Book Review: Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener by Joseph Tychonievich satisfied my curiosity about plant biology without getting overly scientific.  If, like me, you are always wondering the why of things, this book will be hard to put down even if you aren't planning to breed your own plants.  The practical process of plant breeding as it would apply to a hobbyist is clearly laid out from the generalized how-to of crossing plants to the reward of selecting your new favorites. 

I now understand F1 hybrids and have learned about outcrossers vs. selfers and how to successful breed and save seed from either type.  The discussion of diploids, tetraploids and triploids and finally knowing how they created seedless watermelon was also fascinating to me. 

The last third of the book takes you through the specifics of breeding the most common garden veggies and flowers, giving you the information you need to start creating your own successful crosses.  This section is pack with lots of interesting plant history.

After reading this book I felt like I had a much more comprehensive grasp of how plants make seeds and the different ways in which they pollinate.  Even if I never create my own breed of tomatoes, I can save seed with confidence knowing whether or not the seed will be true to type. 

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