I went out to the greenhouse this morning and noticed that Jean had placed the wreath on the door. This is a long standing tradition here at Chattanooga Daylilies. When we built the first greenhouse in 1993, this wreath showed up on the door and I was told, "This is your Christmas present, your birthday present, your anniversary present, and all other presents until this wreath does not show up on the greenhouse door". Well, this is the seventheenth year it has appeared, so I guess it will be at least another year until I get a present for something.
In August, I started seeds in the greenhouse. In September, the resulting seedlings were transplanted to either trade one gallon pots or No. 38 Seed Trays. Here is an image of the same three pots of seedlings that are shown on the October 3rd blog page so you can compare the growth.
In this picture, you can see the greenhouse door with the wreath attached, so these are the two benches to the left when entering the door. The bench shown along the right side (in the picture) of the greenhouse is filled with 504 seedlings in trade one gallon pots. The bench to the left is filled with 2,356 seedlings in No. 38 Seed Trays.
The last task to get ready for winter and then spring bloom was to carry the potted hybridizing plants in from outside. This was accomplished on Friday. It took me about 6 days to carry in and clean up the 155 potted plants. It has been so cold here that the outside pots were frozen solid. I had to take a group of pots into the greenhouse each afternoon so they would thaw out for cleaning the next morning. The plants were trimmed down to about 2". Part of the cleaning was to add Nutricote 18-6-8 T-180 w/ minors, Marathon (a systemic insecticide), Milorganite and a teaspoon of Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom salts). This picture was taken from the entrance door of the greenhouse. The bench immediately to the front contains 155 potted hybridizing plants.You will notice that there is one empty space in the second row. That space is reserved for David Kirchhoff's fabulous H. 'Barbara Mandrel', one of the most saturated reds I have ever seen. The bench on the right along the greenhouse wall is filled with seedlings in trade one gallon pots.
Right now, I have the temperature in the greenhouse set at about 40°. About mid January, I will start inching it up until it is set at approximately 65° at the beginning of February. I would expect bloom about mid March. I have the 1000w high pressure sodium lights come on at 1:00 AM for two hours each night.
In past years' I would have had the middle seedling bench filled with potted hybridizing plants, but in an effort to cut down, I have limited the hybridizing plants to one bench which is about 40% less than in the past. I would like to get to the point where I grow 1,000 seedlings each year in trade one gallon pots. I would plan to bloom these seedlings in the pots, thus, I eliminate getting down on my old knees to plant seedlings in the ground
Now is the time to start planning to attend one of the many symposia that are coming up, including The Mid-Winter Symposium in Nashville, TN on January 21-23, 2011. Please join us and greet old friends and meet new ones.
Exciting things happen to those who hybridize daylilies!
Life is very, very good. Remember, when the bloom is gone, you still have your friends!