Seed starting chronicles 2012

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RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Hoy wrote:

Lori, what do you give your speedy seedlings?
They're out of the diapers in no time :o

What a perfect description!  I would imagine that the good lighting helps a lot, too.  The flowering anaphalis is wonderful surprise!  Lori, how many hours a day are your lights on?

Every year in our Chapter newsletter, I always write in my plant sales article: "We encourage all contributors to clearly print plant names (botanical and common) and cultural information on the label.  Putting your own name on the tag is an added bonus.  We all like to know who grew our newly purchased plants (and who we might ask for additional plant information)."  Although I always have people asking me for more information about my donate plants, few actual take my advice of put their own names on their own donated plants.  I am at a loss of how to get people to do this.  Any ideas?

Another thing that works very well to sell unfamiliar plants, is write an article about them in a prior Chapter newsletter.  I think the best one I ever wrote was on Phyteuma (with pics, of course).  I still have people asking me, years later, if I will be bringing any.  The good thing is that someone is now also growing them from seed, and donating to the sale.  But she won't put her name on them!

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

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

Hoy wrote:

Lori, what do you give your speedy seedlings?
They're out of the diapers in no time :o

Yes, that certainly is a fine turn of phrase!  ;D  Rick, the lights are on for 16 1/2 hours per day, set on a timer.  There are 2 or 3 4-foot long fluorescent shop lights suspended on chains over each shelf; each shop light contains 2 bulbs of 40 watts each.

Thank you, Amy.  The seeds are really doing it all themselves - I've just been providing the grunt work of planting, watering, and potting on.  I've been mostly showing the easy ones, needless to say - I will bomb out totally with many species that are not inclined to germinate so readily, or that may need different conditions than what I can offer (e.g. cool growing conditions, perhaps?)

Rick, how about publishing a list in the local club report of who sold what, for later reference?
The president of the local rock gardening club has proposed that members who flog plants at the spring sale prepare slide shows for the upcoming May meeting, to show people what the plant will look like, and to talk about their experience at growing it.  I will be doing this, for some of the species I grew a couple of years ago, that I am now growing more of with the hopes of dispersing at the sale.  (Of course, that doesn't help with the totally unfamiliar things I'm growing and have no prior experience with... and yet hope to disperse!   Actually, I often wonder why I am doing any of this... just want to get rid of excess plants, I guess.)

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

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

I have a dilemma- I have a number of seeds (received in winter, and I wasn`t organised to get them sown soon enough to give warm indoors and then cold outside) considered short lived and requiring warm/cold/warm germination... what should I do with them? I do not have a fridge I can put them in, so my only options for sowing are indoors now, warm or cool, followed by summer outside etc, or put them outside now (where there will be frost till the end of May, presumably.. and days warm to chilly depending on weather and siting)..
I don't remember everything there is to sow in this category, Aconitum and Dicentra, maybe Corydalis.. maybe others...

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

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I grew Corydalis wilsonii from seed in 2010, was planning on a warm/cold/warm treatment, and they came up in the first warm conditioning.  Plants don't survive zone 4 winters, but apparently the seed does better.  Just a couple days ago I spied a seedling emerging from warm/cold/warm (summer/winter in garage/spring).  The pot probably only reached a 10F(-12C) low.  Also, remember our zone 4 spring is a month ahead this year.

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

Fermi
Fermi's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-03-03

RickR wrote:

Every year in our Chapter newsletter, I always write in my plant sales article: "We encourage all contributors to clearly print plant names (botanical and common) and cultural information on the label.  Putting your own name on the tag is an added bonus.  We all like to know who grew our newly purchased plants (and who we might ask for additional plant information)."  Although I always have people asking me for more information about my donate plants, few actual take my advice of put their own names on their own donated plants.  I am at a loss of how to get people to do this.  Any ideas?

Rick,
at our AGS Vic Group we have an annual plant swap known as "The Bunfight" because the original ones used to be a bit of a shemozzle. We ask for donors to put their initials on the back of the label so that we can identify the plants that way. It's less time consuming than writing their whole name and we now get quite a high compliance. I always like to acknowledge people from whom I've received something which has gone on to be a star in the garden.
cheers
fermi

Fermi de Sousa,
Central Victoria, Australia
Min: -7C, Max: +40C

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

Updates and recent germinations:

Androsace bisulca v. brahmaputrae - seeds from Holubec (collected: China, Gyamda, Tibet, 3700m, mountain grassland, unique plant, rounded cushions, 3-8cm wide, 1-2cm rosettes, large rose-red flws on 2-4cm long stems, 2010.  Also China Zhoka, Tibet, 3500m, rock terraces, 2010); started germinating in the cold, after 33 days in the cold room; now at 5 weeks from germ.

