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shellyga

Seed starters chapter 2

shellyga
14 years ago

I thought it would be fun to share your pictures of your seed starting methods - something to while away the long hours of winter.. I adopted the cup method we talked about on the last thread and here is a picture of the ones started as of today. A few show the green sprouts - IF my picture wasn't blurry - but the others have seeds that are showing the white root protruding - hoping to see some green with them any day now. So-- anyone else out there care to share their pictures? I am planning to keep a photo diary of these to see how they progress--pictures about every 2 weeks or so.

{{gwi:990413}}

Shelly

Comments (51)

  • berrytea4me
    14 years ago

    I just won my first dl seeds on the LA auction today. Woohoo! Can't wait to see if they will be as beautiful as their parents. More auction bids closing tomorrow.

    I also bought some of the 16oz plastic cups (mine are red so hope that doesn't change results?) and some disposable baking tins to go under them.

    I plan to use regular potting soil with Soil Moist crystals as I have a tough time keeping even water in this dry climate and that works best with my houseplants like schlumberga.

    I also plan to use the homemade liquid fertilizer (beer, epsom salts, and ammonia) that I've been using on my houseplants- it shoots them into instant new growth and flowers if they have been lacking them. I read on someone's DL culture page that they suggest using a similar home brew for their DL to boost growth/bloom.

    I have a shelf with a growing heat-pad to get them started and grow-lights that I plan to use.

    Any and all tips/suggestions welcome as this is my very first try with dl seed.

  • virgo45
    14 years ago

    Hi Shelly and berrytea4me: I have been using the 16 oz. cups (also red) for years and they work great. I plant the seeds directly in them and do not transplant them until they go in the garden about three months later. Unnecessary transplanting of the seedlings can slow their growth. Shelly I would suggest that you put at least one hole or better two in the bottom of the cup as over watering/moisture is probably the number one killer of seedlings. They must have good drainage to prevent rot. Regular potting soil can have unfriendly characters in it so I have always used pro mix to start my seeds, with excellent results. I have been told that fertilizer is not required for the first month as the seed its self provides sufficient energy for the seedling to grow for the first month. Just my experience so check it out with others. Good luck with your seeds.

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  • shellyga
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    I looked for the soil discussed on the other thread but couldn't find it..so instead I am using a seed starting formula put out by Miracle Grow.. I do have holes punched in the cups.. planning on more bottom watering once they send out greenery and get started. I also am using a fan once they get up a little size as I have heard that makes them stronger??
    Shelly

  • Nancy Barginear
    14 years ago

    Shelly - I used the Miracle Grow seed starter mix and had excellent results. At first, I bought a pro mix from either Home Depot or Lowe's, but it was very heavy. The sprouted seeds did not grow well in it.

    If you have an old long kitchen fork that you can live without in your kitchen, I suggest holding the tines over a gas flame until heated to easily punch holes in those plastic cups. It also works better to punch the holes on the side around the bottom instead of the bottoms. As well as keeping the pans half full of water, it's best to mist the top often until you see the first green shoots.

    I read somewhere here at the forum that the fan helps prevent damping off.

    Now, if I can get my DH to rig a contraption that will keep those tall styrofoam cups from tipping over so easily, I'd rather use those because 1) they give the DLs a lot of room for that long tap root and 2) it's a snap to punch holes in them.

    Nancy

  • berrytea4me
    14 years ago

    Virgo,
    Yes, I plan to put holes in the cups. Good to know red will be OK. I'll hold out on the fertilizer for a bit too.

    What is the texture/consistency of the pro-mix you use? Most I've seen would dry out too quickly here. The issue we have here is that it's desert climate so extremely arid. As a result I get both over-water (due to potting mix oversaturating) right after watering and then over-dry before I can manage to water again. That's where the soil moist crystals come in. They wick extra water out of the soil then release it slowly for even moisture between waterings. Prevents both extremes. It's proven so well that the local nurseries have started selling mix with the crystals pre-measured in. Has worked wonders to let me grow things indoors here that I killed repeatedly before.

    If I could find a more sterile potting mix but about the same water retention of standard potting mix I think it would be the best of both worlds. I've heard you can sterilize potting mix in the microwave but have not tried it.

