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Re: HYB: germination observations

Planting them as a group simply makes it easier to keep track of the cross as a group. Eventually they have to be lined out it's just a matter of when.  One year I tried planting each seed as it germinated in it's own little cell in a plug flat.  it wasn't worth the time or hassle.  Seedlings that are crowded for too long won't stay happy for long though.  If you don't mind losing some of the weaker seedlings to overgrowth from the others then by all means plant as group and only keep the strongest.  In the case of bearded iris just because a seedling is weaker doesn't mean it is "weaker" it may just be smaller because it is a MTB or BB.  I and others are working on minature MTB's as well so it's harder to tell what really is small.  I personally like to squeeze out all of the genetic potential of cross and see what pops up.  Those of us who have done this a while know what I mean...surprises!  

I guess it depends on your goals, the types of crosses you make and the space you have to achieve them.

-----Original Message-----
>From: christian foster <flatnflashy@yahoo.com>
>Sent: Feb 1, 2009 11:43 AM
>To: iris@hort.net
>Subject: Re: [iris] HYB: germination observations
>Thanks for that comment.  I've been potting my seedlings individually
>all along, in a wide variety of vessels.  It has seemed all along that the
>seedlings that are more "crowded" into their pot were the happiest.  
>But if
>it's "better" to plant them individually, why is it the convention to plant
>them as groups?  Is there some other perceived benefit that at least for some
>growers outweighs the positives?
>From: Paul Archer <pharcher@mindspring.com>
>To: iris@hort.net
>Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 9:10:43 PM
>Subject: Re:
>[iris] HYB: germination observations
>Since I use MiracleGrow potting soil and
>have great results for most crosses
>and water differently because of my
>professional horticultural background I'll
>comment on my watering technique...
>Not that there is anything wrong with
>yours or anyone else's but a suggestion.
>Having worked in the greenhouse industry I have learned that it is quite
>beneficial to let the soil dry out completely to almost bone dry between
>waterings or at least every couple of waterings so the soil stays moist to wet
>(not sopping wet) for only a week to week and half at most.  This encourages
>the plant to produce more roots to search for water.  The more roots produced
>the more foliage is produced from nutrient availability. The soil volume
>relative to root volume also decreases so the soil will retain less water
>(water logging) and encouraging pots to become root bound.  This also keep
>diseases (Pythium ssp.ect.) and insect levels (fungus gnats) lower.  I have
>found that the little seedlings can easily handle the soil being quite dry for
>a couple of days if not too hot where they are being grown.  There is no
>pressure to constantly keep and eye on them all the time.  This is even
>working for seedlings of moisture loving I. tectorum I have growing right now
>and they seem very appreciative.  And of course the Regeliacyclus and
>Arilbreds don't seem to mind it either.
>If a seedling/cross is not growing
>well and the soil is staying too moist then
>change one of the growing
>parameters.  The easiest one to change is the size
>of the container (going
>smaller) and allow it to grow with all the rest.  Also
>growing them in a
>community pot as many of us do will dry out the soil faster.
>The trick is to
>transplant/separate them into individual (but still small)
>pots before the
>larger, more vigourous sedlings outgrow and smother the weaker
>Indianapolis, IN  Zone 5
>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Linda Mann
>>Sent: Jan 28, 2009 6:02 PM
>>To: iris@hort.net
>[iris] HYB: germination observations
>>3) This is the first year to
>experiment with Miracle gro potting mix as
>>a germination medium for
>seedlings.  They love it.  It doesn't dry out
>>as fast as the more finely
>milled seed germination I've used in the
>>past, plus seems to wet more
>easily.  Not recommended for seeds from
>>lines that don't tolerate mulch and
>moisture, but my kids are thriving
>>in it.  Too much nitrogen, so there's too
>much top growth to suit me,
>>but it makes them look nice <g>  One baby already
>has a little
>>mini-rhizome the size of a pencil eraser.
>sign-off this list, send email to majordomo@hort.net with the
>message text
>To sign-off this list, send email to majordomo@hort.net with the
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