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Re: Re: HYB: seed pots [and more]
  • Subject: Re: Re: HYB: seed pots [and more]
  • From: "J. Griffin Crump" <jgcrump@cox.net>
  • Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2010 14:17:58 -0500


Forgetting all the seed burritos, tacos, enchildas, napkins, blankets, refrigerators, toilet tanks and what have you, and addressing only the matter of removing the germination-inhibiting coating from the seeds (the existence of which I accept as a reality), there is really a very simple way to do it.  I empty the seeds from ripe (splitting or about to split) pods into individual little plastic containers (the kind that dairy products like cheese spread come in) and let them dry out for a couple of months.  Mold may form on some of the seeds, but it doesnât do any apparent harm.)  In October (if I get to it that early), I run about a quarter of an inch of water into each container and stack them atop one another, letting them sit for at least 5 to about 10 days.  By that time, the coating has been reduced to an evil-smelling gunk in which the seeds are sitting.  I then pour each containerâs contents into a wire mesh washing machine lint trap and hold it under the cold water tap in the kitchen full force.  You can turn the contents this way and that under the faucet to ensure they get a good rinse.  This only takes a few seconds, and it removes the evil gunk.  I then shake the seeds back into their containers, which also have been rinsed free of the gunk, and stack them atop one another.  The seeds will stay moist for a couple of days as I plant them into pots.
Now, this supposedly betters the odds that our seeds will germinate, but it by no means guarantees it.  Other factors apparently are involved, and I donât think we know what all of them are.
If I went back through my yearly records, I might find patterns of more or less successful germination from pods involving one or another cultivar  --  or I might not.  I havenât had the time to do it.  But, regardless of traits peculiar to certain cultivars, there is a pattern that I have observed over the years.  That is, that no matter whether the winter has been mild or severe, wet or dry, the overall (all pots) rate of germination of seeds here fluctuates wildly.  In an average year, I can expect better than 60%.  In some years, better than 70%.  But I have also had years in which the rate has dropped below 20%, and this past year (shudder) less than 5%.  So, where does the pattern come in?
The pattern is that all of my fellow hybridizers in Region 4 with whom I talk report similar fluctuations in the same years.  Iâve been tracking this for several years, ever since I first began to notice the coincidence.  This leads me to suspect that there is something in the genetics of bearded irises  --something cyclical, perhaps  -- that is a controlling factor in germination which is as yet beyond our ken.
Iâd be interested to know what others think on this subject.  --  Griff
From: Linda Mann
Sent: Friday, December 03, 2010 8:59 AM
Subject: [iris-photos] Re: HYB: seed pots

That's what I was thinking. But I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to
do yet.

Maybe daily dunk burritos for a week, slosh them around, then squeeze as
much water out as I can, then back in fridge. That way, the ones that
need a little more chilling will be sure to get it at optimal
temperature (in the fridge), not as erratic as on the sunporch. Just
pick out & pot up the germinating ones, same as in the past.

But first, I have to get all the mess off the shelves on the sunporch -
summer storage!

> Will you be changing the water every day?
> <<I'll try to soak them in their baggies & plant afterwards>>
> Betty W.

Linda Mann east TN USA zone 7

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