Campanula ptarmicifolia - seeds from Pavelka (collected: 2500m, Sipikor Dag, Turkey; dense tufts or compact cushions; narrow spathulate leaves, erect stems 10-25cm, blue flowers in spike, 2008 seed); germ. in the cold after 5 weeks:

Helichrysum noeanum - seeds from Pavelka (collected: 1600m, Sivas, Turkey; dense cushions woody at base, strongly white lanate lvs, yellowflws, 10-15cm, gypsum hills, 2010 seed); germ. in 10 days at room temp; now at 5 weeks from germ:

Dryas integrifolia - locally wild-collected; germ in 5 days at room temp:

Gentiana straminea - treated with GA-3 (I meant to leave these in the solution of a tiny bit of GA-3 in a few drops of water overnight but forgot and left them 3 nights); germinated in ~7 days at room temp.; now at 6 weeks after germ.

Penstemon pumilus - seeds from Alplains (collected: Idaho); germ started in the cold after 4 weeks:

Dianthus scardicus - seeds from Pavelka (collected: 2200m, Sar Planina, Macedonia; dwarf cushions, glacuous lvs, almost stemless solitary pink flws, cold stoney slopes, rare and good); germ. in 1 month at room temp:

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

Schier
Schier's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-02-16

cohan wrote:

I have a dilemma- I have a number of seeds (received in winter, and I wasn`t organised to get them sown soon enough to give warm indoors and then cold outside) considered short lived and requiring warm/cold/warm germination... what should I do with them? I do not have a fridge I can put them in, so my only options for sowing are indoors now, warm or cool, followed by summer outside etc, or put them outside now (where there will be frost till the end of May, presumably.. and days warm to chilly depending on weather and siting)..
I don't remember everything there is to sow in this category, Aconitum and Dicentra, maybe Corydalis.. maybe others...

Cohan, I usually end up with a bunch of these too, I'm always disgusted with myself that this happens but it does! Anyway, I normally end up putting them outside, and if it's something I really want badly, I may try a few seeds indoors in the warm as well.
I don't have a dedicated fridge I can use either, just a few spots way in the back of always in use fridge for maybe 3 - 4 small pots that I have to watch like a hawk that no one tips them over! So, outside they go.

Faith S.   Gardening in central Alberta climate, from min. -44 c to max. 36+ C. ( not often! ) Avg. annual precip. ~ 48 cm  Altitude ~ 820 m. Have "frying pan gardens" up around the house, and also some woodland areas down the pa

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

Lori, I keep wondering where you are going to put all those new treasures ;)  Seeing all of these plants at the early germination stage, with first leaves, is most educational, a resource unto itself.

Not knowing much about Anemonopsis macrophylla, I've been frustrated by the fact I never get any seedlings in the garden, even when I help things along by scratching in the seed out in the garden around the mother plant, which has proved so effective for many other plants I do this with.  Last summer when the seed was ready, I harvested some of it and sowed the seed in a flat, top dressed with decomposed pink bark mulch, keep in shade and just moist for summer and fall, and left outside all winter, and I'm so pleased to finally have a fine crop of seedlings coming up.  Now, only 4-5 years until full sized :o

Googling this plant, I'm surprised by the wikipedia link that says "As with many other members of the Ranunculaceae, seedlings of Anemonopsis form only cotyledons in their first season; the first true leaves form the year after germination".  I wasn't aware of that.  Can anyone comment, is it true that's all I'll get this year is pairs of cotyledons and no true leaves?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anemonopsis

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

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

Two years ago I received a lots of fresh Trillium seed in mid-late summer, over 20 different varieties.  I expanded some of my beds outdoors with the purpose of sowing all the seed outside directly in the garden.  I was hoping, since the seed was fresh, that I could get accelerated seed germination the first year (hypogeal germination, followed by true cotyledon germination) all in one season, which can happen.  The following spring I got only a few seedlings, out of an estimated 2000-2500 seeds sown. 

This year is the 2nd spring for the sown trillium seed, thankfully many are now showing good germination.  The following photo (sorry, not very good quality) shows a view where I marked the location for seed sown of Trillium pusillum v. alabamicum.  There is one bigger leaf, it appeared the first spring.  But looking closely, there are about 20 fresh seedlings appearing.  Will probably need to wait another 4-5 years before flowering.

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

AmyO
AmyO's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-06

McDonough wrote:

Now, only 4-5 years until full sized :o

Googling this plant, I'm surprised by the wikipedia link that says "As with many other members of the Ranunculaceae, seedlings of Anemonopsis form only cotyledons in their first season; the first true leaves form the year after germination".  I wasn't aware of that.  Can anyone comment, is it true that's all I'll get this year is pairs of cotyledons and no true leaves?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anemonopsis

Mark...I sowed seed from my plants 2 years ago, and I can say for sure that now in this second year is when I am seeing true leaves on them. Now if the red squirrels & chipmunck would leave the pots alone I'll be all set with many plants in a few years time!

Amy Olmsted
Hubbardton, VT, Zone 4

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