A left click on your mouse will give you a larger picture.
Seed planting is done here at Chattanooga Daylilies, I finished this morning. I would estimate approximately 4500 seeds were planted, unless my math is off, which is entirely possible. If I get my usual 90% plus germination, I will end up with 4000 seedlings to plant/transplant. It is so much fun to try and visualize the outcome of a certain cross. For instance, I have some seeds planted of Melanie Mason's H. Cherries Jubilee X H. Camelot Red, a 2011 introduction from Jeff Salter. I can see a 32" heavily ruffled blood red with a vibrant green throat and to top it all off, it would be dormant. What fun!
Anyway, here is an image of all the trays on one of the growing benches in the greenhouse. I have positioned them where the exhaust fan pulls outside air across the trays, so the temperature should be about the outside temperature. Notice I said "should." There is a shade cloth on the greenhouse which should help.
Above, you can see all the trays on the growing bench. To the left, there are 12 No. 1020 trays that have a six compartment insert with each compartment being about 5" wide and 7" long. In a previous post, I showed that each of these trays was scored with four rows and an estimated 12 seeds per row depending on the number of seeds in the cross, some more, some less. To the right, there are 20 trays with 50 2" X 2" X 3" peat pots in each tray, so there should be a total of 1000 small pots. I am hoping that my germination rate in these pots will be better than what I have experienced before. It is planned that these peat pots will be planted in trade 1 gallon pots which will be grown in the greenhouse. Hopefully, I can get them to bloom in 9 months doing it this way. Whatever happens, all seedlings will be transplanted to the field in April 2011 for growing out and selection.
The image to the left is of the growing bench taken from the end with the 2" X 2" peat pots. I can hardly wait until I can post you a picture showing all green instead of potting soil brown.
Above, if you left click and enlarge the picture, you can see some of the germinated seedlings from seeds planted on 7/29/2010. They are really starting to pop. Planted in the trays above, I have gotten as high as 95% germination which I attribute to being able to keep the moisture level fairly even throughout the tray. Normally I don't start them until September and then I will put an electric blanket covered in plastic under the trays with the temperature set on high. The bottom heat really makes them pop. With the greenhouse as hot as it is, I didn't think I needed the bottom heat this year. We shall see!
To the left, I show what the heating blanket looks like when I use it. I lay down a layer of newspaper, then the blanket, then another layer of newspaper, then a plastic sheet which will, naturally, keep it dry when watering the seedlings. The heat is set on high. I have been asked if I were not afraid that set on high, it would be too hot. Normally, it is used to cover a human, and it doesn't burn them. I have also been asked, "Why an electric blanket, and not the electric mats used for that purpose?" Have you priced those mats? A mat the size for one tray can run as much as $50.00. The electric blanket . . . free from a friend.
If you are still reading, I appreciate you checking out our blog.
Exciting things happen to those who hybridize daylilies!
Life is very, very good. Remember, when the bloom is gone, you still have your daylily friends. Plan to attend a daylily function somewhere this winter.