  • lilynut
    14 years ago

    As folks can see there are many ways to go about growing indoor seedlings. I don't think anyone here is saying grow my way.

    I know others that use Miracle Grow soil and have good results. Tried red tomato plastic under some last year, but didn't notice any difference. They say the color red helps development of certain plants. Doing 1/2 of the seedlings watering from the bottom this year. Much easier than watering each plant. I start using Peters with micro nutrients at 2-3 weeks, since I use time release (9 month mixed in Pro-Mix with water jell) now I only water with Peters once a month. Once a month I also give them a drink of Super Thrive. Don't know if it helps, but I feel good about it!

    The trick with Pro-Mix is not to pack it too tight in the cups. The soil will settle about 1/4" when I water the sprouted seed in. Pack it tight and young seedlings do have a hard time getting started...not only from "heavy" soil, but also the surface will stay way too wet and/or there isn't enough air pockets for the roots.

    There have been enough ideas here that anyone should be able to put together a plan and have it work.

    This photo is of the 4 week old seedlings. They are an average 7" high and 3/8 - 1/2" diameter.

    The next is of the 3 week olds, which average 5" and 1/4".

    The 2 week olds. About 4" and 1/8"

    The days old to 1 week.

    The seedling room in our basement. The 4th year of development into an easier setup.

    Cheers,
    Bruce and Tanya

    Here is a link that might be useful: Our Garden and Seedling Website (updated)

  • shellyga
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    thanks for sharing again Bruce and Tanya.. I like seeing your basement shots. I don't have that much space - YET lol. I am using a small portion of our guest room and an old converted wire entertainment unit. I have three shelves about 48 inches long and 18 inches wide. The way I have my cups situated now with their meat tray water pans, I am limited to about 60 seedlings per shelf. I am going to try rearranging them with the larger foil drip pans and that should increase the shelf capacity quite a bit. I know it probably doesn't sound like a lot but I am planning for about 300 winter started seeds. I will plant about 300 more about the middle/end of March for the greenhouse. Mine is unheated but by that time of the year, temperatures should be warm enough here to support small plants. Depending on how things go this year, I wnat to place a second shelving unit in place for winter 2008-- we will see.
    I am enjoying all this discussion. Will be nice to track seedlings through this cold time.
    Nancy - have you started any of your seeds yet?
    Wayne - be sure to keep us updated on sprout sightings.. LOL

    Shelly

  • virgo45
    14 years ago

    Hi Again: To solve the moisture problem I use sandwich bags placed over the top of the cup and held on with an elastic band. Pull the side of the bag out and blow air into the bag, it creates an atrium effect for each cup and holds the moisture in. Sometimes the bag will deflate if the lights are close and cause a lot of heat. You can blow the bag up again or just leave it until they germinate. The idea is to keep the moisture in and stop it from evaporating. I take the bag off shortly after they germinate and then water from the bottom only. I also plant up to ten seeds in one cup, this saves a lot of space and doesn't seem to effect growth. Plastic knives are great to identify the cross. Most crosses I buy on the LA are 5 seeds plus bonus if you are lucky to get the same cross. This keeps one cross together and helps in keeping records. I also moisten the pro mix before placing it in the cup and spray the top after placing the seeds in the cup. I agree that the pro mix should not be packed into the cup, it will create problems for the seeds in sending their roots down. I use the lead end of a pencil to make the hole for the seed and the rubber end to force the seed into place.

  • daredevil
    14 years ago

    It's great fun to see how other people start their seeds indoors. Thanks so much for sharing!

    I start over 5000 seedlings all at once under seven 40 watt regular shoplight fixtures. My objective is not to try to get earlier bloom, but rather to avoid time wasted by planting seeds that won't germinate or will die due to albinism or partial albinism. This milk carton, with only a 4" square surface area for planting, has 54 or 55 seedlings in it. This was a long cross of 272 seeds, and they occupied 5 such milk cartons. I presoaked the seeds for a week on February 2 (my Groundhog's Day celebration) and then planted both the germinating and not-yet germinating seeds. The photo was taken on February 21, 2007 and the seedlings were moved outdoors in mid April (a few weeks before last frost), then sat around in full sun until they got into the ground in early August. After weeding out the runts (which I'm learning never amount to much), I planted 216 from this cross.

