02 November 2012

Coloured snow pea progress

An update on the progress in the F2 grow outs.
I did my initial crosses in November 2011, crossing all sorts of peas with others.

The main focus was a search for a purple snow pea - crossing 3 different lines of purple podded peas with 5 different lines of snows and snaps including dwarf varieties and those with supposed powdery mildew resistance.

I also crossed a yellow podded variety with a purple podded, looking for a red podded pea to use as a progenitor for a red snow line. Although the  yellow is supposed to be a snow pea, it has few redeeming features apart from its pale pods, and so seemed unlikely to be able to produce a tasty yellow full snow pea. To get something worthwhile, I figured I would have to cross any red podded back to a decent snow pea.

I grew out some of the F1 seeds last summer, planting into pots, and growing them on the shady side of the house. Only one line produced any seed. I'll report on that in another post.

Most of the F1 seed was sown in February 2012, for an autumn growout. Most lines succeeded, showing real hybrid vigour. Unfortunately some set seed while I was away on holiday, and proceeded to germinate in the pod following some rainy weather in July. I returned to harvest the seed only to find that much of it was spoiled. I threw the germinated seed - even tho it was shriveled up - into some seed trays, and was rewarded with a few dozen F2 plants that I then planted in a tight little bed on the boundary fence between my backyard and the playground next door.This was the yellowX purple podded cross, not my main focus. But this line has just started to produce pods, and I've got a nice half red plant, and this morning I noticed a fully red pod on one plant. As a bonus, one of the plants has produced what appears to be a nice big yellow snow - not at all what I was expecting from this line.

The second line that pod-germinated was the yellowXsnow cross. Again, I chucked the seed into a tray, not expecting much, and planted the resulting F2s into another fence bed beside the hothouse. This seems to have produced at least one attractive looking big yellow snow.

Looking forward to the next few weeks as the rest of the plants come on stream.

And I've also got huge amounts of seed from multiple lines to explore next autumn, if I can find room.

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