Seed-starting chronicles 2011

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Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Just numbers not names! Maybe some new species?

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Hoy wrote:

Just numbers not names! Maybe some new species?

Some are named; in the view above, there is A. caeruleum and A. drobovii, received about 5 different collections of the latter species, which is a species not generally in cultivation... in the following link, click on the paper icon on the far lest of the listing, then click on the thumbnail images... mot a great beauty, but may be interesting nonetheless.

http://pgrc-35.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=265:3:3216571044925997::NO::P3_SCIENTIFIC_NAME:395

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Gene Mirro
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-02-25

Speaking of patience:  I sowed some Actaea pachypoda on 3/08.  They are coming up now (4/11).  They've been at outdoor temperature (near Portland, OR) all this time, in a slightly moist mix in a shaded place.

SW Washington state, 600 ft. altitude

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

I've only just looked through this fascinating thread. Over the years running a small specialist nursery I tried to divide plants into manageable groups that needed different sowing regimes. Generally for a lot of alpines, and quite a few woodland plants our winters are not long and cold enough with snow cover to get really good germination. On those occasions when it is colder and we have prolonged snow we often found much better results. As soon as I see signs of seedlings I bring plants into a frost free greenhouse which warms up quite a bit in the late winter/spring sunshine!

The benefit of our winters though is that we get fluctuating temperatures and this is probably useful for many of the colder Mediterranean and semi-desert species I have tried, where temperatures do not stay so low right through the winter. Lori mentioned Lomatium columbianum earlier on and I have always sown this and other species as early as I have had seed and left outside all winter. Germination is often poor, but at least some come up. Umbellifers in general do much better from reasonably fresh seed sown in the autumn - older seed is usually dead, although I have had Eryngiums germinate well the second season. Once or twice I have gone to the lengths of putting seed (in damp sand) into a fridge for about 4 to 6 weeks. Several species stsrted to germinate in the fridge, including Lomatiums and Eriogonums, but unless you catch them just as they germinate or before they quickly etiolate and are less than easy to deal with. If you grow a lot of different things this quickly becomes very complicated, but it could be really useful for something special that has not germinated well by normal means.

It is great to hear how others get on with sowing seed (I have Deno's books but they become a bit mind-boggling after a time and I have always found it much more effective to use the time tested ways of sowing in pots). Hope I can add to the thread in the coming spring.

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

I typically rely on the tried and true seed germination method of allowing Mother Nature to make germination happen, leaving the pots or flats outside for the winter and see what happens in spring.  I like using wide peat flats, as I believe the moisture level stays more even than smaller plastic pots. 

Here is some germination from varieties that Jane Hendricks generously sent me (thanks Jane!), Senecio pudicus on the left, and Thlaspi stylosum on the right, but only two seedlings of Allium brevistylum... maybe more will germinate later.

The flat of Aquilegia saximontana (true) from Jane, I was most anxious to see some germination.  The other varieties shown above, germinated early spring, but no sign of life in the flat of A. saximontana... I figured that the seed must have failed. Then one day I noticed some germination, a few tiny seedlings.  Now it is thick with seedlings, must have gotten 100% germination.  I shouldn't watch seed pots every day, it's like waiting for water to boil or watching grass grow. ;D

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I have planted out my seedlings of Thlaspi stylosum today! I don't need to water, it is more likely they drown :-\

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

Mark - I know what you mean about watching seed pots; its one of those exciting spectator sports that no-one else can understand! Your epimedium beds look spectacular too - here the combination of rabbits and drought haven't done them much good but wushanense does grow well. I think they are even more popular in the States than in the UK. My special love has always been Jeffersonia dubia, and a pot of seedlings of this brings joy to the nurseryman!

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I've never said I am a good grower, but I do have some successes.  This is hopefully a good overall reference for some of the seedlings that have emerged this season for me.  The gibberish after the plant name is formatted: xxxx-yy-zz
xxxx=source.  If all digits, it's a NARGS seed ex number.
yy=year seed was collected.
zz=year planted.