    Because I'm selling plants in spring, plus finally making beds around buildings after living here for 3 years, plus battling poison ivy, wild roses, wild grapes and all matter of thorny brambles and weeds, I've concluded that I cannot get my seedlings into the ground in Spring anymore. When I lived in the middle of the city of Niagara Falls, starting the seeds was part of my New Year's celebration. Since I moved to Burt, I switched to Groundhog's Day. I'll have to find a holiday to celebrate in March.

  • shellyga
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Daredevil,
    Do you leave them in that same container during their outside time from April to August? How much of a challenge is it to untangle the roots? In the few community pots I had last year - not more than 12 per pot - it was a challenge to keep from damaging the roots. I am still at the stage that I keep every plant that survives - runts and all - but I am no where near 5000 seedlings. I rearranged my trays and found that my earlier thought of 60 in the original trays seen above was unrealistic. I now have aluminum pans on the shelves that will accomodate 60 individual cups per shelf. I have three shelves but will be using one or one and 1/2 for community cups of just three seeds each. My master plan is to have 400-500 healthy seedlings to plant out around April 15th - my tax present to myself..lol.
    Shelly

  • berrytea4me
    14 years ago

    Daredevil,
    Wow, a week seems a long time to soak any seed w/o developing fungal infection. Do you put anything in the water to prevent rot? If so what and how much?

    I'm totally new to this and still waiting for my first seeds to arrive from the LA auction so am interested in any germination tips too.

    BTW, Shelly, congrats on your 5 for 5 germination! forgot to mention that in the other thread.

  • berrytea4me
    14 years ago

    OK, so I did my homework, read the seed starting threads. Answered some of my own questions. I see some people use 1:8 peroxide in their germinating water, others don't, some change the solution every few days to prevent rot.

    I have another question though. With other plants I've used a germination method where instead of soaking in water I put the seeds between layers of a water soaked paper towel (squeeze out extra so it's not drippy but still saturated) and store in snack baggies until germination. The rest is much the same as soaking in water method. Much easier to store & label than containers with water. How wet to keep it depends on the density of the seeds.

    Has anyone tried this with DL seed? Success or no?

  • mthorebgarden
    14 years ago

    Hello.

    I have raised annuals from seed for years, but this is my first year trying out daylilies (from my own crosses) here at home. My question is this. If started indoors, how delicate are the seedlings? I always gently harden off my annuals on warm spring days, and always bring them in if it is going to be cool at night. How tough are the daylily seedlings? How low a temperature can they handle outside while still in their pots/cups? Will they be softies this spring because they were started inside, or will their genetics allow them to handle cold (not freezing) nights outside once they have adjusted to being outside?

    Thanks in advance! Jodi

  • shive
    14 years ago

    Berrytea,
    The damp papertowel/plastic bag method is the only one I use for starting daylily seeds now. Two years ago I did experiments with planting directly, soaking in water, soaking in the water-hydrogen peroxide mix, and the papertowel method. I got the highest germination rates, and the least mold, from the papertowel method. Last year I did all my seeds that way and had 96% germination.

    Debra

  • berrytea4me
    14 years ago

    Jodi- great questions! I look forward to see how those with experience reply. My bet is that it may depend somewhat on the hardiness of the parents- whether they are DOR, SEV or EV. EV I've read tend to be less hardy to cold but some turn out to be SEV when grown in cooler climates. I think there is a lot of work that could be done with DL in the area of classifying them for hardiness. But maybe this only plays into flowering & winter hardiness- not hardening seedlings off.

    Debra- Yeah! Thanks for confirming that my favorite germination technique will be successful w/DL. I may try a little h. peroxide in the water as that makes sense in preventing bacteria/molds. It can't hurt anyway.

  • opnjmprs
    14 years ago

    I have used the paper towel method also. I soak my paper towels in distilled water that has a little "Damp Off" added to it. I almost never see mold when using the "Damp Off"

  • opnjmprs
    14 years ago

    Sorry for the error in my former post. I use a few drops of "NO-DAMP" in the distilled water. Again apologies, it's been a long day here on the farm today

  • lilynut
    14 years ago

    Daredevil,

    Interesting way for production of seedlings with the least space wasted getting them ready for the garden and also for no waste of garden space. We'll save that for future use, but for now we want to get as many first years blooms as we can.

