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Re: CULT: AB Winter Hardiness

From: celia storey <storey@aristotle.net>

Inspired by Dennis Kramb's report from his arilbred beds, I checked on my
little collection. But it wasn't 60 degrees here when I did: It was 45
degrees and raining. Our end of the roller coaster is trending downward
this week.

My theory has been that the aril kin will come through winter OK but
succumb to the humidity of summer here. I plan to shield them from rain
this summer, but we'll see what happens.

Here's what I found (keep in mind that most of these are first-winter
transplants from Steve Rocha's garden in Southern Calif. and so are
undergoing the shock of their little lives).

My losses are in a bed that is raised two feet above a little hill and
filled with a sharply draining mix of coarse sand, homemade compost and
native sandy loam sweetened with lime. I built in a very sparse layer of
aged horse manure, about six inches under the surface.

  BOLD SENTRY (Peterson 83) rot. Had one nice rhizome with one nice offset,
now have dead thing

In trouble:
  EMERALD FANTASY (Tate '83) main rz has a rotten hole in its side, but the
one, sizable offset still looks hale.
  TUL KEREM (Danielson '74)  main 2 offsets have rotted away to nothing,
but three side pups look fine. Might make it.

All the rest of these plants are in great condition, considering. There's
some leaf damage, but they look better than most of my TBs, which look

In the 6" raised bed:

WATCHMAN (Wilson '93) 2 rz and 2 increases, all with foliage about 2" tall

ALADDIN'S TREASURE (Pinegar '94) 2 huge rz with 6 offsets

SHADES OF SUNSET (Hunt 84)  one long rz with 4 rather tall offsets, some
leaf damage but otherwise sound

PINKEVA (GADD '80, QB) 5 rz with 8 small increases

KHYBER PASS -- its second winter here, 11 rz, looks good

JEWEL OF OMAR -- second-winter plant, original mother starting to rot out,
18 increases look fine.

In the 2-foot raised bed:

LOUDMOUTH (Rich '70) 9 tiny fans, 2 mothers and pups, all OK

GENETIC ARTIST (Danielson '72) mother, one major offset and 3 pups, all sound

DAUGHTER OF SHIRAZ (Clark '80) a big worry because of high aril content,
but these tiny rz look great. 2 little mothers and 10 pups

CHOCOLATE MINT (Tasco '98) very round rz looks sound, 7 offsets, all good

APRICOT BRANDY (Danielson '85) 2 big rz, 16 pups all fine

BLONDE BEARDED LADY (Danielson '87) I cannot believe how well this one's
doing! 2 big rz and 8 pups! Clean foliage! Wow.

And my 11 QB seedlings look just fine, too. But if any of them wished to
die, I would let them.

Little Rock, Arkansas, USDA Zone 7b
257 feet above sea level, Little Rock soils are often acid, sandy loam, rocky
average rainfall about 49 inches (more than 60" in '97, but less than 42"
in '98)
High humidity, moderate winters, hot summers; but conditions seesaw
Extreme recorded temps: HI 110 F, LO -13 F

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