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Re: Re: HYB: seed stratification

  • Subject: Re: [iris-talk] Re: HYB: seed stratification
  • From: "Donald Eaves" <donald@eastland.net>
  • Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 07:54:35 -0500

Linda Mann writes:

>My thought is that I will get them into the ground as soon as they are
>big enough to handle and keep them under double Reemay with
>water-filled-cola-bottle-heat sinks between little rows of plants.  This
>should create conditions sort of like a cool greenouse.

I think this has a good chance of success.  I had stray seeds sprout as
early as January after they hadn't sprouted the spring before.  A couple
sprouted so early, the reason I knew they were seeds and not increase was
because hard freezes heaved them up with the seed still attached.  They were
apparently in the little ball of soil I had left around the seedling I was
transplanting.  They stayed there all winter and when freezes pushed them
up, I pushed them back down.  They survived and I don't water in the winter
months (or hardly ever).  I had about a dozen sprout well before the danger
of hard freezes and all survived in place.  I moved them to the seedling bed
when I transplanted the spring crop that came up in pots.  After your post I
checked my pots from this spring and found a seedling up.

This leads me to wonder about the mechanisms at work in iris seeds.  As
those the year before, these have been sitting in the pots.  No water, no
care, but under an oak tree.  To say the pots got dry would be an
understatement.  The same for the year before, but still a number of seeds
sprouted the second year from planting.  None of the new crop sprouted 'til
spring.  As for water, the beepod seeds weren't treated as nicely has those
derived from my daubing.  They were planted in a bed that gets some break
from the sun from oak tree shade, but still lots of sun.  Ten seedlings here
and grasshoppers ate one, nine still survive.  They now look to be big
enough to give bloom next spring, but none bloomed the first year whereas
those I had watered gave lots of first year bloom.  But they survived the
drought conditions.  I didn't provide any supplemental water there.  I
credit the bit of shade they received.  Where I am losing TBs in a major way
is in the beds receiving full sun.  This has happened since our drought
conditions have set in.  It appears to be scorch, but I'm no longer sure.
Or maybe scorch is more contagious than has been indicated.  Whatever it is
those beds getting our sun all day long have had pretty high losses.  Maybe
here I need to find the right balance between sun and shade to get optimum
results.  If they are in shade, the plants always look better, but the bloom
stalks tend to be floppy.  In full sun, the plants look sad all summer, but
the spring stalks in those areas are much stronger and don't tend to flop.
The interesting difference between a seedling and mature plants is the
difference in what they can take.  I would have killed the mature plants
doing what I've done to the seedlings.  I know, I started out trying a bed
until rot quickly set in and I stopped.  On the other hand, a seedling seems
to cope pretty well with the same treatment given a mature plant, but they
aren't pushed to bloom the first year.  I have used the bee pod seedlings
grown in the past to experiment with various bits.  In full sun, survival
isn't too great.  A degree of shady conditions and they survive pretty well
without extra care.  Extra water, when they were planted in the rebloomer
section, and I had several bloom the first year after sprouting.  But
intensive watering that even rebloomers couldn't handle in soil rich enough
to invite rot has given the best results.  They might as well be different
plants than a mature iris for what they can take and thrive under.

Donald Eaves
Texas Zone 7b, USA - very dry yet again, but wonderful temps.

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