Unless I completely missed something, the only thing that patent description describes is how to grow a plant, and with not much detail either. Nothing patentable there. Perhaps the patentable bit is secret and only revealed to the patent office.
Ray Silty loam over clay, pH 5.5, altitude 1000m, latitude 30deg south, 150 frost free days.
Post by caledonian on Oct 19, 2011 14:05:39 GMT -5
Nope, they were trying to patent a technique for producing true seed... which, as it's nothing more than cutting the flower stalks off the bulbs and keeping them alive while the seed develops, isn't a very good patent strategy.
There are other ways to accomplish it, mostly by manipulating the amount of light the plant receives.
I have a wild garlic (read weed) that forms a single clove approximately 3 cm x 2 cm in the largest circumstance. It forms bulbils that if not removed go everywhere and sooon you find the damned things everywhere. I was excited when I first moved into the house and found it. It took over teh murder strip of my neighbor's house and the things grow DEEP.
I mention it just from a germplasm consideration. The bulbils are considered vegetative but behind a generation (in terms of head formation) right? Anyone know of an assessment of the genetic composition of bulbils relative to the parent (older sister?) gene makeup?
Sounds like crow garlic (Allium vineale). Actually I'm playing around with something that may be an offshoot of that, that I found at an old railroad station. It has the same sort of arrangement (btw just to make sure of the identity, is the underground clove itself unshelled, but produce little side cloves that are?) except it's HUGE, about the same size as a domestic clove (the side bulbs are the size of the central clove of a normal one) As for the bulbils, since they are vegitative, I would imagine they would be gentically identical to the parent, barring mutations and crossovers.
THere is a great article about garlic true seed in the Heritage Farm newsletter from SSE. Check it out if you are a member. Really interesting with a list of garlics that the authors have had more luck coaxing to get true seed and their technique. They cut the scapes and keep them in water and they seem to hang on and even go to seed. Biggest trick seems to be to remove all the bulbils
There are two issues with getting true seeds from garlic. The first is getting the plants to flower, by removing the bulbils. The second is pollinating them.
Garlic plants are mostly sterile. You have to search to find those which have any fertility. If you find fertile plants, you then have to determine which are male and female, and move the pollen between the correct pairs of plants. Since this isn't likely to occur naturally, you have to do this by hand. Apparently finding male plants is very difficult.
Also, garlic plants are very sensitive to local growing conditions. This means you can't count on someone else finding a fertile plant, then you growing it in your garden for producing seeds. Mostly, you need to just try different varieties yourself, and see if they are sterile, male or female in your own garden.
I had a discussion several years ago with someone who did this, and his advice was to use foliar feeding in order to keep the tops of the plants from dying off. Apparently, if any flowers are produced, they occur very late in the life cycle of the plant and are around for a very short time.
I'm not able to do this in my own garden, because I get garlic rust in my area. This destroys the plants before any possibility of flowers. What I'm saying here is based on my discussions with the guy who did this.
He said he had the most luck with a garlic variety called Mexican Red, which produced male flowers for him.
Last Edit: Apr 15, 2012 4:37:14 GMT -5 by PatrickW
Post by mnjrutherford on Apr 17, 2012 14:44:18 GMT -5
I had a lot of garlic that was "lost" in last years harvest. It's coming up now. I'm wondering if I might get lucky and get some fertile plants? If they don't flower will they continue to divide with an additional opportunity to be fertile in the subsequent season? Would it be possible to calculate odds?
Jo - A developing farmer based on Bible teachings. Diversity, research, and chemical independence are key. Our top soil is about 12 to 18 inches of depleted sandy loam. Under that is a layer of light colored clay. Our sons will soon have more information as they learn to dig deeper and deeper holes.