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HYB: tools idea


On Iris-photos, Dave Ferguson included in his comments, "... my big
(relatively) fat adult fingers.  I always have a hard time getting the
pollen on the stigma, especially on those smallish old-fashioned and species
types I like so much, and I never seem to remember to take a tweezers or
similar tool out to the garden with me."

Dave is hardly alone.  In my younger years, even as a full adult, I rarely
needed tweezers to get a stamen without wrecking the flower, but that isn't
true any more.  My fingers aren't so "big (relaively) fat adult" but they
sure feel like it.  Loss of sensitivity over the years and increasing
clumsiness that comes with age is a problem in pollenization.

One thing I have found enormously useful is a "Fanny Pack" worn on the
front.  I carry tweezers, pocket knife, "Rub a Dub" laundry marking pen,
ball point pen or two, Hunt Corporation's PAINTERS medium black paint-pen
which is the only thing I have found that does not fade or flake off PVC
venetian blind markers, and the white string tags I get at Wal-Mart.  Along
with the fanny pack, I carry a mini yellow pad as a temporary record.  It
always ends up wet or looking awful, but I can later transfer the data to a
spiral "Stud Book" here by the computer.

I'm equiped for just about everything.  If needed I keep a trowel, scissors
and a few other similar things in an outdoor two level shelf that sits on
the deck.  I can access the tools from below, provided I don't step on the
Hostas and SILVERADO planted there.

I used to keep all this kind of stuff in my pockets, but after a few caps
came off markers and things got more and more difficult to carry, the fanny
pack saved my "fanny," and put the tools right where I could access them
most easily.

I have a number of spare tweezers left over from my medical adventures, as I
saved both surgical scissors and tweezers nearly every time a new dressing
pack got opened.  The Home Health Care nurses thought it odd I wanted those
things.  I said, "I'll have use for them, don't worry."

But--I find tweezers difficult too.  I end up breaking the rib of the style
trying to slip the tweezers between the style and the anther.  It is also
increasingly difficult to see the difference between an open, ready-to-use
stamen and one that is full, but still closed.  I waste more than I care to
lose.  Even so, I still end up with more seeds than I know where to plant.

Using the tweezers doesn't work very well for applying mature pollen.  I
usually give up after dropping a stamen or two and simply take it between
thumb and fore-finger, then drawing it across one, two or three stigmas on
the target flower.  Frankly, I've never seen a difference in seed count from
the one, two or three, but I know all the books say "pollenize all three."

For what it's worth,
Neil Mogensen   z 7   Reg 4  western NC mountains

I

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