Thursday, March 9, 2017

Melons and heat tolerant beans

I love melons but the time of the year has come, like every year, when I am totally meloned out. Although I couldn't get many varieties going due to the cold and wet spring the ones I did manage to grow have all come ripe at once.
I have had to go out every morning to check and taste all the ones from my breeding lines for selection. Unfortunately I couldn't get many to take with hand pollinating but at least I will have an idea of what to expect next year when I plant a greater number for selection.

 I have a couple of my own melons that are only a couple of years off being right. This is one I call 'Casanova'. It looks a little similar to Emerald Gem but a bit bigger and the flesh is not as soft so it should keep better.
Unfortunately it doesn't have a ripening indicator so it is difficult to tell when it is ripe. I will have to do something about that.
It is pretty stable so I can work on finding a good, dominant ripeness sign to breed in and it will be finished.

I have had the seeds to two large melons for a heap of years but have never grown them so I put some in this year to renew the seeds.
The two are 'Escondido Gold' (pictured) and 'Canoe Creek Colossal'. I really wasn't fond of Canoe Creek Colossal as the flesh was very stringy/fibrous, though it tasted ok.
Escondido Gold has the most soft and melting flesh that you have to wear a bib to eat it, or scoop the flesh with a spoon. It is delicious.

Both these have fruits that are big enough to feed a large family.

My few 'fingers' eggplants are finally fruiting. I had trouble germinating them but I think I have three colours setting. This is the white one.
The purple ones are fruiting well and are more vigorous than the green and white.

 Heat tolerant bean trial

I have finally pulled out all the bush and climbing green beans. Here is the results of my trial to find out which ones will tolerate and set pods in the heat. A couple of beans like 'Hidatsa' stood up to the heat ok but did not set pods, and I lost a heap of varieties to rabbits so this trial did not go well.

All these tolerated heat well and produced.

Tasmanian French - climbing green bean. Green pods. Good producer.
Yellow butter bean - Climbing bean that is totally stringless. Yellow pods.
African Premier - Bush dry bean. Green coloured beans with pink splashes. Red and pink spotted seeds. Good producer.
Red Swan - Bush green bean. Heat tolerant small bush. Red pods. Tastes good raw or cooked.
Crow river - Bush dry bean. This is the best producing bean I have ever seen. It literally bears itself to death. Speckled small seeds.
Devil Fin Precoce - Bush green bean. It is a bit stringy for me as a green bean but makes a very tasty shelling bean. Not as productive as I would like.

Of course the two heat tolerant beans I grow every year was not part of this trial as they are not P. vulgaris. They are bush red snake bean and blue speckled tepary bean.

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