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Re: HYB:Germination:oxygen

Great explanations Betty!
Who needs a camera when someone can tell such vivid stories!
I can even feel the pain in my lower back...

I must be bolder with the seedlings then. Last year were my firsts, and i was overprotective.

If they can take a bit of shaking, there will be no need to wash them off, so i can keep and repot the remains (i wrote the number of seeds on the label, this year, so i know if there is still potential or not).

Thanks a lot for all the tips, it so nice to know what others do( or DON'T do) instead of wondering most of the time if the decision made is, or is not, a mistake, with the only possibility to know the answer at least a whole year ahead!

My beds are not ready neither...
still alot of time till replanting though, isn't it ?...

Bon courage, then !


----- Original Message ----- From: <Autmirislvr@aol.com>
To: <iris@hort.net>
Sent: Monday, February 19, 2007 2:06 AM
Subject: Re: [iris]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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