    Berrytea,

    We've tried numerous ways just as you and shive. The best for us is to use coffee filters (dollar store) cut in 1/2. They don't fall apart so easily like paper towels. We use the 8 to 1 water to peroxide also. That is what works for us the best. Peroxide is supposed to help germination by adding extra oxygen to the seed.

    Jodi,

    Usually we just put ours outside in the shade for a week then put in the ground. Usually this is in mid April in the PGH, PA area. Usually by that time the temps are in the high 30's to low 40's F. Last year we were pressed for time and we put approx. 300 seedlings in the ground without any hardening off. They didn't seem effected much at all. Some leaves didn't make it, but being we use the beer cup method the plant isn't disturbed. They grew new leaves rapidly. We don't know what would happen to seedlings that you have to remove and seperate if you use the shoe storage boxes that some use.

    We are by no means "professionals"! We are constantly learning and adapting our methods from others experience.

    Best,
    Bruce and Tanya

    Here is a link that might be useful: Our Garden and Seedling Website (updated)

  • Nancy Barginear
    14 years ago

    When soaking seeds in distilled water and hydrogen peroxide, I recommend putting them in a dark closet. I put mine in a tupperware container with lid and wrap the container up in a towel in case I have to open the closet for something. I had only 7 seeds fail to germinate out of 500+.

    I started checking them daily after 5 days, and would remove those that had begun to sprout, returning the rest back to the closet. Some seeds take a long time to germinate, so don't give up on them.

    Nancy

  • berrytea4me
    14 years ago

    Bruce & Tanya,
    You've got some beautiful seedlings. Thanks for sharing! I started out keeping mental notes on which to ask about but soon found there are some on each page so didn't keep them straight. Love the ones w/ toothy edges, wide crimped edges and you've got some with really nice color/eye combinations. Oh, and you had two with pinched petals that were really interesting form. Were those out of a UFO cross?

    Did you find any particular parent's that produced more keepers for you? I'm trying to research the parents of seeds that I'm buying on the auctions to make sure at least one in each cross has proven track of producing reg. quality offspring but some are just "pretty on pretty" as Ida Munson was once quoted.

    Great tip on using coffee filters. I've got some lying around that I don't use anymore. Good to know about peroxide adding oxygen too. That makes sense for both improved germination & keeping bacteria/rot down.

    Nancy, great germination rate! That's amazing.

    opnjmprs, thanks for tip about "No Damp" will try that if molds become an issue.

    Now I'm really anxious for my first seeds to get here!

  • nikki42
    14 years ago

    Hi,

    I was wondering if I should be feeding/fertilizing my seedlings and if so what nutrients should I be adding? Is a general purpose fertilizer okay, or perhaps a seaweed feed?

    Most of the fertilizer brands that you have all mentioned in various threads aren't available in the UK, so a guide to the nutrients required would be more helpful to us UK growers, rather than specific/favourite brands.

    Thanks,

    Nikki

  • opnjmprs
    14 years ago

    Well I have my seed starting under way now. I had planned to wait until February, but decided to start now after checking my seed bins last night and found some seeds of a 'Roses and Gold' cross had sprouted. So far I have about 100 seeds in damp towels and baggies and about 900+ to go. I hope I can get another batch bagged tomorrow.

    Linda

  • shellyga
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    We will enjoy hearing about the progress of your seedlings Linda. I am getting everything assembled for more cup planting this weekend. I should have a bunch ready to meet the dirt by then. I'm hovering already..lol
    Shelly

  • lilynut
    14 years ago

    Nikki,

    Did you get my email? Thought I stated the N-P-K of the fertilizers I use. Well the Time release Fertilizer is 13-13-13, if you don't use it; which I didn't our first year, then we had good results watering twice a month with one time using all purpose 20-20-20 and the other with 10-52-12 bloom formula...both water soluble and mixed for outdoor plants. The 20-20-20 for vegetative growth and 10-52-12 for root growth.

    berrytea4me,

    Thanks for the compliments. Finally our efforts have produced some headway. Only thing is there are only 2-3 of them that we feel are intro quality. As one hybridizer told us...put a brown bag over the bloom and look at the plant! Those 2-3 have atleast 4 way branching with either a terminal Y or W and no less than 25 buds. Some of them did meet the BC and BR we want to have, but either the flowers interfered with each other, were top budded and/or with not enough space between branches.

