Re: HYB: pollination during rainy weather....
I think I remember hearing/reading something about Don Spoon covering
buds about to open with a loose fitting plastic rain hat (baggie).
One of the problems I encounter here is that with long rainy spells
(i.e., several days in a row with half an inch or more per day), most
blooms stop trying to make pollen, and don't start again for a couple of
days after it stops raining. Not all stop making good pollen (Portland
last year gave lots of opportunities to identify a few cultivars that
did <not> stop <g>)
I use Betty's suggestion to get pollen - either pick a whole stalk, or
sometimes an individual bloom as it is just opening, bring it inside to
let anthers mature.
The difficulty comes in getting the pollen from the house onto the
stigma without getting it soaked. If there's a break in the rain, and
if there's a baggie over the bloom that you can remove without damaging
the flower, that would work, but making a cross while it's actually
raining would be hard.
I've tried blotting off rain (or dew!) with tissue & paper towels with
varying degrees of success. On some cultivars, that little stigmatic
lip collects water and is impossible to blot dry without smushing the
whole bloom. Some cultivars have blooms that both hold up to the rain
better and keep the reproductive parts drier.
I have also had success on rainy days using "indoor" pollen between showers.
Wish I could offer more.
<<Is there any suggestions as to how, or if it is possible to keep buds dry
that are developing on stalks during rain? I know that if pollen gets wet
it is ruined.>>
You might rig some type of cover, but with the air being saturated, I'm not
sure it would work. I've not tried it. If it's an option, you might want to
cut a stalk and let it open inside. Sometimes, just a bloom. This has
worked for me.
Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8
East Tennessee Iris Society <http://www.korrnet.org/etis>
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