Sunday, June 26, 2016

Blueberry Update

The blueberry project, otherwise know as "my first attempt to raise blueberries from seeds", started in the fall of 2013.  I had been growing blueberries for 3 or 4 years, and decided that it might be fun to "grow your own" from seeds.  I collected blueberries that had fallen onto the ground from the varieties that were growing well in my garden.  They were then placed in the freezer for a couple of months.  In January 2014, just before planting my rose seeds, the berries were taken out of the freezer and the seeds were extracted by using a blender.  I rinsed them several times and recovered quite a lot of blueberry seeds.  These were then planted in a small area in one of my rose seedling beds.

In December 2014, about 50-75 blueberry seedlings were transplanted into pots and placed outside the greenhouse.  Most pots held 10 or more seedling blueberries.  They mostly just grew in 2015.  This year, is the first time that several of them have bloomed (see Blooms and Fruit Coming Soon!).  Most of the seedlings that bloomed have produced berries - yeah!

First they were green, and then became pink.

Some of them ripened earlier than the parent berry bushes.

The early ripening seedlings seemed to produce the largest berries.  Shown below is one of the seedlings compared to one of the parents.  The larger berries are from one of the best seedlings.  The green ones (parent variety) in the lower right portion of the photo are in the same plane as the larger seedling berries for a size comparison.

There's not much better than picking your own blueberries from your own seedling bushes.

The first bowl of seedling blueberries is shown below - tasty!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Random 2016 Seedlings with Personality

A few of the newest seedlings that are showing some personality and promise.  This first one I am nicknaming "My Eyes are on YOU!"   ;) 

The next two seedlings are showing good color intensity.  The orange yellow one almost glows.  It is a Hulthemia cross, but doesn't show a blotch.  Even so, I'm keeping it for it's bold color.  The purple one is from a cross of 'Midnight Blue' X "Blue For You'.  I have four from this cross that I am watching.  The purple is more intense than what the photo shows (purples are difficult to capture correctly).

The last seedling shown below, is the least exciting color-wise  but might have the most promise since it has 'Knock Out' on one side and one of my cleanest seed parents on the other side. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

More Salvaged and Rescued Seedlings

The first seedling shown below was also salvaged from the neglected seedlings on the west side of the greenhouse (see Salvaged Treasures).  This seedling was transplanted 2 1/2 years ago into a 5-inch pot and then forgotten.  During the intervening years the majority of the seedlings in that area perished due to neglect and inconsistent watering. This one is a true survivor and may prove to have better drought resistance than most roses.  Notice in the second photo all the stems that sprouted from the dead original stem.

I think that it looks happier in the 5 gallon pot shown below.

The next seedling is at the other end of the spectrum.  It was accidentally culled from the seedling bench last year after I had already tagged it for keeping.  Since I didn't have time to make cuttings, I just stuck it into the ground under my misting table and hoped that it would survive.  Well it did survive (and bloomed!) despite the lower light conditions and almost constant water on the leaves from the intermittent misting. 

I think that this one is also going to be happier in a pot.  It will be interesting to see how much more it blooms under better light conditions.