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HYB:CULT:pushing seedlings

In a message dated 2/14/2007 6:59:20 A.M. Central Standard Time,  
lmann@lock-net.com writes:

<<I know you've talked about all this before, but I'm still a  little hazy 
on the details.  I think you've mentioned not working  with late 
bloomers, & with their later germination, that makes it  harder to get 
them outdoors early in the season.>>
About the late blooming irises.  In the first ten years of my iris  obsession 
(Alvaton) I did buy late blooming irises.  It was a part of my  goal to have 
extended bloom and an effort to out smart mother nature when it  came to shows 
and seasons!  I found I had to make a special effort to enjoy  'Last Hurrah' 
and the other late irises.   
When I moved to Allen County, I didn't make a special effort to  collect 
extra late irises.  I do grow Ghio irises, especially his  California rebloomers, 
and I have a number of late season irises.  'Natural  Blond' was one of the 
last irises to bloom here last spring.  Some of the  largest blooms I've seen in 
a while! 
As to my failure to breed late blooming irises?   When I do make  late 
crosses they usually don't set. (speaking of the Allen County  experiences--) I tend 
to wreck my % of takes each year by making 15 to 20  crosses at the end that 
don't set pods!  Too much heat I think.  
Yet, I keep trying.  Good thing too!  I have 22 seed, sprouts  soon I hope, 
from 1907-3Re X Renown that was made on June 27.  Renown  pollen was from the 
fall of 2005.  I made five or six crosses that day  and this was the only one 
that took.  Some times it takes  persistence.  Or maybe I'm just hard headed??  
As to soaker hoses, I don't know that I can give good advise just  now.  The 
ones I like are round like other hoses and made of old  tires.  They 'weep.'  
I really like these.  This past spring, I  had to buy new ones for the 
seedling beds.  All I could find were the ones  that are flat and can be turned up or 
down.  Down is supposed to give the  effect of the others but doesn't for me. 
 Not crazy about them.  
Seedlings are planted with four rows to the bed and two soaker hoses to the  
bed.  All beds have been 50 foot long to accommodate the hose length.   When 
seedlings are first planted, I water to the point of saturation.  Then  I back 
off and only water to maintain moisture until they show new growth.   Once 
they are anchored in the soil by new root growth, I back off to a 7-10 day  
watering cycle. 
When it seems reasonable to do so, I use Miracle Grow.  I don't apply  it 
when the days are too hot or too humid.  I try to apply any water, with  or 
without supplement, in the early morning.  All above activities are  accomplished 
with OJO.  (On job observations?) 
For me, this is all accomplished more smoothly when the beds are prepared  
the fall before.  
Betty W.  in South-central KY Zone 6 ---If you don't cross them, you can't 
plant them!  
Bridge In Time Iris Garden@website:
Where the seeds are in the pots once  again! 
_Reblooming Iris - Home Page_ (http://www.rebloomingiris.com/)  
_iris-photos archives_ (http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-photos/)  
_iris-talk archives_ (http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-talk/)  
_AIS: American Iris Society website_ (http://www.irises.org/)   

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