seedling beds

darobi2459(5)March 16, 2013

Hi everyone! I am interested to hear how everyone who has seedlings places them in there new home in the spring and how to label them.

It seems like just labeling the crosses and keeping them together is the easiest, instead of labeling each seedling.

Thanks, David

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This will be an interesting thread to follow. I'm going to have to plant some this spring but I had thought of just putting in a marker for each cross. I think it would be easier to put all the seedlings in rows planting each cross before I put in the next marker/cross. Then I would map out the beds on paper as well as numbering the seedlings. I look forward to hearing from anyone else how they do it. Marg

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:46AM
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Yes, I like to plant all of my seedlings of the same cross in a row with only one marker. Here is a pic of my seedling bed in May 2010. These seedlings were planted in the Fall of 2009. You can see the markers I use are made of pvc with a cross bar on top with a brother label designating the parentage. If you look closely, you will see a spider daylily blooming towards the bottom right. When I saw the bloom, I knew I wanted to keep that one, so I made it a special tag with a small piece of plastic mini blind and tied it around the base of the seedling. I also take a photo of the bloom and make sure I name the photo the same thing that is on that seedlings tag.

Here is the same bed with the same seedlings the following year May 2011. By this time I have seen all the seedlings bloom and know which ones I want to keep. This is when I move them into my better flower beds and give the keepers each their own marker. I cull the rest and replant this same seedling bed with new seeds in the Fall.

You need to be able to identify which seedlings you want to keep from each cross. Before I cull, I look closely at each seedling in a row so that I can pull out those seedling with tags/photos. Here is that same spider seedling from the first photo after it was moved into one of my better flower beds. This photo was taken in April 2012.

The number at the beginning - 100527 - means that it first bloomed in 2010, May 27th (in the first photo).

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 2:40PM
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Thanks Kathy. That's pretty much what I had planned to do but it's nice to hear from someone else! That spider is a real beauty! What are you going to name it? Marg

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 3:26PM
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Thanks Kathy! It looks like you spaced them about 12" apart in rows 18" apart. sound about right?

Some realy nice seedlings :) It sounded like your first wave of grading a seedling comes from the flower itself. After it gets moved, is that when you start to see how vigorous it is, etc..

Thanks again Kathy!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 6:03PM
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Marg, I'm glad you liked my spider seedling. :-)
Although it was the best I got from that particular cross, it will eventually be dug up and replaced with something I like better. It's extra early and reblooms (which I like), but it doesn't have a very high bud count.

David, Yes, I plant my seedlings at least a foot apart to give them room to grow and to help prevent the spread of rust. By the time I move them, I can already tell which plants are the most vigorous and which are most rust resistant. I have even kept seedlings with ugly blooms if they have great plant habits. But a pretty bloom is more likely to catch my eye, get photographed, tagged, and watched carefully.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 9:01PM
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dementieva(Zone 9 - Houston)

Thanks to Kathy for that post, very nice and some good ideas.

I made a thread last fall with my seedling beds. The link is at the bottom of this post. I have been naming my crosses based on the year and order, and I have a spreadsheet with the other information about them. For example, 1204 is the 4th cross I harvested in 2012. When I start getting some blooms, I'll name the individual seedlings that I want to keep as 1204a, 1204b, etc.

The biggest challenge for me has been that squirrels *love* to dig holes in new mulched beds. They sometimes dig seedlings up completely, so I've had to keep an eye on these and replace the dirt many times this winter. When the plants get bigger with deeper roots, it stops being a problem.


Here is a link that might be useful: Nate's seedlings 2012

This post was edited by dementieva on Sun, Mar 17, 13 at 10:00

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 9:56AM
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Nate, you did a great job. I hope to see pictures this summer. Thanks. Marg

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 10:04AM
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Hi Nate, I love your idea of making seedling beds around your shed. I wish I could do the same, but it's too shady. In fact, even my seedling bed is getting too shady, so I will soon be forced to stop using it or cut down some trees.

We also have problems with squirrels wanting to dig in the flower beds. I've tried various things, but the only solution I've found was to get a dog. He loves to chase them up a tree (even though some of the squirrels are as big as he is). I've also noticed that rabbits stay out of our back yard, now...probably due to the scent our dog leaves behind.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 1:29PM
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Very nice Nate! Thanks for sharing. I also have a veggie garden and no problems with critters. I have 2 indoor outdoor cats. I havent seen a rabbit in the yard for years lol.

I have also heard, I think from Richard Norris that dont baby your seedlings. It is another criteria for you to judge how strong of a DL you have.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 9:38PM
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I plant my seedlings 6 inches apart in rows 8 inches apart. I mark each cross, consistently front to back, and left to right. I sort the crosses and plant alphabetically, then map each bed.

