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Freezing Seeds


     Well, here I go, un-lurking again.  I've gotta stop this... 
     
     I can vouch for the fact that you CAN freeze DRIED iris seeds, 
     and successfully germinate them.
     
     My usual method of germinating (mostly bearded) iris seeds is to 
     first air DRY them (when they are harvested, as the pods ripen), 
     and store them for a while in the fridge. I then plant them about 
     1/2inch apart (in all directions) in large pots (the number of 
     seeds per pot varies depending on the size of the pot and the 
     number of seeds to a cross - I'm trying to get all the seeds for 
     a single cross in a single pot for my own convenience), put 
     sphagnum moss into the tops of the pots, and sink the pots in the 
     garden under about a foot of mulch (salt marsh hay) in late 
     October or early November (when the leaves fall around here in 
     southern Massachusetts).  I leave them that way, frozen like 
     everything else out there, during the winter, until mid-March, 
     when I either bring them in the house to germinate, or put a cold 
     frame over them to get them warm enough to germinate.  
     
     I have also store DRIED iris seed in the freezer and successfully 
     germinated it the following year with no ill effect.
     
     I have a sneaking suspicion that freezing FRESH iris seed may be 
     hazardous to its health...  
     
     
     Stephanie Markham (smarkham@meridianmktg.com) - (from Norfolk, 
     Massachusetts, a tiny town that time forgot and the decades 
     cannot improve -- and where the first frost is only days away...)
     
     ------------------------------Reply Separator--------------------
     
     Date: Wed, 02 Oct 1996 13:10:02 -0700 
     From: John I Jones <jijones@ix.netcom.com> 
     To: iris-l@rt66.com
     Subject: Re: Freezing seeds
     Message-ID: <3252CC1A.7B91@ix.netcom.com>
     
     Laurent Tardif wrote:
     > 
     > John your advice and that of Clarence is to not freeze the 
     seeds!!!
     > What would be your opinion if you dealt with plants indigeneous 
     to my part
     > of the
     > freezing world (Quebec where it goes down to -35 far. degres). 
     > Luckely we did not get any frost yet and the garden is still in 
     bloom
     > partially, but we are toying with nearby frost, we will get 
     it!too soon.
     
     Laurent
     I am out of my element concerning seeds. In the immortal words of 
     Sgt Schultz
     - 
     "I know nothingk". I was just relaying something I had in 
     archive, and will
     let 
     others respond to you about freezing. Sorry
     
     John
     -- 
     
     ---------------------------
     
     Date: Wed, 2 Oct 1996 08:45:52 -0600
     From: tlittle@lanl.gov (Tom Tadfor Little) 
     To: iris-l@rt66.com
     Subject: Re: Freezing seeds
     Message-ID: <v01520d00ae782eb993ee@[128.165.66.193]>
     
     Laurent write
     
     :John your advice and that of Clarence is to not freeze the 
     seeds!!!
     :What would be your opinion if you dealt with plants indigeneous 
     to my part
     :of the
     :freezing world (Quebec where it goes down to -35 far. degres).
     
     I just read in Currier McEwen's book _The Siberian Iris_ that 
     iris seeds
     frozen in storage do not germinate. Dr. McEwen (and me too) 
     regards this
     as somewhat mysterious, since iris seeds surely freeze when 
     planted
     outdoors in many climates, and germinate just fine.
     
     BTW, I highly recommend this book to all iris growers, not just 
     Siberian
     fanciers. McEwen has a tremendous wealth of knowledge about 
     growing and
     breeding irises, and it is very nicely presented in the book. 
     There's a
     lot of just plain good gardening advice in this book!
     
     
     ===============================================================
     
     Tom Tadfor Little         tlittle@lanl.gov  -or-  telp@Rt66.com 
     technical writer/editor   Los Alamos National Laboratory 
     --------------------------------------------------------------- 
     Telperion Productions     http://www.rt66.com/~telp/ 
     ===============================================================





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