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Re: HYB: stratification

  • Subject: Re: [iris-talk] HYB: stratification
  • From: "Donald Eaves" <donald@eastland.net>
  • Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 21:48:15 -0500

I'd help if I could.  But, frankly, last year when I did the fridge bit I
didn't come up with enough information to be helpful.  The seeds were in the
fridge 1/2 day and out for 1/2 day for four weeks, then in 24 hours a day
for four weeks, then back in and out for the half day another four weeks.
In the last cycle I had a very few sprout.  After a time I repeated the
cycle without much more happening.  Ultimately, late last winter, I gave up
and planted them normally.  Several did come up with the rest of the
seedlings and still survive.  My experiment involved seeds that I considered
somewhat marginal to begin with and I didn't think to try some that I
thought were probably good ones for a comparison 'til it was too late.
Germination this year, though, was not as good as the previous year on any
pods.  I ended up with about the same number of seedlings as the year before
even though I was working with three times the number of seeds.  I think
much of this was due to my planting medium, but how do you know for sure?
Some of it might be due to the kinds and crosses I made.  Maybe both factors
at work.

>No replies to my requests for help re: minimum amount of chilling needed
>for germination of TB seeds, so I am experimenting.

I will be interested to read about your experiments.  I hope they are more
successful than mine.  Why, though, do you want them to sprout early?   The
few that I had sprout didn't survive.  Some were just weak from the
beginning, some damped off.  Damping off has not been a problem in the
spring sprouts (yet, anyway).  If you are wanting to push them, I've had
good luck transplanting them to a rich bed in May and then spending a
fortune keeping them watered all summer.  Probably 80% of those look like
mature plants now, complete with increases.  This happened last year as well
and I probably had 90% or more bloom the first year.  Those that didn't get
eaten by katydids or rot (not many of either, thankfully) now have made
rather big clumps, many that won't be able to go another season without
dividing.  I left enough room so I presumably wouldn't have to that for 3-4
years, so I thought.  In any case, many will probably go toward making a lot
of compost after bloom next spring, so maybe that will leave enough room for
those I decide to let hang around for yet another season.  But I'd intended
on having that space for a new crop of seedlings, not having it filled by
rampant growth from earlier ones.  A problem I can live with.  At least none
of the seedlings died from UV poisoning and there was a lot of that here
this year again.

Donald Eaves
Texas Zone 7b, USA

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