I carry a roll of hazard tape when viewing the seedlings. If I see a nice seedling, I wrap a band of tape around the fan with the scape and flower. After two years if a clump has several bands of tape, I know it is a good seedling. I move these seedlings in the fall to a selected seedling bed for further evaluation. I clean the roots of dirt to be sure I have only one seedling before removing the tape. I redo my seedling beds on 3 year intervals. Seedlings selected and used in hybridizing get a seedling number. A four digit number composed of the last two digits of the year it was selected, and then a two digit number in succession. I can then select up to 99 unique seedlings per year. If I do happen to select more than one seedling from a particular cross, I add an a,b, c etc. to the seedling number. This reminds me they are from the same cross.

I earnestly try not to use any seedlings for hybridizing unless I give them a selected seedling number. This adds them to the seedling database and their traits are then evaluated and recorded. Ed

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 2:23PM
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Kathy, your seedling bed is awesome! You have some really exciting seedlings. I really like the idea of using pvc for markers. I wish I had space for just seedlings.

Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of having a seedling bed. So we just plant them down the middle of each double row of daylilies. I use white plastic knives and write the cross on each side top and bottom with fade-proof permanent paint pens. The knife markers travel with each seedling from cup -- to pot -- to garden. If the top gets broken off accidentally (by workers or our clumsy Golden Retriever) the bottom is still in the ground with all info. When I see a seedling of worth, it gets dug up and either potted or moved to a permanent spot with its own marker. It isn't the ideal situation, but works pretty good with such limited space. Also, the older I get the lazier I get, so I like to keep it simple.

I used to assign numbers for crosses. But when I see a gorgeous bloom on a seedling, I want to know immediately the names of the parents. Using numbers requires me to rush back inside to the computer to look up the information.

I use short names for the parents when writing the crosses on the knives. For example, Spacecoast Gone Bulldoggin' is just simply "Bull." Or...I use initials, like GSTQ for God Save the Queen. I can easily write Bull X GSTQ on the knives. The only down side is having to bend over to see the cross.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 9:29PM
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Hi Ed, Thanks for sharing! I have seen the tape method in pictures. Do you notice that dips and tets need different spaces generally or do you have them mixed in alphabetically as you said? Also, do you fertilize or treat the seedlings any different than the keepers?


    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 1:20AM
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Hi David,

I used the colored flags for some time, but always was disappointed at the end of the season. It was too often, too hard to identify the plant that was marked. If you have the room and can space your seedlings at greater distances apart, then the flags may work fine, but the hazard tape is pretty easy to apply and the markings are secure, even after several years.

I don't separate dips and tets. Most of the dips I have make plants as big as tets. I do separate a miniature line and give them their own bed.

Seedlings are planted in well enriched beds and get regular watering. Keepers and hybridizing plants don't get as much water. Fertilizing spring and fall for all plants is the same.
Good luck, Ed

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 1:58PM
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mizellie(z7 Al)

David, I plant my seeds in a cup...20oz. I can mark the cross on the cup. I get them pretty cheap at the wholesale house. I would love to put them in the ground but we have a lot of wild turkeys and they always find my seeds!! Those are some really nice seedlings.. Ellie

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 9:13PM
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taurustendency(5 mid missouri)

i know this is an older post, but this is some really good info for us newbies. i am a bit confused about something though. you guys are talking about keeping each seedling separate, even if they are from the same cross...why is this? are there different variations that can come from each seed, even when it came from the same crossing?

and then later in the discussion someone mentioned checking their rows of each cross and selecting the seedling they want to keep and labeling them as (paraphrasing) 1, 2, 3, and so on. and if they keep more than one seedling from the same cross then the add an A, B, and C to the number. if they are all of the same cross, then why not keep all the seedlings from it? and why add the extra designation of a, b, c etc?

i am currently under the impression that if you make a cross, that all seeds from it will end up with the same i mistaken?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 4:25PM
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I plant my seedlings about 1' apart. Each seedling will give you a different bloom. At the end of the season it will be easier to decide which to keep and which to toss. Everyone has their own system for numbering their seedlings, I just label them LGXSM1, LGXSM2, etc. I have just started so I am also learning as I go along.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 6:51PM
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shive(6b TN)

Taurustendency - With tets especially you get a wide variation of seedlings from the same cross. Some crosses I've done, NONE of the seedlings look alike. And on others, the offspring are similar but not identical.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 8:33PM
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taurustendency(5 mid missouri)

thanks marric and debra for clearing that one up for me. still got lots to learn!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 9:30PM
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