Hosta Jungle

bernd ny zone5April 2, 2014

It is getting warmer here in zone 5, today will be 57 dgrs. Yesterday I shoveled snow, moved snow from higher snow areas to the showing lawn. I also saw my first pips, two of a blue seedling which I had to push back into the soil. I saw no vole holes, so perhaps I am lucky.

BUT in my basement I have a hosta jungle. My 40 or so streaker seedlings are doing great, still in 9 oz cups (3 inch dia on top), and I have to keep raising the fluorescent lights.
Bernd

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bernd ny zone5

Here is another view of my hosta jungle in my basement. These are about 40 cups standing in 2 trays in 1/2-3/4 inch water with half strength tomato fertilizer and a little fungicide.
I planted the seeds November 15. Plants are under 24 hrs light.
Seeds are from Dan and my own crosses. In my crosses I used seedlings of h.'Blue Lighting' and 'Fickle Blue Genes' which happened to bloom last year, seeds were from Mr. Hosta of Land of the Giants.
Bernd

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 9:57AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

crikey man... you rocked out the potential for seedlings... congrats ...

i tried standing them in water ... but in winter.. i had an ice of water on the windows in the house ... due to tropical house humidity ....how did you avoid that????

i only use 1/4 teaspoon fert per gallon ... you could probably the fert use ... but if you arent getting salt buildup ... and also changing your media on up-potting.. i suppose there is no downside ...

whats the theory on the fungicide???? ..... they are hosta.. ya know.. lol ... lets see.. fungus.. root rot.. ah.... damping off??? ... you are way past that stage ... probably could backoff on continuing use of that ...

but who am i to say.. with this brilliant success ... dont overthink it.. and change anything ... thats usually where i screw it up ... lol ...

ken

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 10:17AM
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bernd ny zone5

Hi Ken, thanks for your endorsement!
I believe in seeing a little garden inside in winter. I go down in my basement, is somehow finished, can sit there on a couch, read something, have a coffee and put my head into that growth 'chamber', keeps the spirit up even when there is still snow around outside.

I have these in the basement with a room temperature of 60 dgrs, but they are in a chamber on shelves with the lights heating it up to 66 dgrs, and there was never any ice. I use a little Captan fungicide to prevent any formation of mildew or fungus, seems to work.
Those plants do not show any effects of salt builtup yet, except perhaps some wide spots on the corner of a few leaves. One plant I was repotting because several leaves had dried up. I will repot them all when I bring them outside perhaps in a month. So far all I have to do to accommodate their growth is raise the fluorescent lights.
Bernd

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 10:57AM
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timhensley_gw

Those are fantastic looking seedlings!!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 11:54AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

salt buildup would be a crust on the top of the media ... though since you dont water from the top.. maybe it wouldnt be there ...

fert is a salt ... and worn out media ... has a crust around the edge ..

your media is probably not old enough.. nor used up enough

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: random link about salt buildup.. i did not study it.. i just looked at the pix so you can see such ....

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 12:33PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Oh my Bernd! Your Hosta Jungle is enchanting. I've never seen so many streakers in one place. How will you ever cull those? Each one is unique.

-Babka

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 12:57PM
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bernd ny zone5

Thanks Ken! There are no crusts. I potted those from the seedling cells about 3 months ago, and the seedlings are hungry to eat up all those fertilizer 'salts'.
Babka, I swore to not increase my beds, but some spots in my lawn possibly need rounding off. And then I had two trees removed, so there are opportunities to plant them.

I wanted to show that there is gardening with hostas for all when the garden is at rest, even when there is a lot of snow outside.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 1:52PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Bernd...I could just eat those hosta up they are so luscious looking!! Lol
I'm just so amazed at their growth. It really is nice to see the progression of your beautiful streakers. Man, they are something else!

If you have too many, I know of a very welcoming home for them in Barrie, Ontario!!! Lol

Love that jungle!

Jo

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 3:15PM
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don_in_colorado

Hi Bernd; They're looking A+, man! They are really quite healthy and beefy-looking. The only thing I don't envy is you can't keep 'em all, but you'll know which ones will be keepers or not. You all will get me into this winter hobby eventually, I'm sure. Great work! : )

Don B.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 5:13PM
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bernd ny zone5

It would be great when some of you would be enabled to also grow seedlings from seeds. All you need is some basic equipment, use your own seeds, or buy seeds at the auctions at the Hosta Library, or do your own hybridizing. Note to get variegated hostas you need to get seeds from streakers.

