the soil (per Matt Powers) which supposedly make minerals bio-available to the plants?

(Did I get that sequence right?)
Good point about the extended time they have to sequester minerals and other nutrients from the soil.  It makes me think it might be a good idea to plant at least part of the 2020 seed potatoes this fall, then compare them to the rest of the bed which won't be planted until around April-May 2020, all of which will be harvested around August to September, 2020.

On a related note, I had three beds of Purple Peruvian potatoes this year, and have only dug one.  The oldest bed was the one planted in late 2018, which didn't have time to flower and mature, so I just buried it under lots and lots of hay for this past winter.  They have mostly flowered, and could be dug now, but after reading about optimum temperature for potato storage in Carol Deppe's book, The Resiliant Gardener, I decided to wait as long as possible, so that when the last two beds are dug, it will be cool enough that they can sit in a back, unheated room.  So much to think about.

My own experience is that Purple Peruvians don't root cellar well.  Have you had better luck?  Am thinking of trying the sandbox method this winter, but will need to cover it since the cats like to explore down there... ::)

ilinda

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #221 on: August 21, 2019, 09:30:29 AM »
Here's a comparison between Cosmonaut Volkov (left) and Stupice (right) tomatoes:


As you can see, the Russian Cosmonaut tomato is beefsteak-size, while Stupice produces golf-ball size.  Both vines are equally sprawling right now, and really should have been pruned weeks ago.  Both are also ripening at the same time.
Truly beautiful specimens.  Have you made a list of characteristics of tomatoes in general, such as taste/flavor,  sweetness, hardiness, ease of growing, productivity, best use such as drying or canning, etc.?  It would be interesting to compare them like that.  Judging from their size, the stupice might be good for salads, and the Cosmonaut Volkov for slicing?

Nice work!

ilinda

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #222 on: August 21, 2019, 09:40:11 AM »
Astounding Ilinda!  Maybe the volunteers are so successful because they've actually had 2 seasons to establish themselves, creating a network of mycelium in order to wick up and utilize probiotics from the soil (per Matt Powers) which supposedly make minerals bio-available to the plants?

(Did I get that sequence right?)
Good point about the extended time they have to sequester minerals and other nutrients from the soil.  It makes me think it might be a good idea to plant at least part of the 2020 seed potatoes this fall, then compare them to the rest of the bed which won't be planted until around April-May 2020, all of which will be harvested around August to September, 2020.

On a related note, I had three beds of Purple Peruvian potatoes this year, and have only dug one.  The oldest bed was the one planted in late 2018, which didn't have time to flower and mature, so I just buried it under lots and lots of hay for this past winter.  They have mostly flowered, and could be dug now, but after reading about optimum temperature for potato storage in Carol Deppe's book, The Resiliant Gardener, I decided to wait as long as possible, so that when the last two beds are dug, it will be cool enough that they can sit in a back, unheated room.  So much to think about.

My own experience is that Purple Peruvians don't root cellar well.  Have you had better luck?  Am thinking of trying the sandbox method this winter, but will need to cover it since the cats like to explore down there... ::)
Our root cellar has not been redone yet, so we just store potatoes in a back, unheated room, that stays just above freezing when it's really cold, and will still remain very cool once the weather changes, so that back room is perfect for Purple Peruvian.  However I'd love the root cellar for large potatoes.

Last year I had several boxes (the size of old-fashioned beer boxes holding 24 cans) full of the Purple P. potatoes, lying in monolayer, with boxes stacked on top each other, and all was covered with cloth for added darkness.  They remained looking in perfect condition even when they were ready to plant.  The only difference I noticed by April is that many were sprouting.  Good.  Hope it works again this year.

Does your root cellar work good for large potatoes?

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #223 on: August 21, 2019, 09:46:44 AM »
Well, what I refer to as the "root cellar" is really an unheated garage that's partly underground.  Have had success in the past with crates of vegies like you described, with shallow layering. 

Last fall I placed the harvested purple Peruvians in single layers on wood & wire stacking bins, and kept them in the cool and dark down there, but they still rotted within a couple of months.  That could be due to the fact that other wire stacking bins nearby had apples and onions, and maybe the ripening gasses from those affected the potatoes?

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #224 on: August 21, 2019, 09:47:12 AM »
Here's a comparison between Cosmonaut Volkov (left) and Stupice (right) tomatoes:


As you can see, the Russian Cosmonaut tomato is beefsteak-size, while Stupice produces golf-ball size.  Both vines are equally sprawling right now, and really should have been pruned weeks ago.  Both are also ripening at the same time.
Truly beautiful specimens.  Have you made a list of characteristics of tomatoes in general, such as taste/flavor,  sweetness, hardiness, ease of growing, productivity, best use such as drying or canning, etc.?  It would be interesting to compare them like that.  Judging from their size, the stupice might be good for salads, and the Cosmonaut Volkov for slicing?

Nice work!

Thanks Ilinda!

That's a good thought.  My issue with growing slicing tomatoes is that they begin to ripen here in late August, just when I'm nearly ready to transition my meal plan away from summer salads and cold sandwiches (we don't use the oven in summer except briefly to melt cheese!).  So I'm getting ready to blanch a batch of these, remove their skins, and either sauce or dice them for winter stews.

The main reason that I'm trialing these is because, since I don't start getting ripe tomatoes until less than two months to our usual first frost date, I'm hoping that these hardier types will continue bearing for a while beyond that point.  And I may need to bring the picked tomatoes indoors to ripen for a while in later Autumn.

What is your experience with that issue in your location?

 

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