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HYB: Beginner's Luck

Dennis Kramb asked:

>  What kind of success rate do you pros have?  I expected nearly every
>  to be successful.  I don't know where the blame lies.....with myself f=
>  not doing it properly....or with the cultivars for being infertile.

Working within a fertile family,
in ideal hybridizing weather, I've
had a few days with 100% takes.   =

That's in 20+ years of hybridizing.
For the season as a whole, though,
my success rate within fertile
families is more like 50%. I could
improve the rate if I didn't make my
marginal crosses, but when the
weather is iffy I tend to go ahead
and take my chances.

With certain wide crosses,
I'm pleased with 1 take in 100,
not disappointed with 1 in 1000.

Climate is a factor.  It's so dry here
that flowers are receptive for a
relatively short time and it's so hot =

by the end of the season that pods
don't set.  =

Weather is also a factor.  Strong
winds and falling water?  Don't =

waste the pollen.

And, yes -- experience does count.
It takes time to learn what ripe
pollen looks like and when a
stigmatic lip is receptive.

Sharon McAllister
Souther New Mexico

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