Re: Re:Re: HYB: pod ripening/germination
- Subject: Re: Re:Re: HYB: pod ripening/germination
- From: "John Bruce" <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 14:02:52 -0400
I don't know why everyone goes to all this trouble for iris seeds. I have
been hybridizing irises since 1994. I let the pods begin to turn tan and
start to wrinkle a bit, and then harvest and shell them. The seeds dry in
paper cups or paper envelopes. I used to plant them in late December and let
the pots set outside in the rain, snow and cold, and always saw sprouts in
mid-April. The last few years I always seem to be too busy and/or cold
resistant to fool with them until mid-March. I plant them in gallon (or
smaller) pots, set them outside and water them once befoer I let mother
nature take over. I still get the same germination that I got before, about
60% on average. Some crosses do better, a few do not do until year two, and
a few never do. I always find that those that do not germinate or germinate
poorly have a lot of empty seed husks or squishy seeds, and have always
assumed that these seeds were either defective from the start or experienced
a freeze after a too-eaarly germination. Strangely enough, I never lack for
iris seedlings to fill all existing space.
I live in Southwest Ohio, where there is plenty of rain, lots of cold, and
winter seems to go from December until April. Germination seems to peak when
night time temps are in the upper 50s and slows rapidly as things warm up. I
tried the soaking thing two seasons and got no better results. From what I
have read from the burrito experiments, I see no better results.
If you are looking for earlier bloom, pot the seedlings in 4" pots when they
are a couple of inches tall and feed them weekly with a liquid fertilizer.
You can get by with this because growing kids are hungry, and watering every
other day will leach out excess fertilizer. Plant them in early August in
the ground...keep the weeds out. You will get bloom in the second and
sometimes first year after germination.
Just my .02 worth.
Zone 5b, SW OH
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