Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Selecting lettuces, Island Gems variety, and potato seedlings

Today I decided to do some rogueing and selecting of a half row of Island Gem lettuces. I don't usually grow lettuces but I liked the look of these so much that I decided to give them a go.
They are a one serve heading lettuce in greens and spots.

I was disappointed in how uneven the plants are, some produced heads and some didn't. I am looking for a pretty heading lettuce with a firm heart and crisp texture.

Unfortunately these lettuces tend to be buttery instead of crisp but I will have to cope with that.

First I went through and pulled out any that did not produce heads, then went through again, tasting each one, and pulling out any that were bitter.
I ended up pulling out about 60% and will go through them again in a couple of weeks. By the end I will end up with about 30 plants that are closest to what I am after which I will then let go to seed.

 This is an example of the type of lettuce I am aiming for. Small enough to put on a plate whole, nice little heart, and pretty.

Island Gems is one of the lettuce blends from Wild Garden Seeds. They breed the most amazing lettuce varieties and I am always drooling when I visit their website.

I planted a few rhubarb seeds for something to do earlier and planted them out a couple of weeks ago. They are now going through their rapid growth stage and it is amazing to see how much they have grown every day when I look at them.
It doesn't look like much in this picture but when both small rows have mature plants in them I will post a better pic.

These are seedlings from my 'Red Rover' variety.

This boring picture is of a tray of true potato seedlings. It was a few days ago but today there are about 100 seedlings in this tray.
I am so excited as they are a mix of different colours and shapes and I have in mind trying to get a blend of golfball sized, multi coloured potato varieties that can be sold in large punnets for potato salads or boiled potatoes for restaurants.

I can't wait to start playing with them.

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