William Schlegel

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since Jan 23, 2017
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Recent posts by William Schlegel

Gnaphalium and similar genera in the Aster family present with th is appearance
1 day ago
So I am saving seed from the Blue Ambrosia experiment. Most of it so far is from transplanted indivuduals with just a few from the big direct seeded planting. I have six segregates so far:

Big red with a hint of blue

Big red with no blue

Apricot with a hint of blue

Dark blue with apricot

Apricot with no blue a probable reversion to Ambrosia Gold

Small red no blue, probably mostly a regular leaf Brad descendent I planted with the Blue Ambrosia and then accidentally picked some of mixing with Blue Ambrosia tomatoes.

Of these I suspect the two Big Red types are the most likely hybrids.

I think there is a reason why variation exists in a population for pest and disease resistance.

Take a land race population of wheat for example. This wheat might be coevolving with a rust. So in the landrace of wheat you might find some wild crop relatives like jointed goat grass and even several species of wheat at multiple ploidy levels. Hybridization within and between species and ploidy levels is a continuous ongoing process. Ripening time is variable. Plants vary in size, height, and productivity.

In regards to the rust some wheat plants may be totally immune, others totally susceptible, others having varying degrees of tolerance or resistance. Different genes drive these different strategies. When rust attacks a given plant it may not need genes that would allow it to attack another. The susceptible plants do great when rust has a bad year. The susceptible plants also foil the rusts attempts to evolve countermeasures.

Contrast this with a modern wheat. This wheat was developed using a process of doubled haploid anther culture or by extreme inbreeding. Its been selected for multiple rust resistancr gened but it is all genetically identical. If rust does manage to attack one plant- that same rust can attack the entire field even if it is 10,000 acres.

So if your collards have three aphid strategies susceptibility, resistance, and immunity. I  would try to save some seed from all three. The susceptible plants will give the aphids a home during bad aphid years. They will do great in years when aphids arent the problem. The resistant plants may provide an alternate strategy, and the immune plants may always do great in aphid years, but might not be the best stock in years when aphids are few.

This makes a lot of assumptions though. That the aphids are the disease and not just a symptom. That genes or at least one gene is at play in the collards. That it's resistance to aphids and not ants that tend the aphids. That the plants aren't being attacked randomly or based on conveneince to an ant colony or colonies that are tending the aphids.

Depending on your population size your collards may already be a highly inbred population. The three aphid s trategies you see could be controlled by a single gene. Some plants have no copies, some have one copy, and others have two copies. If you did want to follow the modern wheat strategy, and it was the case of a single gene, you should be able to eliminate the non resistant strain fairly fast by saving seed only from the mostly immune plants.

However if you have a copy of Carol Deppes book you might want to review it to see what she says about population sizes and inbreeding in brassicas. Also before you purge the population of non-resistance genes you might want to follow carols advice on drying some seed down and freezing it for a backup- in case it turns out later that those genes have some other function like say mildew resistance in years when aphids aren't the problem.

Mike Jay wrote:Tomatoes pop up all over the place, I think I have about 8 this year.  Usually they don't produce red fruit before Jack Frost nips them.  But I keep leaving them in the hopes of success.

With the Schlegel tomatoes I'm trying this year (Direct Seeded trial) hopefully they'll volunteer and we'll really be onto something.

I wouldn't call the tomatoes I sent you Schlegel tomatoes Mike- they are all named varieties I just searched for the shortest season ones I could find! They might work better, it was volunteers from longer season plants that got me thinking about direct seeding tomatoes. Shorter season parents should work better as volunteers or as direct seeded! Though I have moved on a bit to trying to actually find some hybrids using Joseph Lofthouse's promiscuous pollination methodology. I feel like if our tomatoes can actually evolve in our gardens we may get the local adaptation we want. To me that means somewhat promiscuous tomatoes that are direct seeded year after year.

I grew some potatoes from true seed in 2017 and decided to just leave them in the ground to see if they would survive. A very few did. No true seed production yet though. I tried to direct seed a few potato seeds last year and didn't get anything.
1 week ago
It's August 7th and I just found my first direct seeded ripe tomatoes.

Mike Jay wrote:

42 days: Covered with tomatoes and should ripen first.  Bigger than cherry tomatoes.  Not sure what "42 days" refers to, they're currently about 70 days old

Just to weigh in as to what I think "42 days" means. I think it is that the variety was named after days to maturity after transplant. If Sweet Cherriette had been named for the same thing it might be called "35 days". So I only had two 42 days plants last year but I had a lot of Sweet Cherriette. I believe the hype but only with the following stipulations: must be started 8 weeks not six before transplant, must have perfect potting soil and garden soil, transplants must be transplanted frequently or started as single sown seeds in a pot large enough to outplant, temperature and fertilization must be done perfectly, no disease or unusual weather events allowed. So amongst many many starts last year I maybe approached this level of perfection with two or three sweet Cherriette plants.

This year I started a clump of each of the super earliest tomatoes from last year just to keep them in the garden for pollen and for seed saving. The sweet Cherriette clump isn't ripe yet! It's been eclipsed by Brad tomatoes I actually transplanted into single cells in a timely manner. So I guess what I have learned is DTM is a rough guideline that kind of works if you aren't a rule breaker. For us rule breakers it helps somewhat to identify tomatoes that might be quick enough to withstand some rule breaking. Like crowding, not watering, not fertilizing, not weeding, not transplanting, and just direct seeding instead of transplanting at all! Under my torture regimen it seems to me that a 55 DTM tomato can be just as early as a 35 DTM tomato.

So my tomato clumps this year aren't as fast in general as my single plant tomatoes. I guess thinning is important after all! Why did I get the Brad transplanted? I spotted a couple hybrids so transplanted the whole clump. I got a few fruits from the hybrid and from brad. Definitely very early tomatoes, I've loaded them into my seed saving que. I also got a few tomatoes from earl''s strain of Jagodka, and one from anmore dewdrop. Got four tomatoes from three transplanted plants of Blue Ambrosia. I was hopeful the earliest of these would be hybrids but no definitive sign of that!

I just came back from a long work trip. Tomatoes survived my absence. Since I didn't direct seed the earliest of the earlies, my direct seeded plants have green fruit at best. My earliest volunteer may be a yellow pear based on its green fruit shape.

Picked a few early tomatoes to save seed from, from my transplanted patch. Joseph: Brad is a very early tomato for me too. Got a few fruit from a regular leaf plant that sprouted amongst my Brad seedlings. It was very early as well.

My direct seeded and volunteer plants are quite variable. Hope that means some hybridization. 

Mike, your garden looks great. My sweet cherriette last year were variable like that.

In California there are quite a few rare and even endangered plants grandfathered into the horticultural trade. A few years ago I was in Santa Barbara and was growing all the Berberis nevinii I could purchase and had plans to propagate more. It can be bought completely legally.

Some other species are quite protected when rare. I would recommend joining forces and volunteering with an organization doing rare plant increase legally. The institute for applied ecology is one such. They have done significant increase of a rare paintbrush in Oregon.

Here the Montana native plant society has done some work with Spalding's Catchfly.
1 month ago
Plugging away at weeding the direct seeded tomato patch. About half way done, though it's becoming a exercise in decreasing rewards as I've weeded the best rows and plants first.

William Bronson wrote:No idea what this is.
Lost of Creeping Charlie in the background. Man I love that stuff!

Lactuca serriola prickly lettuce.
1 month ago