Saturday, October 7, 2017

Backup plot of WN2 germinates

The backup plot of Wisconsin No. 2 germinated overnight.  I have been keeping this ground moist with irrigation since planting it on October 1.  Six days to germinate seems a bit long to me, and I'm beginning to think that Wisconsin No. 2 and Vavilov both take longer to germinate than modern "Turkeys."

I'm also intrigued by the red stems that are showing in the WN2.  I've never noticed it before.  From observing the regular test plot, I can see that the stem does go away after a few days.  But it's very apparent today.

I want to get a good comparison, so I drilled in a four-row test plot just to the South of the backup WN2 plot.  From North to South, there is a single 8' row of Wisconsin No. 2, Vavilov Turkey Red, Ehmke Turkey, and Stephens Turkey.

The Wisconsin No. 2 on October 7, after six days in warm, moist soil.  I've never noticed the red stems before.  I expect it will disappear after a few days, but now I want to know if other wheat shows this color in the first days of germination.
Here's a shot a day later, on October 8, around 7 am.  I think the red appears out of the ground when the wheat plant shoots up overnight, but is then covered over by the green of photosynthesis after a day or two in the sun.  The color comes from anthocyanin, the same substance that makes leaves turn color in the Fall.  The color is there throughout the growing season, but it only can be seen shortly before harvest when the culms cease photosynthesizing.  At least that is how I understand it!

This is the same spot on October 10.  Now the color has been almost covered up by chlorophyll.

Here is the germination test plot, just South of the backup WN2 plot.  This is former basil ground that I worked up with a wheel hoe this morning.  From North to South, WN2, VTR, ETR, and STR.

Here's the germination test plot in a wider view.  Rows run East-West.
Here's a view of the main test plot right now, October 8.

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