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Re: HYB: advice needed

>             I have a problem.  I learnt recently that it may not be
>considered advisable to set seed pods on first-year plants (TBs).  But,
>since many of my plants are first-year ones, that's where most of my seed
>pods are.
>So, these are my questions:
>How many (if any) seed-pods can I leave on each plant without damaging the
>With the pods I remove, at what time should they be removed so as to have
>the best chance of saving the seed?  (Two pods which were accidentally
>knocked off the stem, are already attached to a potato as per Lloyd
>Zurbrigg's advice to Donald Mosser.)  The crosses have all been done in the
>last 5 weeks or so.
>How much extra water and fertilizer should I give the plants, and when?
>These are the varieties in question:
>All That Jazz  2 pods (one of these is 3 1/2" long, diameter 1 1/2")
>Bahloo 2 pods
>Blues Brothers 2 pods
>French Gown 3 pods
>Grecian Goddess 1 pod
>Just Magic 6 pods
>Leda's Lover 3 pods
>Magician's Apprentice 1 pod
>Mittagong 3 pods
>Mulled Wine 2 pods
>Pagan Dance 2 pods
>Perfect Couple 2 pods
>Pledge Allegiance 4 pods
>Rembrandt Magic 3 pods
>Schortman's Garnet Ruffles 3 pods
>Silk Sari 2 pods (one of these is 2 1/2" long, diameter 1 3/4")
>Speculator 5 pods
>Spring Tidings 4 pods
>Stratagem 5 pods
>Wedding Vow 1 pod
>Also: if a rather small pod isn't increasing quickly in size, is that a sign
>the plant is already under stress, and that I should just remove the pod?
>For future reference, if a two-year old plant didn't bloom in its first
>year, should I then treat it as a first-year plant and not set seed pods on it?
>Thanks in advance,
>Ann Pearce
>Adelaide, South Australia (where spring has officially ended)
>Dear Ann Pearce:  If you grow your plants very well, go ahead and set
>pods on the first-year things. You probably will anyway, right?  But it is
>hard on the plant, and you should expect to get less increase on it if you
>put more than one pod on it. The advantage of setting pods on second-year
>plants, is that the root system is much better developed, and the seeds
>you get probably will germinate better than those set on first-year
>plants. Much depends on the root-system of the particular variety. A good
>plan is to use the pollen of a variety you wish to breed, and put it on a
>variety in its second year. (That presumes that the variety bears fertile
>pollen). Lloyd Zurbrigg in Durham NC USA

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