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Thoughts for the day

  • Subject: Thoughts for the day
  • From: "Mary Chastain" <mc_hosta@Bellsouth.net>
  • Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2001 21:43:25 -0400
  • Importance: Normal

For the past few years, I have given special attention to the hostas that
seem to show the most damage from snails and slugs. Over the past two years,
I have drawn a conclusion that it could well be the flavor of the plant
rather than being a lack of substance. I have not done a taste test but it
might not be a bad idea. For the past three years I have had four plants of
about equal substance growing more or less side by side. Each year one plant
has been almost destroyed while the others show almost no damage. It has
been the same plant each year that look bad. Last fall I planted these same
varieties in different areas in the garden. The plants that showed no damage
are still good in other areas and the plants that are eaten are still bad in
other areas.
After this observation, I began to think about the parentage of these
plants. In each case the plants showing the most damage have at least one of
the same parents. I especially did some research on Lakeside Roy El. It has
been growing in the same area for at least 4 years and has shown no damage.
No holes from slugs and no damaged petioles from snails. I began to check
seedling from this plant. They show little or no damage.
I wonder if it would be worth while for several of us to pay more attention
to this. I believe we could compile a list of plants that tend to produce
seedling that the snails and slugs just love. The next question would be, do
we want to ignore these plants for breeding or are the other traits
transmitted by them important enough to keep working with them. Through
careful breeding we might save the good and remove the bad.

Mary Chastain
Lakeside Acres
8119 Roy Lane
Ooltewah, TN 37363
phone 423-238-4534

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