Miscellaneous projects southern Finland 2024

This year I have so many direct sown projects that I thought it’s better to open topics that are specific to those (sorry for the spamming in advance) to make them easier to follow and have this topic for those growings that still haven’t made that far or don’t offer as many meaningful updates. Planting is just starting here and transplants are well on the way. Peppers and eggplants are now 6 weeks and tomatoes 3,5 weeks from showing. Ground cherries are partially 3,5 weeks from showing, but there are some that I sprouted later because I started to panic that the ones I sowed wouldn’t germinate. You know what happens then… If the forecast stays as it is, most will be moving outdoors in the next couple of days to harden off under cloth before being planted out.

Peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and ground cherries are mostly F1s with some F2s in peppers and eggplants. It seems like most have worked, although still have to wait to make sure. The biggest disappointment was when the only seed of p.angulata x “normal ground cherry” (can’t remember which of the species it was as they all look alike) sprouted, but the root kinda melted after that. Not sure what was wrong, but I have seen the same happen with peppers. At least I have F1s with the other species. This year I’ll try to make the cross also the other way if that increases success. On a positive note, c.preatermissum x c.baccatum one seed sprouted after a month and is now growing. Can’t confirm it’s a cross, but it does look a bit different than I remember praetermissum from last year so fingers crossed. Also there are several annuum crosses with chiltepin and domestic tomato x habrochaites look promising as well.

Sweet potatoes hopefully will give better results with seeds this year. The plan is to leave one each on my balcony to see if that encourages to flower. The risk is that bugs like them also in a sheltered spot, but have to try anyway. It looks like I get an early start so maybe I have better luck with the ones outdoors also.

Basils are also looking promising. I did have some oopsies where seeds might have mixed up, but there seems to be a highly suspicious amount of purple-leafed when I had only one purple-leafed variety and one F3 swarm with some purples. Almost all those different types that I sowed have at least one purple leafed, some more than others (maybe being close to purple variety). Also those that are from a purple-leafed variety (I had forgot to mark, but I just separated those seeds and those leaves looked purple) have some greens and aren’t as purple. What makes it seem likely that they are crosses is that all seem to conform more or less in other aspects with their siblings. One interesting is single purple leafed in some 500 tenuiflorum (holy basil) seedlings. That I separated with a little clump because it was getting a little crowded. One variety/species seems to have been susceptible to mold that I had and it already killed one purple, but maybe it’s doing good selection as that was the only one that was affected. Anything that remains might be more likely to be crosses. Otherwise I can’t make distinction from other features and have to wait until I plant them out to see how they will grow.


Look at those basils! I find it crosses quite easily. One year my small leaved basils offspring stank of Tulsi. Had to pull those not to infect them all. I got vanilla Basil now, vert pleasant smell.


Looking at the flowers I thought it might not be that difficult. Problem might be having them flower the same time. Atleast for me they seemed to go quite fast. That tulsi I mentioned was the last to flower and continued flowering and being green the last with one other species, which actually wasn’t that good tasting. Tulsi I quite liked even if it’s not like “a normal” basil. I’m not too concerned with the taste at the moment, but instead try to get them well mixed up and adapting to my climate. 2-3 years and could start to think about the taste. F2/F3 are still so unstaple that even bad tasting might give some good tasting offspring.

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Looks like a great start to the season.
My experience with tomato/habrochaites crosses is that habro very much dominates in both F1 and F2 generations. I regret not having backcrossed with tomato straight away. If you have the time I would strongly recommend doing this backcross.
Also, it seems that the F1 will fertilise habrochaites so if you want habro cytoplasm you might consider trying this cross too.
Mind you, it seems you have plenty to think about and do this season.

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My idea is to keep habro crosses as a separate population until they become palatable so it doesn’t matter if habro would dominate. Been thinking about backcrossing to habro also.


Bravo for all those great ongoing projects Jesse. It is amazing.

On all the F1s solanaceae (87s) you sent me for collaboration on seed increase, all sown on the 17th of April, I am happy to tell you that only 4 did not germinate. These 4 being eggplants. . The80+ others doing great, with for most great germination power from the start. Should be transplanted within a few days, when these really heavy showers stop, if they ever… we’ve been having already 220mm of rain since the Ist of may in my place, raining everyday, everything rotting…
Hardening transplants in a removable tunnel but outside of the greenhouse before they go…

The F2s and F3s should be direct seeded within a week or so, for heavy selection as we talked about.

