Seed starting chronicles 2012

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Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

McDonough wrote:

I've always wanted to try growing Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis); but I don't think it could survive our New England climate.  It is rated zone 7-10...

Not to imply that the conditions are the same, but it's interesting that Bob Nold grows it in Denver, far from the Sonoran and Chihuahuan desert washes that I tend to associate it with from fondly-remembered trips long ago (re. High and Dry: Gardening with Cold-hardy Dryland Plants).  I hope this mention of his name will get his spider senses tingling, so he can pop in and tell us about it in person!

Tim, you have a great start to the season.  I've started earlier than usual this year, but only have 4 pots of sprouts so far - eager beavers that need nothing more than scarification or just moisture to trigger them:  Astragalus coccineus (so easy to germinate, so hard to grow!!), Oxytropis lagopus, Acantholimon saxifragiformeSalvia pachyphylla also germinated in a few days, which kind of surprises me.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

mkyoung
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-04-11

Peter wrote:

Now why would 'direct seeding' result in a high germination rate when there was neither scarification nor the boiling water treatment?

I assume that the hard seed coat prevents too-early germination (read: autumn) in G. viscosissimum.

Lori wrote:

I've always wanted to try growing Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis); but I don't think it could survive our New England climate.  It is rated zone 7-10...
Not to imply that the conditions are the same, but it's interesting that Bob Nold grows it in Denver, far from the Sonoran and Chihuahuan desert washes that I tend to associate it with from fondly-remembered trips long ago (re. High and Dry: Gardening with Cold-hardy Dryland Plants).

I regret that I had no difficulty in killing Chilopsis linearis a few years ago. But that record-setting cold snap--4 days of lows near -10 C in early October, which constituted the first frost of the year--took out quite a few marginally hardy plants (including all of our cactus).

zone 4a/5a, Missoula, Montana

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

I also don't see why direct garden seeding results in germination without scarification ( I could see if it was just a matter of much larger numbers of seed and low germination percentages).. I suppose the sown seeds that were not scarified and did not germinate were just given cold stratification without freezing? So then maybe outdoor treatment over winter would work without scarfication? I have to see how many seeds I have, whether or not there are enough to experiment....
Lori, I did also gather from googling that fremontii is considered by some to be a sub-species of caespitosum.. Ironically, the seed for this North American came to me from Philippe in France...lol

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

cohan wrote:

Lori, I did also gather from googling that fremontii is considered by some to be a sub-species of caespitosum.. Ironically, the seed for this North American came to me from Philippe in France...lol

Just make sure you don't end up with Geranium robertianum after that world-wide trek ;)

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Welcome, Michael!  I just realized that these are your first postings here.  It sounds from your Chilopsis linearis account that you are an adventuresome gardener!  Hope to find out more about what you are growing in Montana

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Peter wrote:

Now why would 'direct seeding' result in a high germination rate when there was neither scarification nor the boiling water treatment?

Remember too, that we really don't know how old germinating seeds are that were naturally dispersed.  Given enough time in the natural environment, the breakdown of the seed coat an subsequent germination might not be so vexing after all.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

McDonough wrote:

cohan wrote:

Lori, I did also gather from googling that fremontii is considered by some to be a sub-species of caespitosum.. Ironically, the seed for this North American came to me from Philippe in France...lol

Just make sure you don't end up with Geranium robertianum after that world-wide trek ;)

I'm hoping Philippe would know better since seed comes from the botanic garden..lol-- though mistakes can happen anywhere! In fact any Geranium is okay if its pink, or even white, or any colour other than that neon blue-purple of himalayense which we have many many square meters of....  :-X

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

I wanted to add that a friend in Nebraska successfully grew Chilopsis linearis a for a couple of years, from AZ seed (I think it was just seed gathered around metro Phoenix by another friend)- if I recall the sequence of events, he had it planted in ground, and mulched heavily the first winter; if died back to the mulch, but grew several feet or more next season and flowered; second winter he was not well enough to mulch and the plant died.. I forget what his lows were, but I could ask if anyone would like to know..

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Peter wrote:

Now why would 'direct seeding' result in a high germination rate when there was neither scarification nor the boiling water treatment? I know nature is always 'right,' but what is it about plants just dropping seeds that makes the germination rates so high when if we do the same thing, we get nothing?

It is the strategy of the plant! When seeds are ripe or almost so before late fall it can be beneficial for the species that some seed sprout immediately if it is moist enough. A little later the seeds have gone into a dormancy which is hard to break and not all germinate the next season either but need more than one season to break dormancy. This is often the case with seed from plants where the seasons can be a little unpredictable and the plant build up a kind of seedbank in the soil.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Many of the easy ones are sprouting now. 
I started some very old seeds of Ipomoea leptophylla, and in two days, after strenuous filing of the very hard seeds, the sprouts are practically heaving the soil out of the pot!
Smelowskia calycina is an eager sprouter; the first germination was after 2 days, and lots are up after 4 days.
It's the same with Arenaria pseudoacantholimon, Silene nigrescens and Gastrolychnis apetala!

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

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