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Re:HYB: TB: Planting seedlings

Your 30% is about as high a rate as I usually get on a healthy cross.

<...germination rate came to just over 30%. For now, I'm thrilled that
                   germination rate was so low!! >

Yes, always, if it's a cross I really want.  Back in the early days of
this list, someone who is a 'real' hybridizer suggested trying to get at
least 10 pods of each cross.  I am slowly learning that I better have a
<lot> of anything I really want to set pods, preferably in several
different locations in the garden.  Just in case one location is better
one year than the others.  I usually make at least 4 attempts on
anything I really want, more if I think I may have trouble getting a

If it's something I'm just checking for fertility (usually seedlings)
for future crosses, I will try it with as many different things I can
think of, one pollen parent per bloom (or mixed pollen if there aren't
many good days to make crosses or are few blooms).

And if its something where I'm just playing, can't resist (like
HAPPENSTANCE X PINK FORMAL this year), I'll just make the cross once.

<1)  (This one is a bit preliminary) Do you tend to cross several pods
of the
                   same cross?  >

I plant them all.  In years past, I've been trying to work out ways to
speed up generational time, so have split large lots of seeds,
especially ones I didn't care much about, into groups to try different

<2)  If your cross produces over 50 seed, do you plant all of the seed?>

Depends a lot on what my plans are for that particular cross, how
healthy I am, how much room I have, etc. If it's a cross that's really
important to me, I will plant as many of them as I think will survive.
If it's one I'm not sure about, but am curious to see what the kids look
like, I may plant some of the bigger ones, moving the others to a bigger
pot and letting natural selection thin them out.  Same with seedlings
from a cross where the kids aren't very healthy - leave them all till
most have died.

<3)  If a large number of seed sprout, in a give cross, do you plant all
of             them?>

Since my main hybridizing goal is selection of the toughest/healthiest,
I definitely save all the survivors.  The fastest growing may not be the
healthiest and especially may not be the best ones for mixed beds,
leaving in place for clump formation, or resistance to late freezes.
Rapid lush growth is often vulnerable to damage.  I may leave the slower
growing ones in a bigger pot for another year.  Or longer.  I think I
have a pot full of two year olds out there somewhere....

<4)  Do you have a routine when planting seedlings? For instance, I pull
 the ones with bigger root systems and plant those first, with the
smaller being
at the ends of the row/bed.>

I plant the ones with the biggest root systems first.  With the speeded
up seedlings, I hope I willget bloom on a few of the seedlings from a
cross before the rest are big enough to line out and can throw out the
later germinants.  Some of the HARVEST OF MEMORIES kids that germinated
this year & late last year are definitely going in the trash.

<5)  If you breed rebloomers, do you think you can tell which are
                   when they are seedlings?  Are you right?  <bg>

Not enough experience!

<Anyone keeping records on this type of information?  Would be
interesting to
                   know if weak seedlings stay weak, etc.>

Slow growers are not necessarily weak.  Same for late germinants.  They
are smaller, but not necessarily weaker.

<Anxious to hear from the hybridizers out there.>

It's debateable whether or not I am or ever will actually be a "real"
hybridizer, but at least I have planted seedlings <g>
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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