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Re:Re: HYB: pod ripening/germination

  • Subject: Re:Re: HYB: pod ripening/germination
  • From: irischapman@aim.com
  • Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 13:54:43 -0400

John and Mike and all

When you put your seeds in pots outside in Ohio you are getting Mother nature to do your job for you. In pots, they get spring rain, which is the same as same as soaking anr rincing seeds. Obviously your spring weather is cold enough to provide the necessary chilling and chilling duration to enable seed germination. You are lucky to have such weather. Sometimes the chilling lenght is not long enough, so hence second winter for some seeds. I suspect ther will be some seasons when this does not work out well as you are on the cusp of having just enough chilling hours. Other people don't have weather as conducive to having mother nature work so well with them.

As for your percentage of seed germination, you are also doing well. But I notice neither of you is working much with plicatas. Mike you did introduce one plicata "Sole Survivor", but the name suggests that the seed germination didn't work as well as with the other crosses you make. I too have tried the March planting, but didn't get good enough germination to warrent using it as a regular method. As I make a lot of plicata crosses, this may be one reason I don't get as good a result this way. Even without soaking and rincing I just don't get a good germination rate with plicatas. Solid colours and amoenas do germinate much much better.

As for soaking and rinsing, it isn't that much touble. It does take several hours to put pods into the pantyhose and tie off each cross, but it is busy hands work. That is it can be done while watching Television. After that it is two minutes a day to rinse bucket and refill it. After that it is planting time the same time as any other method of planting. So far germination rate is increadibly better then not soaking.

I have to agree, about burritos though. It does seem like a lot of work. An alternative to that is the 5-7 day soak and rinse, then place seeds in a baggie with damp peat moss and into fridge. No need to rewet or re rinse etc. Just keep eye on them. Some pods will start to germinate in just a few days. Others can take a full three months of chilling. Althoug I suspect that if taken out after 60 days and planted, they would germinate.

Of note, is that if you are making wide crosses and any involing pulling back a recessive or two recessives, you want as many seedlings as you can. So raising germination from 60% to 90% could mean the difference between pulling out the needed plant from the cross or not. For plicatas this could mean raising germination from 20% to 90%. Now I can do analysis on the genetics and find something out. I can't do that if all I get to bloom is 3-4 from a cross.

Chuck Chapman

Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 14:02:52 -0400
From: "John Bruce" <jbruce1@cinci.rr.com>
Subject: Re: [iris] Re:Re: HYB: pod ripening/germination

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.

John Bruce
Zone 5b, SW OH

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