A Seed Saver's Garden

heirloomgal

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
3,668
Reaction score
11,804
Points
235
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
I'm surprised you had trouble with peanuts. I grew them a few years ago with no problem, and I was just using ones I picked up at an ethnic grocery store. My only real complain was that they shrunk a little going throgh the cycle (the ones I got back were ordinary size, but the ones I had planted I had hand selected to be HUGE, like circus peanut size (the marshmallow candy, not the actual peanuts you'd get at the circus.)

I've tried to get the wild peanut (Arachis pintoi) for here as well, but no one seems to have it in a convenient form for me i.e. seeds I can sit on and plant when the time is right, as opposed to pre grown plants that have to go into the ground more or less as soon as I get them (I think I read somewhere that, while A. pintoi will grow quite nicely as a cover crop here in the US, it tends not to flower or set seed, so that may be why.)
And I agree about the not giving up, I assumed rice beans could not flower this far north for five or six years before I lucked into the kind that could. A senna strain that can do it is probably only a matter of time (I'm already close, like with the river hemp, I just need one that matures about 30-45 days earlier...…..)
I'd like to give peanuts another try someday. I love peanuts, all legumes really, and made a super scrumptious tofu marinade yesterday with peanut butter, garlic, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Making that with my own peanuts would be lovely, but I don't think I could ever grow a decent crop given their production per square foot.

Something I've read a little about @Pulsegleaner, that you touch on above, is the potential for many crops to be worked with for improved flavor and harvest window. Apparently there are several crops out there which would benefit greatly with some careful selection, Morelle de Balbis comes to mind. I'd love to have a strain of that which matures a bit earlier. I noticed a flower on one of the 4 plants I have out there today.
 

Zeedman

Garden Master
Joined
Dec 10, 2016
Messages
3,896
Reaction score
11,955
Points
307
Location
East-central Wisconsin
"Argentinian White", from @Eleanor . A little small, but may have a short enough DTM to produce decently here (if rodents don't find them). There is also the question of how easy(???) it will be to find & separate them from my heavy soil. If the results are encouraging, I may trial more peanuts in the future.

I've yet to trial the possibly day-neutral cultivar of Cucurbita ficifolia (that I also got from @Eleanor at a seed swap two years ago), and am really interested in it... but with the reduced size of my gardens now, I'm not sure I'll be able to find room for it. :( Maybe I can find a collaborator next year to grow it.

The storage life of that squash is incredible! This squash is over 2 years old (given to me at the Michigan seed swap, when Covid was just starting) and still feels alive.
20230611_225425.jpg
 

heirloomgal

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
3,668
Reaction score
11,804
Points
235
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
Lots of rain today. First real deep soaking the gardens have had, which is nice.

It's been a bit chilly (15C/59F) but that toughens everybody up when the temps dip, so there is an upside. The city compost that I purchased this year for all my pots has been quite a surprise. I expected it to be nothing special, just yard and kitchen scrap wastes they threw together and left for a bit. Woody. But the fertility must be really high in it because the potted tomato plants have gotten huge, for mid June anyway, and the leaves are a deep, deep green, big and healthy. I don't usually add so much fertility to pots to get them looking this good. I did add some Azomite, Greensand, Kelp and Alfalfa on Friday because as good as that compost is, I can't see it lasting a full summer for tomatoes. I'll be curious to see how much more I'll have to add for the rest of the summer.

Corn is over a foot tall and I've lost only one plant. To what, I don't know. It just seemed to fail to thrive and then petered out. Happy they are doing well with only one smattering of chicken manure.

All the fruits I've planted- Huckleberry, Wonderberry, Ground Cherries, Hexentomate Goldenberries and Morelle de Balbis are all looking good, though I can see that the bed they are in, which is a converted compost pile, is not as nutrient rich as it was last year for the watermelons. Don't know if watermelons take a lot out of the soil, but it looks like it. Gave them all some chicken manure too. Peas are mostly up, minus that darn Sugar Lace II which I need to give up on. 2 peas from the whole packet germinated. Gonna replant with something else.

After all the work of putting everything in, and hovering over rows until they sprout etc. I finally feel like it's time to put my feet up for a little while and just enjoy the process.

🍹🏝️🏖️
 

Zeedman

Garden Master
Joined
Dec 10, 2016
Messages
3,896
Reaction score
11,955
Points
307
Location
East-central Wisconsin
Peas are mostly up, minus that darn Sugar Lace II which I need to give up on. 2 peas from the whole packet germinated. Gonna replant with something else.
That mirrors the experiences I've had with Sugar Lace - twice, both times from commercial seed. Others have reported trouble with it too. I really think that low seed longevity for that variety may be genetic. Hopefully I can save enough seed this year to test if home saved seed fares any better.
 

heirloomgal

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
3,668
Reaction score
11,804
Points
235
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
That mirrors the experiences I've had with Sugar Lace - twice, both times from commercial seed. Others have reported trouble with it too. I really think that low seed longevity for that variety may be genetic. Hopefully I can save enough seed this year to test if home saved seed fares any better.
I think this might be my 4th try! I know one of those times I had a few home saved seed from 3 or 4 plants that grew the year before, but the fact that I bought 2 new packs this year means I had no success. Totally defeated with this one.
 

