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Re: HYB:Methods

art bern wrote:
> I have read of several ways of hybridizing TB's and want to improve on
> my germinating rates. The best I've done was approx. 55%. Last year I
> heard of someone that got a 90% germination rate, I tried it and got
> roughly 2%. What I would like to know here is what methods are used from
> the time of seed collection to the time of germination and roughly the
> germination rate. I would like details as to the number of days that
> certain events happened, ie: soaking seeds in water for 10 days,
> changing water every day. I'm partically interested in the hybridizers
> in the south and west coast as they should be close to the weather
> conditions that I have here in Grass Valley, CA.


First of all, not all crosses can germinate at the same rate.  There are
genetic factors at work here.  I  have had germination rates of 0% to
100% DEPENDING ON THE PARENTS.  In my experience some iris produce
better germinating seeds than others.

I usually use the cold stratifying method as outlined in the World of
Iris.  After harvesting the seeds keep them in a paper envelope or film
canister for a couple of weeks until they dry, then put them in water
for three days, changing the water each day.  After the water treatment
place them in plastic sandwich baggies with a handfull of vermiculate
and place them in the middle rack of the refrigerator.  Let them stay
there for about two months then plant them out.  I plant them in
sterlized potting soil in pots.  They are easier to control this way.  

This year I didn't get a chance to go through the cold stratifying
method as happened two years ago.  Then as now I will have to skip the
frig and just soak in water for the three days and plant directly in the
pots.  When I did this two years ago I did not notice any marked
difference in the germination. 

Rick Tasco
Superstition Iris Gardens
Central California
Zone 8

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