You could frequent the Hosta seed growers forum. Don Rawson has collected a lot of great info in his Hosta Hybridizing book, is now for sale again at the Hosta Library auction, it is at his cost. Anyway, it is always good to have some fun!
Bernd

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 5:47PM
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bernd ny zone5

Per Josephine's request, here is an update of my hosta seedlings in one tray. The light is now in its highest possible mounting, some leaves actually curl around the fluorescent bulbs. But they have to be patient for about another 10 days to get bigger pots and move outside, that is a few hours in the shade and overnight into the garage. They shall not get any temperature below 50 dgrs or their growth will stop. They got so big because their genes are from large hostas. These plants are from seeds I planted Nov.15, had 24 hrs light since then and half strength fertilizer. Bernd

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 8:41AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Thank you Bernd! You are very accommodating!

I can see how much taller they've gotten from the very first photo you posted. They look very lush and the next week or so can't come fast enough for you I imagine. Seed growing is so satisfying and you present it so well that I wouldn't be surprised if more of us try it next winter. I've certainly been encouraged. Thank you for sharing your expertise and your photos.

It will be great to see them continue to thrive outdoors soon!

Jo

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 9:42AM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Bernd, you have the touch! From start to finish, these are beautifully grown and well cared for. It is like having your very own pot of gold growing in your basement.

I don't think you need to cull a thing. You can send a few of the overage to forum members for sake keeping. I volunteer for sure!

How can you ever top this performance!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 11:17AM
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bernd ny zone5

Jo, others in the Hosta Seed Growers Forum do 100 times as much every winter and have much better results to show. It kept me gardening over winter, and our winters are worse than yours, Moccasin. Since January I am also growing seedlings from seeds I bought from Trudy and Mr. Hosta (LotG) at auctions, but those seedlings are much smaller.
I will show more pictures once I have the big ones repotted and outside. Outside right now I observed that around 10 are showing pips.
Here is a view of the other tray from yesterday.
Bernd

This post was edited by berndnyz5 on Wed, Apr 23, 14 at 8:25

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 12:30PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Looking forward to those pics, Bernd!

I couldn't handle that great a volume. My biggest problem is with loss. And the eventual culling. When I was a teenager helping my parents thin the field grown lettuce, I was always saying to my Mom, can't we keep them somewhere? I hated to throw them out. I understood of course, but emotion ruled. It still does when it comes to gardening - I just want to "save" everything regardless of the odds against winning.

I would be the one going to the expense of potting them (the weak and under-achieved ones) and giving them away, not throwing them out. Is there any hope for me as a seed grower? Lol

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 12:55PM
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almosthooked

Bernd, you do make magic in your seedling plants. The growth and colors are remarkable. I still have seed that Dansgarden gave me but late to plant this year unless directly into my raised bed. Would this also work? I would hate to lose these streaked seed if it doesn't work. Any suggestions as to seed planting outside? I seen to have good luck growing hosta so far in my early found love but next maybe comes seeds
Our snow is all gone now and pips showing everywhere . I think I only lost two to moles but my cats bring at least two dead ones a day so thinning them out .
Beautiful healthy plants! Thanks for sharing
Faye

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 12:58PM
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bernd ny zone5

Josephine, my culling is easy because my back controls that. It says : no more digging up lawn. So I can plant only so many, the rest I probably will let the local Hosta society sell in August.
Faye, you can plant hosta seeds outside right now. They will germinate and grow as the weather warms up, and end of Fall you will have sturdy plants. Young plants can easily dry up because they only have small roots, so you need to water them frequently.
About culling : You have to know what you want to get in small plants. Most seeds of streaked mother plants will result in streaked seedlings, green ones you would cull. In respect of seeds of single color mother plants, you will look in seedlings for characteristics like color, twisted/curly leaves, leaves of convoluted shape, round leaves, etc., others you would cull.
It is fun!
Bernd

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 1:40PM
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melati(5)

Bernd, is it half strength of liquid tomato fertilizer? How about the granular type? and those cups are standing in the 1/2-3/4" water all the time? I started mine in March and its about an inch tall right now, was wondering what kind of fertilizer to get them grow faster.
Thks,

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 5:02PM
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bernd ny zone5

Too much fertilizer might burn them, especially when they are small. I use a little less than half strength Miracle Grow Tomato fertilizer desolved in water in pint size milk bottles, then poured into the trays. I need to fill the trays every 2 days now (just measured it) to 3/4 inch deep, and that goes down to 3/8 probably in between waterings. Bernd

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 5:31PM
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melati(5)

Thanks Bernd.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 7:32PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

I understand fully about the backache, Bernd! I'm glad the rest of your seedlings go to a good home. It's a nice contribution to make to your local Hosta Society, way to go Bernd. :-)

I'm beginning to understand and appreciate the concept of selective culling. Thank you.