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
16,072
Reaction score
24,212
Points
417
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
I think this might be my 4th try! I know one of those times I had a few home saved seed from 3 or 4 plants that grew the year before, but the fact that I bought 2 new packs this year means I had no success. Totally defeated with this one.

some peas also seem to be tough for me to sprout and grow. i've given up on them and am going with some that i know will grow here ok and then perhaps i can try some crosses to get other traits incorporated (like, if, i really need another set of projects, heh...)
 

Pulsegleaner

Garden Master
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Messages
3,359
Reaction score
6,466
Points
306
Location
Lower Hudson Valley, New York
some peas also seem to be tough for me to sprout and grow. i've given up on them and am going with some that i know will grow here ok and then perhaps i can try some crosses to get other traits incorporated (like, if, i really need another set of projects, heh...)
Sounds like me and the Tommy sweet peas. Over the two times I tried to grow it, I poured in the equivalent of about TWENTY large size seed packet's worth, and never got sprout one. I can't be I'm too cold for them, I got the seed from bloody SIBERIA (or, at least from somewhere on the more eastern Asiatic side of the former Soviet Union.)

Either the seller sold me really old, really spoiled seed or there is someone in the mail/customs office who has come up with a new and novel way to cut down on his work (theoretically, if a customs official was clever enough, he could take seed packets that violate the import rules and, instead of destroying them and sending the form, irradiate them until there were sterilized and put them back into the mail stream on the grounds that, if the recipient consistently notices that the seeds he is buying from an overseas person are not growing, he'll probably eventually start blaming the seller and stop buying from them. So, the packages stop, the country is safe AND the customs officer gets less work to have to do.)
 

Pulsegleaner

Garden Master
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Messages
3,359
Reaction score
6,466
Points
306
Location
Lower Hudson Valley, New York
Today, due to the appearance of a bad spot, I finally got around to cutting into and starting to eat the watermelon I got on the weekend, and while it is a perfectly good watermelon, it, like the one of it's commercial brand I got before, is vaguely baffling.

I know there are seeded watermelons and there are seedless watermelons (which, nonetheless, can rarely have a seed or two). Is there such a thing as a semi-seedless watermelon?

With a seedless watermelon, which is usually triploid to get it that way. I'm used to the seeds either simply not being there, or being tiny white blebs of tissue. This isn't what I am seeing with this one. There are a LOT of seeds, but they are all (or nearly all) aborted. However, they are aborted at a MUCH later stage than one would expect from a seedless, not only are they easily visible, but many have the beginning of their seed coats actually starting to brown up at the tip. And, just like last them, there is at least one seed that appears fully formed and mature (there may be more, as I have not finished eating the melon.) The label does not claim to be seedless (unlike all of the other brands offered at that store*) but the selling sign does. I don't MIND it has seeds (for one thing, seeded melons ten to taste better). but it's odd they all straddle this line.

*the other melons offered also don't look exactly like this brand; they're a bit larger, and the stripe pattern is different, so they are presumably a different variety.)
 

heirloomgal

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
3,668
Reaction score
11,804
Points
235
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
Today, due to the appearance of a bad spot, I finally got around to cutting into and starting to eat the watermelon I got on the weekend, and while it is a perfectly good watermelon, it, like the one of it's commercial brand I got before, is vaguely baffling.

I know there are seeded watermelons and there are seedless watermelons (which, nonetheless, can rarely have a seed or two). Is there such a thing as a semi-seedless watermelon?

With a seedless watermelon, which is usually triploid to get it that way. I'm used to the seeds either simply not being there, or being tiny white blebs of tissue. This isn't what I am seeing with this one. There are a LOT of seeds, but they are all (or nearly all) aborted. However, they are aborted at a MUCH later stage than one would expect from a seedless, not only are they easily visible, but many have the beginning of their seed coats actually starting to brown up at the tip. And, just like last them, there is at least one seed that appears fully formed and mature (there may be more, as I have not finished eating the melon.) The label does not claim to be seedless (unlike all of the other brands offered at that store*) but the selling sign does. I don't MIND it has seeds (for one thing, seeded melons ten to taste better). but it's odd they all straddle this line.

*the other melons offered also don't look exactly like this brand; they're a bit larger, and the stripe pattern is different, so they are presumably a different variety.)
Having never looked much farther than heirloom watermelons, the genetics of commercial varieties baffle me. But I suspect that the science of growing 'seedless' watermelons has not been utterly perfected and some of them fall along a 'spectrum of seedless'.
 

heirloomgal

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
3,668
Reaction score
11,804
Points
235
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
I don't usually buy petunias but I found two this season that I think I may really enjoy. Both were discounted by 50% because we're so deep into June too ☺️ - 'Flower Shower Mayan Sunset' and 'Supertunia Honey'. I had to give them a little trim to freshen them up, so I'm yet to see a full show of blooms but what little I did see on the plants has me anticipating something good. Both varieties are two toned, with the 'Honey' actually having some of the shade of real honey in there. I'm so impressed with these petunia cultivars, they really are coming up with some new and wonderful expressions. The smell is really sweet & fragrant.

net pics
images
35463.Jpg


The Honey petunias change color according to the weather - heat brings out the yellow tones, and cool days and nights bring out the orangey pink tones!

supertunia_honey_10-ct_grande_tray_02.jpg
the_gold_rush.jpg
 

Latest posts

Top