First '09/'10 success

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

Boland wrote:

I was WAY too overzealous this year...I have about 175 pots sown!  Mind you, I generally get only about 50% of the pots germinate the first year, but that still leaves 80-odd pots with seedlings that need thinning, repotting, etc.  It's a make-work project!

That's true! Have divided and potted about 20 species the last two days. A couple of them are Helleborus sown at least a year ago and sprouting in February. I always get too many plants!

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

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Grannysmith, welcome to the forum!  What sorts of things are you growing?

Todd, I went hog-wild this year... My Excel seed-starting spreadsheet tells me I have attempted to germinate 199 species (yikes, I knew it was crazy but had not added it up!), and I have germination now on 124 species, or 62%.  I've got 2 trays of plants that have been outside for a while now (in the garage overnight), and 14 trays downstairs under lights (of ones that have been potted on, saving up to 8 plants max)... each tray holds 48 pots...  Still have a few pots in which the seedlings need to be transferred to individual pots.
I chucked the 2 trays of reluctant germinators outside about 3 weeks ago.   Whew!
Of course, the big question is, how many of these will be hardy?

For those of you who keep ungerminated pots of seed over to the following year(s)... Do you water throughout the summer to keep them moist?  (I assume not, as wouldn't that rot the seeds?)

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I do hold ungerminated seed pots for another year, and sometimes another two years.  While most initial seed sowing starts with the seed pots enclosed in plastic or covered with a Saran wrap, when they fail to germinate, the pots come out of their little "greenhouses" and are just placed with other potted growing materials.  They get watered whenever the growing plants need it, although I have to admit the bare pots do get neglected sometimes.  But no, they never purposely go bone dry.  After all, what if they are hypogeal germinators and I don't know it?

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

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

I do the same as Rick and very often things germinate after a year or two. The problem is what germinates is not always what I sowed! Very often birch, fireweed, willowherb, bellflower etc have occupied the pots. However I have learnt to recognize the common weed's cotyledons.

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

MSmith
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-03-12

Thanks for the welcome  I was very restrained this year and only got 60 packets,I usually get about 100. I do hold seed pots over on species that are known to be a bit "difficult".  Then if they still don't come up,I do what an elderly gardener friend always did.  I tip the contents of ungerminated pots out in the garden.  Often you will find something comes up long after you gave up on it.  I am growing species liliums, iris, fritillaria, small bulbs, campanula, helleborus, salvia, penstemon and many others. I have quite a collection of liliums now and am always on the lookout for more. LOL. I also love South American plants especially tropaeolum and bomarea and the small bulbs.  I would like to have everything! I am seriously addicted, I guess.  ::)I just love being out working on my plants.  Forget the housework! :D

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I am also a species lily buff.  25 plus grown to flowering, with another 20 or so not flowering yet. 

Also have delved into Fritillaria the last few years.  Seed germinated this year so far: Ff. affinis, agrestis, biflora, biflora x purdyi, carica, crassifolia ssp. kurdica, pallidiflora, persica, pinardii, purdyi x biflora, rhodocanakis, sewerzowii, stenanthera, whittalii.

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

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Checking my pots, I find that more Tulipa urmiensis have germinated and rising along with the ones sprouted last season.  As I lifted the tag to see its identity, I accidentally pulled one of the new seedlings with it.

So here it is, typical of alpines (and prairie plants), the root goes straight down without branching for a long while.

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

Boland
Boland's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-09-25

This explains how our spring bulbs have no problems moving into lawns...they send their root down quite deep!

Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Zone 5b
1800 mm precipitation per year

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Hmm, I would have thought the Tulipa urumiensis seedling, even at that tender age, would have a tiny bulb formed?  (The first-season scilla/chionodoxa/puschkinia seedlings that I pull out of places they shouldn't be, seem to have tiny bulbs...) However, never having (successfully) raised tulips from seed, I have no comparison... looks like tulips take longer?

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I think you are right with your thinking, Lori.  That one that got pulled up was only a few days old above ground, not a year old one.

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

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