Friday, 14 September 2018

Seeds in seedless watermelon - how is this possible

Have you ever eaten a seedless watermelon and found 2 or 3 black viable looking seeds?  Have you ever wondered how this is possible?  I have.

I have a good understanding of how seedless watermelons are made.  Theoreticaly it is impossible for black viable seeds to form in a seedless watermelon, yet on occasion they do form and they are viable.  It irritated me not knowing how this is possible. 

I searched the internet to find out how it was possible for a seedless watermelon to produce black viable seeds.  Strangely enough I couldn't find any explanation.

I spoke to/emailed some plant nerds and a certain professor at a university who asked I didn't name him (and I won't - wink) and I now understand how seedless watermelons can produce black viable seeds.

If you would like to read a simplified version of how seedless watermelons can produce viable seeds then keep reading.

If you are a plant geneticist and would like to elaborate on any points that I have simplified too much, or anywhere that I have strayed a bit too far and confused things, then feel free to leave a comment!
Watermelon grown from a viable seed from a seedless watermelon

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Guinea pigs to mow the lawn

I broke my spine a few years ago.  I can walk which is lovely and I appreciate the time I have had being able to walk.  I have known people to break their spine in a similar way to me and never walk again, so I count myself lucky.

My back is degrading, every day seems to be worse than the previous one.  Each time I mow the lawn I wonder how many more times I will be able to mow.  My kids are getting older and more capable, but none of them are able to safely use a lawn mower.  I am struggling to even use the ride on mower lately.  I got rid of some lawn and replaced it with vegetable beds, but I still have some lawn for the kids to play on.

This got me thinking, why mow the lawn at all?  Why not get something that eats grass to mow the lawn for me?

We are not on acreage any more so my options are limited.  Large livestock such as sheep or goats or cattle or alpacas are no good here as they would eat the fruit trees, they would eat the vegetables, and due to the size of my block eventually we would be left with nothing but dust and poo.
Sheep are great on acreage, not great for a backyard