Don’t be greedy with the rain :sweat_smile:. Here it’s been a really dry spring, even when spring is usually the driest season. Mostly snow melt to stock up the ground, but that’s been spent now when it’s been so many dry summers. 50% chance that will get 2mm over weekend, hurrah. It’s almost a month since it rained the last time, if not counting 0.4mm that it rained a couple of weeks ago.

great projects Basil, Pepper, Eggplant!
my 3 priority work topics, I will follow your progress with pleasure.

for basil, I never understood why tradition begs to plant in tight bunches. I have always found this as an aberation (a bit like putting 3 trees together to make believe that it is a tree with several trunks).
To make plant breeding, not enough places for plants to grow with a natural habit. I plant and repic unitarily for years, and that’s how I spot more interesting subjects that serve me as mother plant.
The only advantage I find to your method is to exploit several thousand seeds in 1 year, something I would need 100 life to succeed lol

That’s exactly why I’m doing it. Don’t have lot’s of space and the season is so short that I’m not quite sure yet if I could use direct sowing as a way to screen. That’s why I’m trialing that with F4 hybrid swarm that might have the best chance to succeed. I’m not quite sure how I’ll proceed with the ones in the pots however. The idea is to separate differing plants with smaller bunches and the rest probably separate into bigger bunches and cull those that are the slowest or look like the majority in the bunch. I’m hoping that cream will rise to the top, but I’m not at all certain what kinda amounts of crosses there might. Hopefully this year they will have better opportunities to cross pollinate. Last year for most basils it was a fairly short flowering period before it got quite cool for them.

I thought I’d best add another slight drawback with my tomato/habrochaites hybrids. As already mentioned they strongly favour habrochaites and one of the characteristics most of my hybrids have is a long season, as does the habrochaites I have. We have about 150 frost free days and most of the hybrids do not ripen fruit in this time frame. In the season just gone, for example, only a few ripened fruit and of those only one was palatable. In fact it was quite tasty though not tomatoey, if that makes sense. It had an almost ‘tropical’ flavour.

Radishes have come up. Own seeds from last year F1 varieties and some staple varieties. Small beatles which eat brassicas have come to eat them and it’s very dry and hot. Should be enough selection pressure. Also saw some of the first spinach from saved seeds. Not many, but atleast some are viable. Almost didn’t collect them as plants were so sorry looking and wasn’t even sure if they had seeds, but good that I did.

Atleast I didn’t have trouble with habro last year and I have only about 100 days frost free. They flowered just in good time, although later than almost all. Maybe there is something else in your climate that hinders progress like heat and drought. Maybe drought they are used to in their native range, but don’t they usually live in a fairly cool climate up in the mountains? Although Joseph has had good results too and he’s got fairly hot days.

Yes, there could well be other factors not the least of which is the actual origin of the habro seeds. I have no idea where mine originated. They might have some day length sensitivity.

Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, ground cherries and sweet potatoes are now on the ground and so most of the plantings/sowings are done for this year. This year growing transplants went a lot better than last year and I’m well ahead in planting because of record hot may. If the weather doesn’t turn completely for the rest of the summer, I should have plenty of time to make crosses and for the seeds to ripen.

One interesting cross I forgot on the starting post; last year I had accidentally one african eggplant as a gift seeds and it wasn’t so visibly labeled that I only noticed it once fruits started to ripen. By that time I had made crosses with it and some of those are now growing. African eggplant did grow fairly well last summer, but it seemed to be terrible against late seasons humid weather and diseases, as were many normal eggplant varieties. Now I’ll probably back-cross it with the normal eggplant.

Habros and domestic x habro hybrids. I’m always a little skeptical if hybrids have actually worked, but habro hybrids seem to have clear habro features that I feel like they certainly worked.

Divided and planted basils. Total of 15 meters.


Radish and spinach are somewhat refreshing projects compared to my other projects because I don’t need to worry about having enough time to get seeds. Actually one of my goals is that they don’t bolt as easily. Just noticed that I have not watered them. Not that was meaning to, but that’s usually important, and now I haven’t even thought about them much as there has been other things to do and worry about. Seeds are the only thing I’m after and those I’ll get whether I care for them or neglect them.

I had a lot of radish seeds from last years grow-out and they have grown well. Some have golf ball sized roots. Thinned some of the smaller seedlings and those that had bolted prematurely. At the moment I’m not selecting for early root development. I’m also saving those which have a bulky growth and hopefully make big roots (for summer type) even if it’s a little later than some of the faster ones.

Spinach didn’t go too well last year. Didn’t get many seeds, maybe a few hundred which I didn’t know if they were viable or not. Germination hasn’t been great, but atleast got some plants. I would estimate around 15 with at least some different types. I’m also growing another mix from the same seeds that I sowed last year. Hopefully get some more variety.