Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener: How to Create Unique Vegetables and Flowers

Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener: How to Create Unique Vegetables and Flowers

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by Joseph Tychonievich
     
 

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It’s the holy grail of gardening: a plant that perfectly matches your tastes and the conditions in your garden. The hitch? You’re not likely to find it at your local garden center. You’re going to have to create it yourself.

But don’t worry—it isn’t hard. After all, gardeners have been doing it for centuries, simply

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Overview

It’s the holy grail of gardening: a plant that perfectly matches your tastes and the conditions in your garden. The hitch? You’re not likely to find it at your local garden center. You’re going to have to create it yourself.

But don’t worry—it isn’t hard. After all, gardeners have been doing it for centuries, simply by saving seeds of the varieties that tasted or performed best. But you’ll get even better results by following the advice in Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener. You’ll learn how to set achievable goals in your breeding program; the ins and outs of genetics; how to pick the best parent plants; how to cross-pollinate; the best techniques to use for popular vegetables and flowers; and how to harvest and store seeds.

In no time at all, you’ll be producing a tomato perfect for your palette, a pepper with just the right amount of heat, or a more fragrant rose!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his first book, horticulturist and geneticist Tychonievich tries to help average gardeners avoid feeling intimidated about DNA manipulation of plants. He likens the latter process to passing on a family chocolate-chip cookie recipe. Even so, the associated science, and terms such as genes, chromosomes, recombination, polypoidy, and (hold your nose) inbreeding are unavoidable and plentiful. With his playful attitude, the writer helps the gardener understand the problematic nature of inbreeding: “If you take a plant, and make it have sex with itself by self-pollinating it, then in the next generation, the number of genes which are heterozygous drops, on average, in half.” The analogies are helpful. While only the resolute gardener will benefit from this book, that gardener will also be thankful that a skilled geneticist with a green thumb and a heart for the average citizen has opened up a universe of horticultural possibility to those who, for too long, have had to defer to the scientific elite when it comes to DNA manipulation. (Mar.)
Booklist

"Gardener[s] will also be thankful that a skilled geneticist with a green thumb and a heart for the average citizen has opened up a universe of horticultural possibility."

Horticulture

“Home gardeners seeking to breed customized vegetables and flowers will find much to treasure here. Those interested in plant genetics and advanced gardeners will cheer."

Library Journal
Creating new plant varieties sounds like an activity that should be carried out by botanists in sterile labs, but Tychonievich (nursery manager, Arrowhead Alpines) skillfully explains how anyone can develop new plants in a backyard garden. The book covers the history of plant breeding, plant genetics, breeding goals, evaluating and selecting plants, how to make a cross (i.e., cross breed or hybridize plants), and advanced plant-breeding techniques. The final chapter includes directions for breeding particular flowers and vegetables. Despite the specialized topic, the author has written an accessible, easy-to-read book, one that novice gardeners will be able to use to create tastier tomatoes or more fragrant carnations. Concepts, ideas, and steps are clearly described, and line illustrations are included where useful. Tychonievich also includes recommended readings, useful websites, and a list of plant sources. VERDICT New and seasoned gardeners will appreciate this nicely presented book. It could even spur caregivers or teachers to get kids into the garden, growing their very own varieties of vegetables.—Lisa Ennis, Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham, Lib.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781604693645
Publisher:
Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
03/05/2013
Pages:
216
Sales rank:
354,333
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Joseph Tychonievich studied horticulture, plant breeding, and genetics at the Ohio State University and was the nursery manager at Arrowhead Alpines, a premier rock garden nursery in Fowlerville, Michigan. Organic Gardening Magazine called him one of “six young horticulturalists who are helping to shape how America gardens.”
 

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Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener: How to Create Unique Vegetables and Flowers 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Grady_Fitz More than 1 year ago
This wonderful book was a pleasure to read and taught me a lot about the basics of backyard plant breeding. I am now inspired to create plant crosses that I had never even thought of before. The author discusses the material in a way that anyone can understand, as if he is right there helping you with your gardening projects. I particularly enjoyed the final section, which focuses on different plant groups separately. Although you can jump around through the book to find specific information, I found it best to read from beginning to end.