    We were looking at the professional hybridizers websites lately and many are look alikes of past or anothers plants. Others have 2-3 way branching with 10-12 buds. We want to have unique flowers with a good plant under it. There are a number of them we will work with. I'm narrowing things down as time goes on and have decided to work with the pastel color with patterns/etched eyes and toothy stuff. Tanya is working on fragrance and long blooming combined with instant rebloom. Yea we know it's a dream...that could come true. *-)

    Linda,

    Your going to be a busy gal! *-)

    Bruce and Tanya

    Here is a link that might be useful: Our Garden and Seedling Website (updated)

  • daredevil
    14 years ago

    Shelly- Yep, the seedlings are kept in the milk cartons until they are planted in the ground. The roots are all a tangled mass and have to be pulled apart, but grasping the small crown while doing this keeps the fat storage roots intact. When I lived in the city and was able to get the seedlings into the ground by the end of May, more than 75% always bloomed the following year, so it seems having some of their roots ripped off doesn't set them back much.

    Soaking: I make a soaking solution of I tablespoon of liquid bleach (listing 5.25% or 6% Sodium hypochlorite as the active ingredient) in one gallon of tap water. I used to soak the seeds, in covered jars, until at least one in the cross germinated. If there was no germination after 2 weeks, I'd put the jars in the fridge for a week, then back to room temperature. One "rare" cross of a registered diploid X a tetraploid took 69 days for one of the 2 seeds to germinate; the second never did. I now only soak the seeds for one week at most, or not at all, as changing the soaking water if it becomes cloudy and moving jars around takes time.

    I have noticed that seeds collected in dry years have a better germination rate than those from damp years.

  • virgo45
    14 years ago

    Najoba:
    Interested in your comments concerning putting soaking seeds in the dark. Have you or someone else tried them in the light and dark with better results in the dark? I have never tried them in total darkness, always left them in the fridge door which would expose them to light quite often as well as cool temperatures. I will try you method this year with some seeds but would appreciate your comments on the above.

  • shive
    14 years ago

    Virgo - Supposedly the roots are stronger if started in the dark. I don't know if that's true, but I always start my seeds in a darkened shoebox.

    Debra

  • berrytea4me
    14 years ago

    Daredevil, thanks for stopping by to share your knowledge/experience. Interesting how tough dl really are even though we try to baby our prizes :) And good to know we don't have to baby them so much.

    Niki,
    You might be interested in this link. Bill's Hemorocallis
    Bill shares a home made fertilizer recipe for DL. It's very similar to one I've been using on my houseplants with OUTSTANDING results. I mean things jump into new growth and/or bloom w/in a week of their first dose. I picked my recipe up off the cactus/succulents forum it's common ingredients (beer, ammonia, epsom salts). It's intended for epiphelium but works on everything I've tried it on so I figure I'll give it a go w/my future DL seedlings. Would be hard to mix your own in a large operation but not too bad for a smaller endeavor like mine.

    Linda, Wow, you ARE going to be busy! Good luck with it. Look forward to following your progress.

    Bruce & Tanya,
    It's facinating to me to read what others are striving for in their hybridizing. I think often what one person views as "defects" turns out to be what another is looking for. Sometimes people working on completely different goals are actually complimenting each other's work. Brian Mahieu made the point in another thread by using the example of breeding for talls while everyone else has bred "tall" out of the genetic pool. He found himself going back to species crosses to bring those genes back in. People put value weights on pretty flower, vigorous, cold hardy, length of bloom season, nice foliage/scapes, ease to multiply, fertility, size, etc...but each person's give/take on each of those is different. When it comes to registration I believe you have to think outside of yourself to what someone else would want to grow in their garden and what their priorities might be for those same characteristics... I personally would not mind having a similar pretty flower to one that's already intro'd if it's on a plant that is improved for my particular garden use (and visa v.).... but someone else may not want that at all. Interesting, will take some time to ponder.

