Pearl Sutton wrote:I buy heirloom seeds and deliberately plant types near each other to hopefully get them to breed. This sweet one by this one that handles weather, hoping to get better tasting ones that are the most likely to survive.
Heirloom means it's a variety that has bred true for many years.
Hybrid means two or more types have been mixed in it's genetics (your kids are hybrids of you and your wife) You get neat variations that way.
F1 means a hybrid the first year, you have pretty certain odds of what it will be. The next generation after F2 it gets more variable about what is produced.
OP means open pollinated, that's what I'm doing, means they are letting them cross with other types and don't know what exactly the seeds will produce.
Another good word is
Landrace means a mixture of various genetics aiming toward a strain of plants that grow REALLY well in YOUR area, and YOUR conditions. A lot of the permies are aiming for that. And a landrace that works well in one area won't do well in another.....
Cujo Liva wrote:
Very good explanation. Anything other than "heirloom" is not guaranteed to produce predictable descendants with traits (looks/size/taste/hardiness/disease resistance/etc) like the parents. Even heirlooms may not produce predictable descendants when allowed to pollinate with others varieties around. Two years ago, I was raising Tromboncino squash (which I really like) and had Luffa growing nearby. I didn't know that they were in the same extended family, so when I saved some Tromboncino seeds, last year I grew an unexpected hybrid squash. They were edible, but not what I wanted and I had effectively lost all of my Tromboncino seeds and am now starting over.
A "landrace" is very good for finding something that is well adapted to your environment, but that well adapted plant may not have certain of the other traits you want.
Rebecca Norman wrote:I'm surprised to hear that luffas crossed with zucchinis and tromboncinos. According to wikipedia, luffas are in their own genus, and are Luffa aegyptiaca or Luffa acutangula. Zucchinis are Cucurbita pepo, and tromboncino are Cucurbita moschata. I have always read that our popular squashes, in the Cucurbita genus, won't cross outside their genus, and even between within their genus they prefer not to cross but can be made to do it. But my knowledge of squash breeding is pretty much from reading.