A good portion of these are seeds that germinated in the second and even the third season after planting.

First Column – front to back
Ferula communis col. Spain 4257-08-10
Fontanesia fortunei SB-09-10
Vitaliana primuliflora col. France 4471-09-10
Penstemon whippleanus Ran-09-10 Lt,with 2 that germinated last year
Penstemon canescens 08-10

Second Column
Onosma euboica 2171-08-10 with a Silene (uniflora?) that germinated last year
Penstemon rupicola 2388-08-10
Pulsatilla alpina ssp. apifolia 2590-08-10
Penstemon glabrescens 2340-09-10
Sisyrinchium patagonicum 09XX440-09-10
Penstemon heterophylla Moy-09-10
Dianthus pavonius Ran-09-10

Third Column
Penstemon purpussii 2383-08-10
Phyteuma humile 2447-09-10
Iris pumila Vos-08-09
Aquilegia sp. Me-09-11
Iris sikkimensis 1782-09-11
Penstemon gomanii 2341-09-11

Fourth Column
Iris pumila Vos-08-09
Iris vicaria 1764-07-09
Thalictrum dasycarpum col. MI 1440-09-11
Aquilegia ecalcarata Me-09-11

Fifth Column
Sisyrinchium macrocarpum 2942-09-11
Pulsatilla kostyczewii 2625-09-10
Aquilegia vulgaris col. Slovenia 4072-08-10
Dianthus erinaceus Ver-09-10
?Aralia cachemirica 366-09-11w
Penstemon euglaucus 2334-09-11
Penstemon heterophylla 2345-09-11

Sixth Column
Acanthus hungarica Ver-08-09
Viola pedata 3199-09-11
Desmanthus illinoensis 07-09
Tulipa urumiensis Vos-08-10
Delphinium caucasicum Vos–10-11
Impatiens namchabarwensis Me-10-11
Ptilostemon afer 2429-10-11

Seventh Column
Corydalis ochroleuca Me-08-09
Anemone parviflora col. Alaska 4440-09-10
Anemon rivularis Sud-08,Vos-07-10
Pulsatilla alpina col Alps 4378-09-10
Delphinium triste Vos-10-11
Wulfenia baldaccii 2990-10-11
Aquilegia saximontana 315-10-11

Eight Column
Pulsatilla georgica 2616-09-10
Pulsatilla alpina col. Alps 4376-09-10
Pulsatilla violacea col. Georgia 4559-05/07-10
Pulsatilla alpina col. Alps 4375-09-10
Pulsatilla turczaninovii Me-10-11
Taraxacum pseudoroseum Boen-11-11
Alyssum pulvinare 167-10-11

Ninth Column
Allium togashi 149-10-11
Penstemon rupicola 2388-08-09
Stipa borysthenica 3006-08-11
Silene suksdorfii 2923-09-11

Tenth Column
Phemeranthus sediformis 2415-09-11
Silene uniflora ‘Rosea’ 2926-09-11
Aquilegia caerulea Me-08-11
Silene nigrescens col. Tibet 4521-10-11
Stipa borysthenica 3006-08-10
Lewisia cotyledon 1877-08-09
Styrax americanus ex Kankakee, IL Me-10-10

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Cool seed growing presentation Rick!  This is a good example to illustrate one benefit of the way NARGS thumbnail image enlargements work, where it pops up a separate window.  Click on the enlargement a second time and it displays at the full large image size (for jumbo-sized images, such as in this case)... now you can move the enlarged-image-window around partially off-screen to simultaneously read the columns of seedling identifications while finding the seedlings in the photo-diagram... what fun to look at all those germinated seedlings.  Rick, you have a lot of transplanting to do!

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

You have good taste Rick, almost the same species as I have sowed ;D But you have control, I have not :(  Have been very busy the last weeks and seedlings are growing out of their pots.Too little time to plant them in separate pots.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

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