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RE: HYB: Pollen strike stats

Thanks Mary Lou, for the nice info on pollen & cross successes.

This year, I was paying more attention to pollen condition than usual -
mostly because this was such an extraordinarily good bloom season, so
there was a lot of pollen to look at.

I had already figured out from past successes and failures that freshly
popped open anthers on blooms that have loaded anthers when they first
open gives me better success than anthers that have been open a while.

Part of that is because the pollen eating insects here (might be
different elsewhere) don't arrive until <after> the bloom is fully open.

I wasn't taking notes this year on time of day & weather, but it seemed
like early morning crosses were only successful using pollen collected
the day before.  Finally realized that anthers opening the day or
evening before were being soaked with dew for up to 4 hrs the following
morning, so unless I collected pollen from freshly opened
afternoon/evening anthers and stored it in the dry indoors overnight,
morning crosses were not likely to be successful.

Once hot weather hit, the pollen eaters were more abundant, and it was
much harder to get pollen.

For those like me who choose not to use insecticides, do you do anything
to improve pollen?

Any observations/suggestions about pollen viability and morning dew in
high humidity regions?  Unless it's overcast and there is no dew, my
flowers stay wet till around 10 AM because a hill is between them and
the sun.

As a side note, all the manual bug squishing of cucumber beetles last
fall made a <huge> difference in populations this spring - hardly saw
any.  But there were more other kinds of pollen eaters around.

Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8
East Tennessee Iris Society <http://www.korrnet.org/etis>
American Iris Society web site <http://www.irises.org>
talk archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-talk/>
photos archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-photos/>
online R&I <http://www.irisregister.com>

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