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Re: 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
ones.


Paul Archer
Indianapolis, IN  Zone 5


-----Original Message-----
>From: Linda Mann <lmann@lock-net.com>
>Sent: Jan 28, 2009 6:02 PM
>To: iris@hort.net
>Subject: [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.

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