Jo

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 8:06PM
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paula_b_gardener 5b_ON(5b)

This is amazing to me - well done!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 9:01PM
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miketropic

Those look so good! can't wait to see them outside in there proper place. You can see such a difference from the first pic to the next. well done sir well done.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 3:27PM
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bernd ny zone5

I brought my jungle outside. Here they are at 73 dgrs today in the shade. In a few weeks they will think it is normal to live outside. Nights will be in the 40s, so I will bring them into the garage, below 50s supposedly stops their growing. None of my in-ground hostas has leafed out yet.
Bernd

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 6:06PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Bernd! Wow, look how big they are! Bet they enjoyed the outdoors today. You are very efficient - sure won't take long to bring them indoors for the night. Thank you for the update - you've anticipated a request before it was made. :-)

Jo

P.S. Did you get a look at my Success thread yet? A surprise!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 6:18PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

They look good, Bernd.

bk

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 6:45PM
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bernd ny zone5

Thanks!
Jo, yes I looked, very nice that you have those. That caused me to give an update, plus I was happy having the seedlings outside finally, and the weather was really nice. I noticed in the weather forecast that in a week night temperatures will be in the 50s, so I can leave them outside.
My seedlings are so big because I started them early, but finally they got too big. Bernd

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 9:14AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Hi, Bernd! I was wondering how the seedlings fared this summer? Would love to see updated pics of them in the garden!

I enjoyed reading this thread again - amazing seedlings!

Jo

    Bookmark   November 2, 2014 at 1:24AM
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bernd ny zone5

Hi Jo, they all did well, some actually got a nice size and got awarded with new spots created in my yard, i.e. where a maple was cut down. Several of those should get big finally over the years, what I wanted. 15-20 I gave to the annual Hosta society sale. The following picture is while they are growing on my deck in July. Now I am getting ready for growing seedlings again over winter, bought new trays, seedling mix and Perlite. Soon there will be snow here in upstate NY, and I will be continuing hosta gardening in my basement.
Bernd

    Bookmark   November 2, 2014 at 9:14AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Thank you, Bernd! My, they sure are big and healthy and I really love the streak colours.

I have high hopes for the seedlings Smithstudios sent me from Doug Bielstein's program.

If i do start some "winter" sowing, it will be to your credit and Devon's!!!
You are an inspiration to us!

Jo :-)

    Bookmark   November 2, 2014 at 10:55AM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Gorgeous plants, Bernd. And, from what my DH reported to me, Maine is anticipating a very early snow amounting to about 18 inches. I suppose that means some of you CA dwellers will get it too, and you won't be far behind, Bernd.

Reckon it will be another winter that goes on forever? Hope not. But I have some hosta with brand new leaves out there, like Fragrant Queen, Poseidon, and a few other fragrant ones.
It is impressive that NOW is when the white margined ones are doing okay. I'll have to think about that a while.

Now back to the remodel tasks.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2014 at 2:11PM
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bernd ny zone5

Yes moccasin, I even saw snow on an earlier forecast for the general area of the Patriots-Broncos game, but then it rained there. You are right there were snow storms in my area some Novembers in the past.
Good luck with your remodel and new hosta leaves in November!
Bernd

    Bookmark   November 2, 2014 at 7:00PM
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miketropic

I already had a small snow but was gone by noon. The plants look wonderful im sure some nice ones will come out of it

    Bookmark   November 3, 2014 at 2:04AM
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trudy_gw

Fun to look back at your seedlings from last winter. Do you have hosta seedlings going for this winter yet?

I am growing fewer this winter! That's what I am saying anyway.....

Seed Auction for Hosta Seed Growers will possibly going on the end of November.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2014 at 10:31AM
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bernd ny zone5

Trudy,
I kept one plant each from your 'Hosanna' x Amos and 'Leaping Lipizzan' x op seeds and planted them outside, looking forward to see how they look next year. I noticed that plants will change often dramatically from the first year, such as having only a few streaks to being perfectly streaked.

I have nothing growing yet, thought to start in 2 weeks with open pollinated streakers, and then buy seeds of crosses from auctions and Doug Beilstein. This year I was busy with family, so did no hybridizing. But I have my little equipment (4 trays only) and own seeds ready to start seed gardening in my basement.
This is a worthwhile effort, and people on this forum should start it too.
Bernd

This post was edited by berndnyz5 on Tue, Nov 4, 14 at 17:37

    Bookmark   November 4, 2014 at 3:32PM
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