  • thelwig55
    14 years ago

    I just started to grow DL seedlings, My first batch, have started to grow and out of 18 cups I have 9 seedlings within a week so I imagine more will sprout. They are just a mix of seeds I bought, but still excited to see them in a year or so. I bought some seed crosses from LA and wanted to see if I ran into problems with the unknowns, before planting the good ones.

  • Nancy Barginear
    14 years ago

    Virgo,

    The first thing I did was refrigerate all my seeds in containers filled with a mixture of distilled water and hydrogen peroxide for a minimum of three weeks.

    I found the information about the dark closet from someone here at GW. I tried this suggested method, because the few seeds that I had previously planted directly in potting soil after removing them from the refrigerator did not germinate. The closet was very dark and warmer in the summer than the rest of our house, as there is no AC duct in there. To my surprise, the seeds started sprouting at 5-6 days. I was very excited about this.

    I developed a little system as a result, which I will mention here. Every morning, first thing, as soon as I woke up, I'd grab my cup of coffee and the container of seeds. I placed a dark colored bath towel on the table and a bowl. I'd pour the seeds into a strainer over the bowl. Once the water drained out, I'd dump them all on the towel. I could easily see which ones were beginning to sprout, so I'd carefully lift them up and put them in a small bowl with distilled water, so they wouldn't dry out until I could plant them.

    After I had removed all the sprouted seeds, I put the batch back into the container, along with a fresh solution of distilled water and hydrogen peroxide. I wrapped the container back up and put it back in the closet.

    Then I'd run go plant the sprouted seeds in plastic cups full of well-moistened Miracle Grow seed starter. I'd make just a small depression in the "soil" with my little finger, and gently put the seed in it. I'd cover the seed up with fine vermiculite, and set the cups in an aluminum foil baking pan, half-full of water. I set the pans out on a covered porch and kept all the cups misted until they sprouted. After I started putting them in the closet, I had very good results with germination.

    Once they had sprouted, I moved them outside to a table in a partly shady spot. Once they developed three leaves, I began fertilizing them with a half-strength solution of Peters every 3-4 days.

    There will always be a few seedlings that turn out albino. These will eventually die.

    I might add that we transplanted all the seedlings to our field bed in late September, about 4-6" from each other. All of the seedlings grew and thrived. I got worried that they were getting a little crowded, so I moved about half of them to a new bed, where they had plenty of room for growth. About that time, (Nov. 27) my daughter became critically ill. I immediately packed my bags and flew to CA, only to return a couple of days ago.

    Today, I went to check on the daylilies, and found the crowded seedlings growing like mad and looking ever so vigorous. And those that got moved to the new, well-fertilized bed? Bah! They looked just about the same. I probably stunted their growth somewhat by moving them again. The next time I plant seedlings, I'll make sure they are planted where...

  • virgo45
    14 years ago

    Nancy:
    Thanks for the information. Your system makes a lot of sense as it mocks mother nature. Always looking for new and better ways to do things so I will try your method this spring and post the results.

  • opnjmprs
    14 years ago

    Well my first seedlings for '08 have surfaced, and 2 more in that cup should be up shortly. The fun is just beginning!! I did start some seeds today using Nancy's method. I just want to see if that method works better than the one I have been using. Here is a pix of my little ones.

  • shellyga
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Congrats on your new babies.. I am taking a few seeds and trying just about every method too.. nothing like seeing a bit of green to fight off winter blues.
    Shelly

  • ladylovingdove
    14 years ago

    ok I joined the crowd and got me some red plastic cups. I still had some seeds in the fridge so I put wet cotton balls in the plastic bags with them. I started this on the first of the year so I will remember how old they are easily. Some have sprouted already and are in their cups with some potting soil I already had. It is nice here for the next few days, so I put them in a plastic tub and they are outside in the sun. I will bring them in at night and see how this works for me. Hopefully some will bloom this fall. On cloudy cold days I will put them under a shop light inside. This is an experiment.

    Dot

  • berrytea4me
    14 years ago

    First seeds arrived today!

    I'm going to stop at the store on my way home from work to pick up some distilled water....and get started..Woohoo!

    I hope this isn't too early for my very arid zone 5...sometimes you don't want to keep things in the house too long here...run the risk of spider mites or killing them from stress of getting dried out. But there's no way I can wait until FEB!

    opnjmprs, congratulations! thanks for posting your pix.

