Made in the Shade TCs
I did a small order with Rob Mortko from Made in the Shade Gardens this Spring, mostly because he offered Skylight, a plant at the top of wish list, but also because of his reputation for customer service. To say I was satisfied is a gross understatement.
I ordered three plants, Millenium, Clovely and Skylight. Clovely had a tag that indicated it was a TC from Walters. It had two eyes and a well developed root system. Millenium had a tag from Shady Oaks. It had one very fat eye and an enormous root system. But it was Skylight that really surprised me.
I'll post the picture below. Skylight had 4 good sized eyes and a great root system. With such a rare and new Hosta, I was expecting a typical first year TC plant. This was a much more mature plant than I expected. I had heard that MITS was doing their own TCs and since Skylight didn't have a picture tag with it, I emailed Rob and asked if this was a plant from his own TC process. Here's the answer I got.
"And 'Skylight' did come from our TC lab. We have developed our own protocol to produce multiple eyed plants directly from the lab. There's a cost involved in doing that, but it easily gains you 1-2 years of growing time to produce the same number of eyes in the garden."
A TC protocol that saves 1-2 years of growing time. Isn't that interesting. That means that newly available Hosta can be produced in a much more mature fashion than was available before.
Rob went on to say that over 300 Hostas, almost everything from his available list, (with the exception of patented plants) are currently in production in their own TC lab. You just have to wonder what this kind of operation will do to the business and if any other online sellers will try to follow suit.