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Old April 3, 2015   #16
carolyn137
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My strategy for dealing with Helmet Heads is to cull them. I need plants to spring out of the ground and grow normally without taking up any of my attention other than watering. I figure that any plant that can't do that isn't holding up its end of the domestication bargain and can be eliminated.

Because I raise nearly all of my own seed, I don't allow the propagation of traits that I consider to be defective... If I started rescuing helmet heads I figure that I'd be encouraging more of them next year. I'm a culling maniac... If a seed germinates late it gets culled. If the cotyledons don't look normal it gets culled. If it grows slowly it gets culled. Helmet heads get culled.

Joseph, when you say you don't allow propagation of traits, meaning DNA, meaning Genes, I'm one of many, see those who posted above,who thinks there are MANY variables that can and do determine if helmet heads appear.

THE only time that I worry about them is if someone has sent me seeds for a previously uncirculated variety so that just the two of us have seeds, and then yes, if a helmet head appears, then yes, I try to get that newly germinated seedling going.

But I'm not one who believes that helmet heads are predetermined genetically.

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Old April 3, 2015   #17
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Default Which ones to cull out????

Below are three pictures of some of my current seedlings. Almost half of those you see were helmet heads. Which ones should I have tossed?? Can you tell a difference now. Look closely. Some of those were given a few drops of water and had tweezers used on them. Which ones should have been destroyed???

Worth and I are on the same page. Just like our children, some of them will need a little bit more help than the others.

Now, that's my opinion. You have the right to yours. For me, it touches the "I wanna help" side of me.

Helmets1.JPG

Helmets3.JPG

Helmets2.JPG

And where would my family heirloom (Maiden's Gold) be, if I had culled the helmet head. I just can't see wasting things.

MaidensGold.JPG
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Old April 3, 2015   #18
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Joseph, when you say you don't allow propagation of traits, meaning DNA, meaning Genes, I'm one of many, see those who posted above,who thinks there are MANY variables that can and do determine if helmet heads appear.

THE only time that I worry about them is if someone has sent me seeds for a previously uncirculated variety so that just the two of us have seeds, and then yes, if a helmet head appears, then yes, I try to get that newly germinated seedling going.

But I'm not one who believes that helmet heads are predetermined genetically.

Carolyn
Wasn't adoption of the idea that aquired characteristics could be passed to offspring genetically one of the ideas that nearly starved the Soviet Union during the 30's?
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Old April 3, 2015   #19
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Wasn't adoption of the idea that aquired characteristics could be passed to offspring genetically one of the ideas that nearly starved the Soviet Union during the 30's?
Yes it was as related to Lysenko:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysenkoism

And it stretched WAY beyond the 30's as you can see from the above Link.

Lysenko was the one who said that Giraffes grew tall in response for their need to get a the leaves they used for food that grew in high trees.

Need I say more.

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Old April 3, 2015   #20
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Default Analogy I use.

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My strategy for dealing with Helmet Heads is to cull them. I need plants to spring out of the ground and grow normally without taking up any of my attention other than watering. I figure that any plant that can't do that isn't holding up its end of the domestication bargain and can be eliminated.

Because I raise nearly all of my own seed, I don't allow the propagation of traits that I consider to be defective... If I started rescuing helmet heads I figure that I'd be encouraging more of them next year. I'm a culling maniac... If a seed germinates late it gets culled. If the cotyledons don't look normal it gets culled. If it grows slowly it gets culled. Helmet heads get culled.

I agree with the culling of unwanted,weak,slow ,under preformers.I call it the "Kennedy Teeth Syndrome".Drives the wife crazy when I mention it.
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Old April 3, 2015   #21
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.......Need I say more.

Carolyn
Perhaps.
As these events fade from memory into history, its important to discuss them from time to time. I have discussed this with seemingly reasonable people who still appear comfortable with the idea that the giraffe/neck example perfectly describes how they believe evolution works. I find myself ill equipped to point out the flaws in this line of reasoning.

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Old April 3, 2015   #22
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Perhaps.
As these events fade from memory into history, its important to discuss them from time to time. I have discussed this with seemingly reasonable people who still appear comfortable with the idea that the giraffe/neck example perfectly describes how they believe evolution works. I find myself ill equipped to point out the flaws in this line of reasoning.
Yes, I know that some feel that adaptation of traits occurs, just as I know about the huge disagreements that exist between concepts of evolution still being discussed today.

And it's nothing I want to get into either whether it be Darwinism, Mendelian gentics, Lysenkoism,etc.

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Old April 3, 2015   #23
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Why is their neck long?
Every reason I can come up with I find a flaw.
To look out over the savanna to see predators?
Then why are they the only one?
To reach up into trees?
Same flaw.

I have came to the conclusion that people that go to the opra have longer necks so they can see better.
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Old April 3, 2015   #24
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Why is their neck long?
Every reason I can come up with I find a flaw.
To look out over the savanna to see predators?
The why are they the on me one.
To reach up into trees?
Same flaw.

