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RE: Why Grow Other's Seeds?

Hey there folks-

Since Chick was so kind to spike a topic on the forum I can, like
John, only ablidge him with an anwser.

I personally think the whole seed thing is a pain in the toockus.

I keep trying but loose intrest far too quickly.  Might be ADD
related, who knows.  

I've recently added a few 'high end' breeders that hope will 
spark the enthusiasm to actually get me out there and working on

Paying a high price for these plants I can see how some might
find a lot of seeds of said high price breeder might be more 
attractive.  I've been told by a few that sometimes the children
of breeders make for more intetesting breeding parents, such as
Dorothy B.  So rather than pay the price for DB, what the heck
let's sew some seed. 

If by chance one is lucky enough to have ones seedlings produce
some 'breeder' styled plants.... great for them.  Now's the time
to make them homemade crosses.  It's just part of the scheme
of things.

Now back to my problem.... I like to see the finished product
before I take up space in my garden... So, I like to buy finished
plants.  I'm lucky enough to at time be able to reward those
whom enjoy the challange of personally rubbing the boy parts
against the girl parts to make hosta babies.  Watch them kids
thru the terrible twos into the turbulent teens and then are
willing to kick them out of the house and into another.....
I'll likely continue along this route, and enjoy the fruits of
your labors.

When the fancy strikes and I do gain interest in this pollination
process... I've in the past and likely in the future will continue
to send the seed of to somebody who wants to sertilize starting mix,
deal with gnats, make high intensity lighting gilded shelving racks
and are willing to wait a few years for a lil'nuttin' to develope
in to sum'tin special.

So I'll continue to enable those who wish to be enabled, either
pubilicly or privately.  I however, prefer to give than sell and
will likely not change that practice.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jaspersail@aol.com [mailto:Jaspersail@aol.com]
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 2:48 PM
To: hosta-open@hort.net
Subject: Why Grow Other's Seeds?

Chick tried to liven things up with:

<<It's just my opinion, but personally, I don't see the point of
germinating other people's seeds when it is so much more fun to make
your own crosses.>>

Thankfully we don't have to choose -- we can do both!  I made hundreds
of hand-crosses this year and am having great fun watching my seedlings
develop. But I also bought seed from (and traded seed with) other
hybridizers this year. And that seed's been fun too.

Why germinate other's seed?  For future breeding purposes, I like to add
new genes -- and their accompanying genetic traits -- from other
hybridizers to my own mix. It's kind of like adding a new color to my
breeding 'pallette'; it gives me more options on my hybridizing
'canvas.' Seed is sometimes the next best option when the parent plant
is unavailable or too costly.

Also, some of us may have more seed-growing space than our own plants
can fill.  Acquiring seed helps us 'fill the void' that our limited
breeding stock creates.

Another reason:  Hand crossing is hard work!  This was my first year of
controlled crosses on a fairly large scale ('large scale' in a limited,
amateur-grower-kind-of way!) and it was more labor- and time-intensive
than I imagined. And I was late to work every day! I'm sure many seed
growers can do without the hassle.  

It's also just plain fun to grow seeds and see what you might get,
whether from hand-crosses or open pollination. As you know, most hosta
hybrids are a motley mutt-mix of genes. Each seedling is a new
combination of those genes (except in
some cases from ventricosa apparently) and some truly odd things can
appear. Sure, only buying 20-25 seeds doesn't get you many rolls of the
dice, but when the investment is small, there's minimal risk.  (Unless
you're being scammed on eBay!) 

Lastly, for many of us Winter is just a delay in springtime and growing
seedlings eases the wait. As you surmised, there are some of us who have
no anticipation of getting "world class seedlings."  But there's nothing
I enjoy more this time of year than going home from work and looking
over my hosta babies -- whether my own or 'adopted.'

--John Christensen
Ann Arbor, MI, Zone 5

P.S.  Despite rumors to the contrary, my first-born is the pick of the

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