    Dot, wish we had your warm weather. It's supposed to snow again tonight and I haven't seen the ground since Thanksgiving...very unusual weather year. At least the temps are finally above zero even at night.

  • opnjmprs
    14 years ago

    I had to pot a lot more germinated seeds today. Dragon Fang crosses and Larry's Obsession crosses seem to be germinating VERY quickly. For what ever reason, who knows???? All I care about at this point is the rate of germination and that these crosses are goin' gang busters. I love this time of year. One can hope....one can dream. We have been breeding horses for many years and an old saying goes "A man will never kill himself....as long as a mare's in foal". In other words "Hope springs eternal". I always find it hard to wait until the next years seedlings show their faces.

  • zengeos
    14 years ago

    Opnjmprs

    What lights are you growing yours under?

    I am just starting off in seed starting and haven't yet received my first seeds. I'm in the process of building a little grow stand, and picked up 2 48" light fixtures and a pair of daylight bulbs and a pair of cool whites, figuring I could mix them. Should I use soft whites?

    Mark-

  • opnjmprs
    14 years ago

    Mark

    I have (2) 3 tier growing racks. One is equipped with SunLite T-8 color balanced tubes (3) tubes over each tray. The other one use to belong to my sister, and I haven't replaced the lamps on that one yet, so I don't know what she installed in the unit....just know that it works. I also have a metal halide light unit which is comprised of 2 175W 10,000K Hamilton bulbs and supplemented with (2)URI blue tubes (which are more blue in spectrum). I only use that unit if I'm hard pressed for space, because it produces a TON of heat. I think that unit will end up in the greenhouse we are planning to build this summer

  • lilynut
    14 years ago

    opnjmprs,

    The 10K Metal halide bulbs with the flourescence blue lights are what I use on my 125 Gal. Salt Water Aquarium. 8-)

    Better for vegetation would be 6500k bulbs. 10k bulbs simulates Sun light approx. 10ft under water. Better for corals than for green stuff. Yes they produce tremendous amounts of heat. Raises the water temps. 8 degrees plus, so believe it or not it makes the Aquarist put in a water cooler to keep the temps down!

    As for the fast growth...some do some don't. Haven't figured that out yet, but seems dormants take a longer time to get going. That's not a scientific assumption though.

    Dragon Fang seeds....I'm jealous. *-)

    Here is a link that might be useful: Our Garden and Seedling Website

  • zengeos
    14 years ago

    OK.. so...I have 10p0 seeds coming so far, with bids on 90 more. Is that a good number to start off with?

    I'm hoping that I can get at least 50-100 viable plants out of these,

    Reasonable??

  • lilynut
    14 years ago

    100 seeds? You should get atleast 80 if not more. Unless you get a cross that just doesn't work even though the seeds are hard. We've had a few of these last year. The seeds just didn't germinate; even after many months. We finally gave up after July. (8 months after trying)

    Out of 442 seeds I myself germinated (Tanya did another 400) I have 427 that are growing strongly now. FWIW

  • davemichigan
    14 years ago

    Wow, I just found this thread. Thank you all for sharing! I am new and this is going to help me a lot.

    I have a question for daredevil (or anyone who has this information). You said, "the seedlings were moved outdoors in mid April (a few weeks before last frost), then sat around in full sun until they got into the ground in early August."

    Do you take them inside if you know there is frost coming? Or are daylily seedlings hardy enough for brief frost?

    Thanks again, all!

  • Julia WV (6b)
    13 years ago

    Bumping this up for those of us interested in seed starting.
    Another interesting thread.

