Forgetting all the seed burritos, tacos, enchildas, napkins, blankets,
refrigerators, toilet tanks and what have you, and addressing only the matter of
removing the germination-inhibiting coating from the seeds (the existence of
which I accept as a reality), there is really a very simple way to do it.
I empty the seeds from ripe (splitting or about to split) pods into individual
little plastic containers (the kind that dairy products like cheese spread come
in) and let them dry out for a couple of months. Mold may form on some of
the seeds, but it doesnât do any apparent harm.) In October (if I get to
it that early), I run about a quarter of an inch of water into each container
and stack them atop one another, letting them sit for at least 5 to about 10
days. By that time, the coating has been reduced to an evil-smelling gunk
in which the seeds are sitting. I then pour each containerâs contents into
a wire mesh washing machine lint trap and hold it under the cold water tap in
the kitchen full force. You can turn the contents this way and that under
the faucet to ensure they get a good rinse. This only takes a few seconds,
and it removes the evil gunk. I then shake the seeds back into their
containers, which also have been rinsed free of the gunk, and stack them atop
one another. The seeds will stay moist for a couple of days as I plant
them into pots.
Now, this supposedly betters the odds that our seeds will germinate, but it
by no means guarantees it. Other factors apparently are involved, and I
donât think we know what all of them are.
If I went back through my yearly records, I might find patterns of more or
less successful germination from pods involving one or another cultivar
-- or I might not. I havenât had the time to do it. But,
regardless of traits peculiar to certain cultivars, there is a pattern that I
have observed over the years. That is, that no matter whether the winter
has been mild or severe, wet or dry, the overall (all pots) rate of germination
of seeds here fluctuates wildly. In an average year, I can expect better
than 60%. In some years, better than 70%. But I have also had years
in which the rate has dropped below 20%, and this past year (shudder) less than
5%. So, where does the pattern come in?
The pattern is that all of my fellow hybridizers in Region 4 with whom I
talk report similar fluctuations in the same years. Iâve been tracking
this for several years, ever since I first began to notice the
coincidence. This leads me to suspect that there is something in the
genetics of bearded irises --something cyclical, perhaps -- that is
a controlling factor in germination which is as yet beyond our ken.
Iâd be interested to know what others think on this subject. --
Sent: Friday, December 03, 2010 8:59 AM
Subject: [iris-photos] Re: HYB: seed pots
That's what I was thinking. But I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to
Maybe daily dunk burritos for a week, slosh them around, then
much water out as I can, then back in fridge. That way, the ones
need a little more chilling will be sure to get it at optimal
temperature (in the fridge), not as erratic as on the sunporch. Just
pick out & pot up the germinating ones, same as in the past.
first, I have to get all the mess off the shelves on the sunporch -
> Will you be changing the water every day?
<<I'll try to soak them in their baggies & plant
> Betty W.
Linda Mann east TN
USA zone 7