project update by
Using my landrace watermelon bred to thrive in Nothern Colorado I have crossed domestic landrace watermelon with red-seeded citron melons with high pectin (normally used for preserves). Wide variability has shown a range of interesting traits such as better roots for growth in poor soil, drought tolerance, better nutrient gathering, yellow rind traits when ripe, thin rind for maximum edibility, frost tolerance, etc. I plan to select the best to thrive here in northern colorado and make my landrace watermelon even better.
Collaborators wanted in the rocky mountain northern areas primarily, but already have collaborators In Europe and Australia as well.
I posted this update on the OSSI forum.
So I haven't updated this thread much this year because my own crop did not do the best. But that does not mean this project is dead.
I tried to select and plant the seeds this year only from the ones with traits that seemed desirable (especially for eating). I think I planted about 10-12 "strains". I'll try to come back and edit this post with the names if i haven't already posted.
But anyway, yeah, so my plans mostly failed as most of them failed to thrive at all. My corn crop did fantastic which was planted as an afterthought rather than the main project ironically. But as it turns out the strongest "strain" continued to grow and set fruit regardless of the poor conditions. A testament to good genetics I would think. I still have plenty of backup seed from the large population from last year, so even if I had a complete crop failure I would have been fine. A good reason to only plant 50% of your seed!
But I've heard this project in Germany and Australia? Might be doing well this season. So in other ways by sharing my seed far and wide ive hedged my bets. Hopefully they will post pictures and updates soon too. More members are joining the project on the Experimental Farm Network.
The email feature on this website is still broken. If you need seeds contact me on opensourceplant breeding forum under "biolumo" or email me at biolumo [at] gmail (dot) com and send your address.
This is a test update. Seeing if things work now.
If anyone needs seeds for next year (or this year, though probably too late unless in Australia) then please let me know.
I noticed a good germination quote in open ground. Seedlings seem to be strong and healthy so far.
Germination rate is far better than on seeds from Joseph Lofthouse. A volunteer strain from Canada is in between.
Lets hope it is a sign and some are gonna make fruits!