    Julia

  • joshuaslc
    13 years ago

    Bumped it starting time again

  • alameda/zone 8/East Texas
    12 years ago

    This is a very interesting thread. If anyone has other tips or photos to share, it would be appreciated by beginners like myself who are just starting to grow seeds.
    Thanks!
    Judith

  • marricgardens
    11 years ago

    I have spent the past week rereading some of the posts, glad I did. Last year was my first year hybridizing and seed starting. I just placed the pots on a windowsill and had about 60-70% germination. I didn't think that to bad for a beginner. After rereading this thread, I decided to try the paper towel method, also keeping them in the dark until germination. The only room we have that's really dark is the cold room. Does it matter what temperature the seeds are being stored at? I've already started some seeds this year, had a lot of albinos (from seeds given to me from a friend), but there are some that haven't germinated yet. I was thinking of moving them to the cold room to see if that would help speed germination. Another idea would be to wrap them in a towel to provide complete darkness and put them under a shelf in the sunroom. Any ideas? Thanks, Marg

  • virgo45
    11 years ago

    Marg: I have started alot of seeds both in light and in the dark and it didn't make any difference. The seeds germinated at about the same rate using both methods. If your cold room doesn't freeze they should be fine. I use the fridge which is probably around the same temp as your cold room.

    Davemichigan: Seedlings can survive a light frost if they are around 6 weeks to 2 months old. I wouldn't want to try putting younger seeds out as the root system may not be developed enought. I left mine out overnight a few years ago and in the morning I had to dig them out of the snow. Didn't bother the seedlings at all, they just kept on growing.

  • Nancy Barginear
    11 years ago

    I just wanted to add a few comments about the red plastic cups. I used to use them, and heated up an old kitchen fork over the gas burner in the kitchen to burn in the holes around the sides at the bottom. Fumes weren't very pleasant, though, and when there were a lot of them, I got rather impatient standing there at the stove for a long time. Maybe some of you know an easier way?

    Then I started using the white styrofoam drinking cups. You can buy a huge box of them cheaply at Sam's Wholesale Club. So much easier to poke holes - no fumes, they just poke easily with an old kitchen fork.

    There are advantages to using the red cups: they are more stable and don't tip like the styrofoam cups. This is a definitie plus!

    Advantages of white cups:

    1) no time-comsuming poking of holes and no chemical fumes from burning plastic; and 2) very easy to write any amount of information on the sides with a indelible Sharpie pen; very economical when purchased in bulk. Big disadvanage: they are very tippy, and when one turns over in a pan of water - it could mean a disaster for seeds. You have to be very careful with them, and make sure the potting soil is very well saturated before planting the seeds in them. I am guilty of uttering quite a few bad words when they tip over. If anyone on this forum can invent a means of keeping them from accidentally tipping over, I'll be forever obliged!

    I also make a little mark on the top rim of the cup to show where I planted each seed. If I plant one in the middle, I draw a little circle on the side of the cup with a dot in it to show me that I also have a seed planted there. I do this because sometimes I just have 2-3 seeds planted there, sometimes 6-7, sometimes more than one cross (but that's not a good idea).

    I'd also like to include another little tip for those of you who will grow your seedlings in pots: if you live in a hot climate like ours, plant them in white pots only. If you don't have any, paint your black ones white, inside and out.

    Last year I acquired a number of large nursery pots, black, white and rust-colored. I even got big blue tubs at Lowe's. Planted loads of seedlings in all of them, and to my amazement, all seedlings in white pots far surpassed the others in plant growth and quality. The worst performing ones were those that were planted in the huge blue tubs. Most of them died. I think the potting soil had sunk too far below the top of the tub rim. Not sure though.

    The phenomenal growth rate of those planted in white pots so impressed me that from this day forward, all my daylily pots will be either painted white or white to begin with.

    Of course I live in southeast Texas, and our summers are terribly hot. This may not make a difference if you live in cooler climates.

    Several of our forum members have concurred with me on the results of seedlings grown in white pots that I have posted here at this forum in last year's...

  • swontgirl_z5a
    11 years ago

    I use white Styrofoam cups too and they do fall over every once and a while:-( But I think the styrofoam provides a bit of insulation when you are hardening them off and just helps to keep the temperature consistent all the time. As well when you are getting them used to the sun they aren't frying either.
    Debbie

  • Julia WV (6b)
    11 years ago

    Nancy: I use the red plastic cups and use a nail to make the holes in the bottom. I just have 2 cups together(one over other) for stability, puncture the bottom (not the underside)in 3 places. I make sure the punctures are at the very bottom of the cup. Just repeat keeping 2 cups together and puncture. I have found that the 3 holes are more than adequate for me when watering from the bottom.

    We have BJ's here (like Costco or Sams clubs)and buy these cups in bulk. Usually costs around $5-$6.00.

    Julia

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