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Re: HYB:seedlings:criteria
  • Subject: Re: HYB:seedlings:criteria
  • From: Linda Mann <lmann@lock-net.com>
  • Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2011 10:26:57 -0500

It depends on the cross.

If there were only a few seeds from a cross (i.e., less than 20), I usually plant them all.

If there were a lot of seeds, given the (real???) differences in color and "behavior" of first vs second flush (2nd year if outdoors) germination, I usually try to line out 15 or so from the first batch, then another 15 or so from the second batch the following year. Sometimes, the first & second year flushes of germinants are so similar, that's a waste of time & space. If I ever get closer to getting what I want from first year's, I will probably stop planting the delayed germinants. 3rd and 4th year germinants here have so far not been worth the trouble of planting them.

Seedlings that are not lined out are held in pots until I see the siblings bloom, or sometimes their close relatives, to decide whether or not to line out more. Ditto for ungerminated seeds.

If I get what I want from the cross, or if the cross is very uniform (both pretty unusual so far), unplanted seedlings will stay in pots until I get around to either throwing them out or lining them out at the edge of the pasture across the creek. I've had a few crosses that I've tossed after seeing close relatives bloom - i.e., experiments trying to get strong growing & healthy (for breeding health) pinks that clearly weren't working; rebloom crosses that were clearly heading to species form and height (and no rebloom!).

I have a couple of crosses that produced very uniform seedlings, but so far, the 'best' ones from both crosses have not been fertile, so I may hang onto them till I have time to check to see if any of the nearly as good ones are more cooperative.

Occasionally, there is a cross that has great diversity of color and/or growth habit in the first batch of blooms (i.e., BEHOLD A LADY X CELEBRATION SONG). Those all get lined out eventually. The color diversity just for the fun of seeing what turns up. The diversity of growth habit, because most of those will be compost & it gives me more to choose from.

Same with a cross that produces anything that reblooms - I don't want to miss the rare recessives.

I plant really close together, 4 to 6 inches apart if there are a lot of seedlings from the cross; occasionally farther apart if I have a good idea that they will be fast growing weeds (i.e., IMM seedlings).

Two bad years of neglect, and I am paying for that close spacing. Fortunately, most of my seedlings keep mother & grandmother and often great grandmothers intact, so it is still possible to dig and tell what's what. But some don't, and they are a mess now. Will have to be lined out and left for another year to do any selection.

Linda Mann east TN USA zone 7

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