I have came to the conclusion that people that go to the opra have longer necks so they can see better.
Worth
Well, I am not a biologist, but I would say its not so much WHY their necks are long, but more of a matter of HOW their necks got long.
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Old April 3, 2015   #25
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Yes it was as related to Lysenko:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysenkoism

And it stretched WAY beyond the 30's as you can see from the above Link.

Lysenko was the one who said that Giraffes grew tall in response for their need to get a the leaves they used for food that grew in high trees.

Need I say more.

Carolyn
Here's an interesting bit of text from that link. It was near the top of the page, so the writer may have been emphasizing the point.

"Lysenkoism was built on theories of the heritability of acquired characteristics that Lysenko named "Michurinism".[1] These theories depart from accepted evolutionary theory and Mendelian inheritance.

Lysenkoism is used metaphorically to describe the manipulation or distortion of the scientific process as a way to reach a predetermined conclusion as dictated by an ideological bias, often related to social or political objectives."

And, I still respect the right of others to think differently about "Helmet Heads". I just don't like anything to be, IMHO, needlessly wasted. It's your stuff and you can do what you want with it.
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Old April 3, 2015   #26
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I believe I saw a commercial on TV for a "Save the Helmut Heads" foundation. Your charitable contribution could make a difference in the life of a neglected seedling.
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Old April 3, 2015   #27
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I believe I saw a commercial on TV for a "Save the Helmut Heads" foundation. Your charitable contribution could make a difference in the life of a neglected seedling.
Yes you did see that on TV, I had my nephew who is very computer savvy set that up for me and all contributions are sent back to me.

Actually my nephew offered his help here at TVille shortly after the site was started as Mischka can confirm, quite true, and he also wanted to set up a webpage for me to which I said no way.

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Old April 3, 2015   #28
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Helmet heads happen most of the time because the seed wasn't planted deep enough and the soil medium isn't natural.
If the seed is planted deep enough the soil will keep the hull moist and drag the seed hull off as it comes up through the ground.
Or else it just won't make it to the surface and you'll never know about the helmet?

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It isn't genetic.
I suspect you're mostly right, but I wonder if there might be some part of the cause that is the same factor that makes it possible to plant four tomato seeds in a container, where conditions are the same for all of them, and have one of them show up two months after its colleagues. Genetic difference in resistance to moisture, perhaps? One could see a possible survival advantage to plants that manufactured a minority of their seeds with tougher than average coats, so that if the initial "sprout" conditions produced plants at what turned out to be an unfavorable time, that plant would have some "backup" children who'd try again later in the season.

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Culling a helmet head is the equivalent of culling your child because they are cold because you didn't give them a coat to wear.

Worth
Perhaps it's the equivalent of culling your child by letting it collapse from heatstroke because you didn't help it get its coat off, when it had buttoned itself into its coat on a 110 day with no shade?


I guess I agree with both sides in this discussion, kind of. If I have plenty of seed of a variety that is producing helmet heads, I'm more likely to just plant enough seed and let the strongest make it -- but if I have time I may give them some moisture on the helmets.

If it's a variety for which the seed is rare, at least to me, them I make every effort to help. What I've had help the most, if just a drop of water on the head at frequent intervals doesn't do it, is to put a tiny little plastic wrap top on the moistened helmet -- just to make the moisture last longer. I don't fasten it at all, just sort of drape the *tiny* bit of plastic wrap over the helmet each time I moisten it.

I've used tweezers, too, but I'm unhappy with the results about as often as happy. I do like the scissor style tweezers for more precise control. Sometimes, after moistening the helmet head several times I've used that style of tweezers to just gently squeeze the moistened helmet head a little, without trying to remove it, just trying to crack or weaken the hard helmet structure and give the plant a better chance to escape.

Seeds that have traveled are more likely to have helmet head problems for me. Always reminds me of what someone, here or elsewhere, said to the effect that they were willing to spend time encouraging germination, de-helmeting, etc. seeds that had traveled because if those traveling seeds made it to seed production, *those* seeds were likely to grow like jungle weeds. (i.e. environmental stress, not genetic weakness, was most often the cause of apparent weakness in some first generation traveling seeds.)
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Old April 3, 2015   #29
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If helmet heads are caused 95% by environment and 5% by how particular genetics interacts with the environment, then I feel like I am making progress by eliminating the 5%.

I collect tens of thousands of tomato seeds per year. It doesn't matter to me if any particular seed lives or dies. I'm not worried about wasting a seed. I usually start tomatoes in a large pot densely planted. I cull about half of the quick-germinating seeds while potting-up. The slow germinating seeds all get culled. Then they also get culled because of frost, or bugs, or blossom end rot, or failure to thrive.
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Old April 3, 2015   #30
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If helmet heads are caused 95% by environment and 5% by how particular genetics interacts with the environment, then I feel like I am making progress by eliminating the 5%.

I collect tens of thousands of tomato seeds per year. It doesn't matter to me if any particular seed lives or dies. I'm not worried about wasting a seed. I usually start tomatoes in a large pot densely planted. I cull about half of the quick-germinating seeds while potting-up. The slow germinating seeds all get culled. Then they also get culled because of frost, or bugs, or blossom end rot, or failure to thrive.
I am curious if you have seen a progressively lower percentage of Helmut head germination eince you have been doing this.
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