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HYB: Germination Philosophies

John Bruce:

I fear that  many may never try to grow irises from seeds because they 
simply do not  want to go through all the fuss. So from time to time I do like 
to interject  the concept that it is not necessary for the lion's share of 
climates and  newbie hybridizers. 

What I'm concerned with is the amount of  information that does not seem 
horticulturally sound. There is  more to this than just getting the things to 
germinate; you also want to produce  a strong viable plant, right from the 
get go. 

Even though most of the  seeds we are speaking of here are --I assume-- the 
issue of modern hybrid  bearded irises, complex entities genetically-- or 
so we are always told-- there  is more involved than some discoverable 
formula. Adequate attention  must also be given to the emerging plant's need for a 
suitable growing  environment; for space to develop; for fresh air passing 
over it; for  laving by rain; for periods of darkness; and for the light of 
the sun.  You can simulate some of this, sure, but only so well, and for 
only so  long.
Bluntly, I think some of what one hears is unnecessary, and  quite likely 
to prove counterproductive in both the short and the long  run. Indeed, I 
suspect some of the success stories are  testaments less to the cunning of the 
germinator, than to  the vitality of the seeds. Clearly, some seeds can 
overcome  almost any amount of abuse, and still germinate. 

Enthusiastic beginners often want to fuss and elaborate, yes, but,  if I 
may, I suggest a reasonable way to proceed is to try the  simple way first. 
Then, if problems arise, do a little research and  devise some appropriate 
site-specific means of solving them. Such  problems could be anything from mice 
to no germination --which can be genetic,  of course.

I like to sow my seeds on 100% organic medium in deep pots and  leave them 
outside over the winter. I like pots because I can put them on  the deck and 
keep an eye on them. I had a site-specific mouse problem. I  sow on 
Thanksgiving Day, and I expect action about the same time everything else  in the 
garden is up and moving in the spring. 

As an aside, let me say I think the definition of germination  shared here 
by Anita is written the way it is to subsume both the  epigeal and the 
hypogeal modalities. 


Anner  Whitehead
Richmond VA USA  Zone 7
**************Make your summer sizzle with fast and easy recipes for the 
grill. (http://food.aol.com/grilling?ncid=emlcntusfood00000005)

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