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Re: HYB:Germination:oxygen

In a message dated 2/18/2007 4:17:00 P.M. Central Standard Time,  
tasquierloic@cs.com writes:

<<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.  
_http://www.amleo.com/index/item.cgi?_ (http://www.amleo.com/index/item.cgi?)    
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  
without it.  
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 
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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