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In 1993, when we moved to this property, one of the first things we did after the house remodeling, was to erect a greenhouse to utilize in our hybridizing program. For several years we did all of our hybridizing in the greenhouse and started seeds in the fall to transplant outside in the spring for blooming in two years. That was when we were growing about 5,000 seedlings per year. The last couple of years, because of age and physical limitations, we have cut down to about 1,200 seedlings each year. These seedlings are started from seed in August and transplanted to trade one gallon pots in September. They are grown over the winter, along with our hybridizing plants in the greenhouse and they will begin blooming in March, April and May. I would estimate that we will have about 60% to 70% bloom in nine months. One of the advantages of having them bloom in the greenhouse in 9 months is that I can use them immediately for hybridizing, thus gaining one or two years.
As these seedlings bloom in the spring, I select the ones I want to keep and transplant them outside into my "display beds", where they will reside until selected for introduction or are discarded to the compost heap. What happens to the potted seedlings in the greenhouse. The last two years, I gave them to the City of Chattanooga and to Hamilton County Parks and Recreation for planting in the parks. I realized that about 40% of these seedlings I have never gotten to see bloom, so this year, I built frames outside and lined them with plastic and will grow all of these potted seedlings in water beds over winter. Next spring, I will get to see them bloom and make any more selections that I may want. The others will be sold to "walk in" traffic.
This year, 2012, I began transplanting seedlings to trade one gallon
pots on September 9 and will finish on Tuesday, October 2nd.
When they are transplanted, they will be grown in the greenhouse on benches prepared with a frame, lined in plastic, and filled with water. The seedlings grow in these water beds until put outside after blooming in the spring.
I hope you have enjoyed this little journey through the greenhouse growing proceedure used here at Chattanooga Daylilies. I must give Tommy Maddox credit for "putting me on" to growing daylilies in water. It all began because of my frustration of trying to achieve consistent water coverage in the greenhouse. The water beds do the trick.
Life is very, very good.