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Re: HYB: speeding up germination

Patrick asks:
<Why does everyone want to speed this process up?>

I can't speak for others, but I am pushing 60 & already having some
chronic health problems.  I'm in a rush right now to get some breeding
lines established that have the traits I want (exceptional disease
resistance, maximum ability to bloom reliably in spite of weather &
soil).  A lot of the 'really good ones' here are fairly late bloomers,
which means they are late spring germinators, which means it is hard to
get them large enough to survive being lined out the first year here.

Most of my seedlings have taken three or more years, some took 6 to
maiden bloom.  Do the math - at that rate, even if I manage to continue
hybridizing into my 90s (highly unlikely - none of my relatives have
lived past their early 80s), I may only get a few generations.  Most of
the material I want to work with will probably take several generations
to give introduceable seedlings.

Some of the tough oldies are turning out to be slow to germinate and
producing slow growing seedlings.

The seedlings that germinated last fall were enough ahead of this
spring's germination that I could line them out in late May, before the
heat and (usually) dry weather of summer.  About half of the spring
seedlings that germinated in the 'normal' way were much too small to
line out before summer and while they are now big enough to line out in
milder weather, are too small to line out in July/August heat.

Once I get some parents that will give children that are introduceable
and have some prior year seedlings that will give me new blooms each
year, I will stop trying to speed things up.  Unless it's an old cross
that will take several generations to "improve".
Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8
East Tennessee Iris Society <http://www.korrnet.org/etis>
American Iris Society web site <http://www.irises.org>
talk archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-talk/>
photos archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-photos/>
online R&I <http://www.irisregister.com>

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