In a message dated 2/18/2007 4:17:00 P.M. Central Standard Time,
<<But can you also tell me how you get the seedlings out of their pots
hurting the roots and without spoiling the remaing good seeds left?
As i told you i soak and wash the seedlingd loose so the roots are intact,
but what's left of what was in the pot is just muck in the bottom of the
container i use !>>
One time I tried . . . 5 gallon bucket of water and immerse the seed pots
(shallow mum pots) in the bucket. This was the same spring that produced my
best seed crop ever! I was lucky to have such a high germination that year.
It would have been difficult to save remaining seed. Would have involved a
screen of some sort? Maybe an old window screen? Anyway, I also like to save
the potting soil!
What I do is easy for me, after 15 years or so!
1) I water the pots well the night before.
2) I use a plant setter to open holes in the seedling bed. It leaves
holes that are wedge shaped. The opening is about 4 inches long. It's about an
inch across one end and narrows to nothing on the other end. I try to have
enough spots open before I start with a particular pot. (Count the
seedlings first) I am spoiled to the plant setter. Would be lost without it.
This is a seedling setter (picture) but I was afraid it would be too heavy for
me to handle.
3) I use a Tablespoon to remove the seedlings from the pot. My seed are
usually planted in a clump in the center of the pot so I insert the spoon deep
and pry. Moving it around the little clump if needed. Lift them as a clump
and shake off any clinging un-sprouted seed and very gently separate.
4) Seed go back into the hole and soil smoothed over it or a little soil
added if needed. Adjusting the height of the seed as needed.
5) Seeding roots are gently separated. Then (held as a group) I trim the
tops and the bottom of the roots. Sharp scissors. Clean cuts. Try to
balance the bottom and top, but that's probably not overly important.
6) I carry the seedlings to the bed and lay one seedling into each hole.
Then I adjust them one at a time and press the side of the hole. If my back
is hurting, I've been known to stick the seedling setter into the ground near
the hole and press the soil back into the hole.
7) I continue this way until I'm either finished with a bed or the day.
Then I water the transplanted seedlings and the pots. As described earlier, I
use 4 rows of seedlings per bed with 2 soaker hoses. The beds are 50 foot
Iris seedlings are quite tough. This past spring I found one lying on the
ground near my work area. I'm sure I stepped on it at least once. Stuck it
at the end of a bed where I could tell it from the rest. My plants seem to
have a good recovery rate. Maybe that's due in part to getting them in the
ground so early, before the heat is a problem. I have well drained soil, and I
do make sure the beds stay moist (but not soaked) during their convalescence.
I've been looking into the deep cell packs, but they're expensive when you
have so many seed. And when I'm getting pretty good % of first year bloom
One of the keys, I think, is to have your beds prepared the fall before. I
didn't this year and I'm concerned.
Betty W. in South-central KY Zone 6 ---If you don't cross them, you can't
Bridge In Time Iris Garden@website:
Where the seeds are in the pots once again!
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