cold tolerant watermelon Feb 22, 2012 18:12:33 GMT -5
Post by Joseph Lofthouse on Feb 22, 2012 18:12:33 GMT -5
Feb 22, 2012 17:07:55 GMT -5 @terracotta said:what cultivars are you planning for 2012? how do you select for watermelon cultivars to be trialed?
My 2012 planting plan for the watermelon breeding program is approximately as follows:
- 100 seeds of Joseph's 2011 proto-landrace planted fruit-to-row.
- 100 seeds of Keen101's 2011 proto-landrace. (Also from a very-cold short-season garden at high altitude.)
- 100 seeds of Diane's 2011 proto-landrace. From a collaborator's garden in a warmer climate. Being planted mainly as a source of diversity, just in case any short season melons happen to show up.
- 100 seeds from Susan, a local collaborator who also started a proto-landrace in 2011. Will be planted fruit-to-row.
- 5 seeds each of about 20 varieties that people have sent for me to trial, all jumbled up together.
- 10 seeds of the Saldaña melon
- About 10 seeds each of my family's subvariety of Charleston Gray, and of Blacktail mountain. These serve as a control group, so that I can compare the landrace groups to melons with known characteristics.
In early summer I intend to weed heavily, chopping out any melon that is growing slowly.
I'll grow the production melons in a different field.
I plant 5 seeds of any melon cultivar that I can get my hands on, regardless of what it is or where it came from. Due to my garden having an extremely short season, if I'm buying seeds to go into a breeding program one of my primary considerations is days-to-maturity as advertized by the seed catalogs. I consider the DTM data in catalogs to be a complete fairy tale, but there seems to be a token of truth even in the most outlandish stories.
After this year, I will pretty much be done trialing melons from far away places... My locally adapted melons will be doing so much better that there doesn't seem to be much point of trialing additional cultivars. I will continue however to swap seeds with my closest collaborators who share low-humidity high-altitude cold/short-season with me. Any landrace varieties from cold high-altitude climates that I can get my hands on will always have space for a large trial in my garden.