25 February 2014

Short coloured carrot project progress

I mixed up a collection of coloured carrots and got them to cross, and grew out the F1 seed last autumn. This gave a range of tinted carrots, mostly pale with some purples mauves and pinks. All the coloured roots were dug up and planted in a small tight patch, along with some French Rounds in an attempt to get some crosses between the coloureds and the rounds. And a couple of Baby variety, from a restricted self seeded population that were in the garden got into the mix as well, just to add a bit of diversity. I also planted a shop bought deep purple carrot. I tried to keep a bit of order to the plantings but they did get a bit mixed.

These have all gone to seed over summer, and I've sorted the plants according to root shape and depth of remnant colour - in some cases its difficult to tell what the original carrot was like, but I've given it my best shot.

Carrots produce a lot of seed. I don't know what I'm going to do with the excess. I've only got room for a fairly limited growout, so I will only be sowing seed from the more deeply coloured roots, and some of the French rounds. That leaves heaps of potentially crossed up seed, that I don't have the room for.

23 February 2014

A Parsnip F1 Growout Update

I sowed some seeds from a mass crossing I did last autumn, selecting the Kral F1 and Halbelange F1 seed to continue my pursuit of a short fat parsnip for growing in Bendigo.
These plants are now flowering. Germination was a bit patchy, but the resulting plants are spectacular - I've measured them at over 8 feet high.

I've also been collecting  from a 50 plant original Kral growout. This has been progressively ripening for about the last 5 months, so I'm not sure of the quality. I've been drying it down in batches as I harvest it, and storing it in the freezer, so I will need to work up a bed to sow this soon for another autumn growout, and to assess it for quality.

The rest of the Kral F1 seed was sown about a month ago under heavy undefelt mulch at my second garden, but nothing has germinated, so it looks like it wasn't viable, or the stinking hot 43 degree days have sent it dormant.

22 February 2014

Green Mountain Potato Onion F1 results

I've reported previously on my progress growing Kelly Winterton's Green Mountain Potato Onion. The plants are now senescing, so I've pulled most of them, and the variety is tremendous. There is considerable variety in colour, with both browns and whites, but the real variation is in size.

These nine different bunches are all siblings of Green Mountain F1.
The two big white single bulbs are spectacular, check out the weight (grams)...


I've got about a dozen seedheads with green seed capsules still maturing on 4 of the plants, and I've harvested one seedhead which has yielded a few dozen seeds, so chances for a bit more variety in another generation.

All of these bulbs will be planted back into beds this autumn. I'm hoping the single bulbs will divide in their second season of growing.
There seems to be a fewf broad phenotypes in this F1 generation - these large single bulbs, of which I have another couple of smaller ones developing, some pale clusters, (upper left) and some brown skinned clusters. Unharvested at the moment are a couple of many divided clusters, with a couple of dozen divisions in one of the clusters. Yet to see if these form bulbs, and it is these that are flowering most profusely, so hoping that there is still a fair bit of genetic diversity within, and that some of them at least give good large bulbs.
Have to wait and see.