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Re: seedling time again

I grow hundreds if not more seedlings each year.  Most of which are all 
similar green plants.  As to what I look for is a plant that does not 
look like the rest.  The color could be different, the leaf could be a 
different shape or size.  The plant could be larger and grow more 
vigorously than the rest of the lot.  The leaves could have a twist, or 
be wavy.  The substance could be thicker.  The leaves could be shinier.  
I guess I look for a plant that stands out from the rest of the batch.  
As I am unable to grow all of the plants I grow from seed to maturity, 
which is unfortunate as there are probably some great plants that will 
be thrown away, I have to look for characteristics that exhibit 
themselves early.

As for when to begin to fertilize, I fertilize with a 25% solution of 
10-20-20 after most of the batch has germinated.  I fertilize with every 
watering.  I water when the soil dries on the surface, or I lift the 
containers and they are lighter in weight.  I sow all of the seed from 
one cross in an appropriate sized container.  Until most of the plants 
have germinated I keep the containers in a plastic bag to hold moisture, 
where they don't need extra watering.  I begin to transplant as soon as 
interesting characteristics appear.  I transplant into flats that have 
cell packs divided into 4 compartments.  48 plants fit into one flat.  I 
continue to transplant as I observe interesting characteristics.  In 
June, I further cull the plants and transplant into the ground for 
further observation.  I cull plants each year that don't exhibit 
distinguishable characteristics.  I registered my first 2 plants this 
year.  One was a seedling from 1990 and the other from 1993. 
Tom Micheletti
The Hosta Patch
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