seedling "weeding out"

darobi2459(5)March 22, 2013

I have got so much great info from the family here and I cant thank you enough!

I have another question:

Looking at my seedlings now, there are some that are just not growing like the others. I have too many seedlings as well! Is it fairly safe to guess the habit of a plant at this stage (@2 months)? I dont think it is a matter of light or water, seedlings right next to some of these are looking great.

Do any of you find it worth while to see these runts run the coarse to maturity?

Thanks! Dave

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When I first started, I noticed that to. I left the seedlings in for another year and they surprised me by growing as well as the others. Once seedlings are planted outside there are a lot of things that can affect them, for me it's the intense sun and winds.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 8:33AM
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Hi Marrick, Thats what I am wondering. Once planted in the true dirt and true sun do they perk up? Obviously not all are created equal, but I live in a horrible micro climate in central Illinois. Great plant habits are a must.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 9:53PM
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My garden is in full, intense sun. I plant the seeds in the clear cups because I want to see that they have really good roots by time to plant them out. No matter how much I harden them off, after I planted last year, all seedlings dried up down to the ground. Because they had a good root system, they came back no problem. Daylilies are very hardy plants.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 8:23AM
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When you plant seedlings, do you open up the rootball and spread the roots around a mound like you typically would with a muture plant?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 8:43AM
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When you plant seedlings, do you open up the rootball and spread the roots around a mound like you typically would with a muture plant?

I usually make a ridge along the length of the row, slightly below the normal soil level. Then position the roots over the ridge and cover with enough dirt to hold them in place until all plants are in place in the row. Then complete the fill and press down around each plant to make sure it makes good contact with the soil.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 12:35PM
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I weed out the runts. If I plant 30 seeds in February I will transplant the best 15 to the seedling bed in June.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 1:00PM
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About "runts" -- the term is often used for the smallest puppy in a litter, too. Actually, if the seedling is thriving but just very small, chances are that it is genetically programmed to be small, which may not mean it is a weakling. Environment is also an important factor.

I agree with you about eliminating small seedlings if your space is limited, as plant vigor and ample foliage is extremely important to me. Too many times, hybridizers put more importance on a pretty face without enough attention to the plant habit itself. I have registered cultivars that have grown to the size of a big shrub, and certain others either haven't multiplied or have still have remained the same as when planted for several years.

The environment does have an effect on plants. We've had some daylilies that were very vigorous in our country garden, and once moved to our new home have languished. Even after three years of adjustment, there are some that do not perform as they once did. CHARLES JOHNSTON is an example. It was stunning and vigorous in its old location and here it just eventually gave up and died. I bought another one and it is barely hanging on.

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN has astounded me with the tremendous increase in fans and plant size in just two years of growth, and yet there are others that have remained the same size as when planted, with very little increase, if any.

I have noticed a dramatic increase in fans among 80% of our daylilies after using Neptune Harvest Seaweed Fertilizer this year, but there are still those that aren't much bigger than when planted. These are just taking up valuable space. They will be the first to go when I have to make room for promising seedlings.

Here, BILL MUNSON has remained small with little increase. It probably does very well in other environments. It will be on the list to eliminate.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 10:09AM
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Thanks for the info Nancy and others! I have noticed on some of the "runts"after moving to individual cups they have great roots. I kept those but tossed a few that Im guessing couldnt compete with the others that had half the roots as the others around it.

This is all great info here I appreciate it!

BTW my best performers by far right now are 3 crosses:

Forever night x Space coast chomp
Pink Stripes x Mahieu sdl
Marchant sdl x Mascara snake

On all these it looked like a tri pod digging into the mix.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 12:21AM
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Hi Nancy, I also bought the Neptunes from reading the good reviews. Do you use it as a spray?

Also, when I see pics of grow setups I see spray bottles often. Is this necessary with florescent lighting? and does it help? Thanks Nancy!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 11:45PM
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We are using Neptune's Harvest as a foliar spray. I have someone doing the spraying for us, so am not sure if he drenches the soil or not. We finally got lots of rain yesterday (including a little hail) and everything looks fabulously green this morning. I can't wait until they start blooming. SITTING ON A CORNFLAKE and CERISE MASTERPIECE are in a race to be the FFO.

CHINA CLIPPER bloomed early, but the blooms were pathetic and I cut off the scapes. It almost died last year and has not performed well at all, so I decided to give it another year of maturity before I either keep it or trash it.

I've had several others bloom already, but they were on cultivars I purchased late last summer, and were planted in pots upon arrival. They were kept in water in the kiddy pools. I am assuming that either they were on a different time schedule or the constant water source caused them to bloom so early.

We sprayed with Liquid Bone Meal last week for the first time. While the garden is now full of beautiful, healthy plants that are quickly multiplying, I am anxious to see if there will be the same improvement in blossoms.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:30AM
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