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Old January 6, 2018   #5
bower's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 6,781

KarenO, they were all true determinates - that is, having terminal buds and the cluster patterns associated with that gene. But I think I missed my chance to select for a nice compact growth habit in the Black Nipper line - or would have had to grow hundreds to find it. The Sundog plants were determinate but also quite monstrous in size. They hit the rafters just like any indeterminate...

One thing I've learned from growing these indeterminate X determinate crosses, it is not that easy to recover a "compact" growth habit with the genetics of a really rampant indeterminate parent like Black Cherry on board - at least not without having to choose between compact plant size and other key traits like fruit quality - or else not where the environmental conditions promote unruly growth as in my greenhouse - and not without growing much larger numbers of plants than I could manage.

With the Black Nipper, each time I had a more compact plant turn up, these plants had inferior fruit - smaller and sour in a cohort of otherwise very tasty plump cherries. There was no point in selecting in that direction. So in the process of growing only a few to choose from, I may have lost traits that I valued. Live and learn.

The "Skipper" line - which is a sibling line to 'Rodney' - are being grown out as indeterminates but still throwing a few determinates at F3, and every one has been pretty awful for one reason or another. Mostly the determinate Skippers had smaller and not nice fruit, one of them this year might have been okay but succombed entirely to foliage disease while the rest of the Skippers in the same row (at my friend's farm) were outstanding for foliage health.
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