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Re: seedling question

I definitely have too much moisture.... and I probably have it too
packed.... I'm eating dinner while typing this and watching my poor
university try to hold off Michigan State.  I think it'll make a great
excuse if I walk away from the TV and go work on salvaging the seedlings....
I'll give them some aeration... How do you transfer seedlings with out
killing them?  Just thought I'd ask before I go and try to do it (save from
asking the next question - why did they die when I transfer them?)   Well
I'm keeping a journal so I can keep from making the same mistakes next year.

----- Original Message -----
From: <halinar@open.org>
To: <hosta-open@mallorn.com>
Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2000 12:32 PM
Subject: Re: seedling question

| Kate:
| The three trys of hosta seeds - are they the same seeds?  Different
| crosses will behave differently.  As mentioned, too much water may be
| a problem.  However, if you use a very coarse planting mix that isn't
| too high in peatmoss, then you shouldn't have too much of a problem. I
| would be willing to bet that you are using a planting mix that is high
| in peatmoss.  Try a planting mix that is bark based.  The high
| peatmoss mixes are intended mainly for annuals and often have a high
| level of nitrogen fertilizer.  Peatmoss mixes tend to get overly wet.
| As to the different sizes of the seedlings, remember that not all the
| seeds germinate at the same time.  Also, most hosta crosses will
| exhibit a wide variation in vigor.  Last year I started out with about
| 3,000 seedlings germinating.  By the time I did the first transplant
| into plug trays at the 1 leaf stage I could see differences in vigor -
| a lot of the seedlings didn't get transplanted.  I then transplanted
| them to small pots and again I could see some differences.  By mid
| summer it was easy to see that quite a few of the seedlings weren't
| going to amount to anything, while others were very vigorous.  By fall
| I only kept about 300 to look at this year - everyone a vigorous
| grower.
| Transplant the seedlings into small pots or plug trays and give them
| some room to grow.  Don't waste time playing around with the seedlings
| that don't have a lot of vigor, unless they are variegated.  Select
| for vigor by looking at the root system.
| Joe Halinar
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