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Re: HYB: Seed planting

  • Subject: Re: [iris-photos] HYB: Seed planting
  • From: "J. Paul Hill" <lacedgables@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 10:55:49 -0800 (PST)

Dear Brian:
     I wanted to say just a little about the planting of seed.  I attempted to chill indoors at first and had limited results....I have never planted directly into the ground as the seed can germinate for up to ten to twelve years....I am too concerned about following the parentage of seedlings to wait that long.  I follow Keppels advice in planting in 6" pots.  This allows me to control the placement of the seed that doesn't germinate....I put about an inch of soft material "Clay Breaker" that is sold at Home Depot, in the bottom of the pot.  Then mixed soil to about 1/2 inch from the top.  Then I cluster the seeds that have been soaked for three days ( I change and stir the water several times a day for those three days).  Paul Black stated in an article in the AIS bulletin once, that he believed  clustering the seed allows them to stimulate each other once germination gets underway.
I then cover the seed with about 1/2 inch of soil and tap it down lightly with the bottom of a Mayo jar.  Clay Breaker is applied at about an inch thick on the top....then I water them and make sure they stay wet or frozen through the winter  (this winter has been a breeze).  When warmer temps come I water them daily and I always get good germination.  Sometimes 100%......Paul Hill
 This past year was the first time I have seriously tried my hand at crossing iris. I have never had any luck before. I went a little overboard and ended up with over 1000 seeds. Oops! I too cured them in the frig for 4 months using the Sutton's method and then planted them all in pots inside the house. A few were already sprouting when I planted them. Most still have done nothing inside and I am still waiting for warm enough weather here in central Illinois to put outside. I  debated on whether or not to wait until spring to plant them or start them all inside. Since I still consider myself very much a novice, I am eager to hear what others are or have done..
Right now I have about 20 little baby iris growing inside. The ones that have sprouted I have transplanted to 4" pots to give them a little root room.  So far so good. I can't wait to get them outside and in the ground to see how they perform in the real world. The largest ones right now are not quite a foot tall. Should I have had more sprout by now or must one simply wait for warmer weather?  this is all new to me although it is really fun.
Anybody else with any advice or experiences please jump right in. Thanks!
Brian Davis
Champaign, Illinois
Zone 6

> ATTACHMENT part 2 image/jpeg name=Seedlings Feb.2004.JPG

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