growing seeds

almosthookedDecember 11, 2012

This is some of my fall seed collection. Nothing of any great treasures that were for sale on the seed auction but I just wanted to try my hand at germinating some. These have been scattered since October 19th, some sprouting Nov.9th and little leaves started but very slowly. I am not sure how long it takes to show signs of a second leaf but the seem to just sit there almost doing nothing. They were started with bottom heat with just the pilot lite on our gas free standing fireplace. I kept the lids on and mist them to keep them moist at all times , taking off the lids longer each day. I guess now it is time to get lights to make them grow?? I take it from what I can remember that when they get bigger they go into small pots of disposable drinking cups. They may not amount to much but if they grow it will be just like a proud mother and her first born. All the mistakes starting here.
Any input would be greatly appreciated and thanks for the inspiration

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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

They really should be under lights after they germinate. You want the lights to be about 2 inches overhead. A regular shop flourescent light should do it. Nothing fancy needed. After you get a few leaves you can start to put your favorite ones into little cups if you like or just use a regular seedling tray with inserts. Whatever makes sense for you. Have fun taking care of these and keep posting photos.

Steve

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:04PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i think you are way to early.. to be removing humidity domes ...

is there any drainage in those tubs???

yes they need lights.. and those lights have to be within an inch or two ...

time to feed them.. 1/4 teaspoon of water-soluble fert in a gal of water in a sterilized milk jug [10% bleach let dry] .. standing at room temp ..

there is MEDIA.. made for seeds.. which is much finer ground .. but it looks like yours is doing the job ...

hmmm ... what else..

how deep is that media ??? a bit deeper next time????

6 oz solo cups next.. slice bottom edge ... 3 times around the perimeter ... with a fresh razor blade ... pre-moisten media ...

transplant at 4 leaf stage ... before the roots get so inter-tangled.. that you cant pull them apart ... leaves should be about the size of your little finger nail ... which makes it easy to pick them up ... [presuming you dont have 4 inch nails.. lol]

ken

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 7:39AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

ah ... this is why i am confused.. writing things.. and swearing i already told someone the same thing ..

whatever is said in one post.. goes the same in this post ..

as i said in the other post.. on the main page of the hosta library.. bob has a brilliant seed growing tutorial.. on a scale bigger than yours.. but there are all kinds of nuggets within ..

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 7:01PM
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hostanista

Dear Experts,
Never in a million years did I think I would ever try to grow my own hostas but after reading a whole lot of posts here and (miraculously) getting seeds from my Marquette Park in October I thought, why not give it a try. Here's the question: Can't I start the seeds in those Solo cups to begin with? I figure the less transplanting of delicate seedlings I do, the better. No?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 7:46PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

I started mine in cups, Nista. I germinated them on a heat mat in the dark, but you can just use a place where it is warm in your house. The top of the refrigerator works well. Last year I used the top of my water heater. I would keep them in a dark spot until you see germination. That helps to keep the algae from growing on the surface of the seed starting mix. Keep asking questions.

Steve

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 9:00PM
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almosthooked

Got my florescent light up and on the new guys, drainage holes in containers and lids back in place for now and are all misted and temperature is almost (78*F) Probably should have had more soil then 2 inches but once it settled from 3 I guess it will have to do. I will probably have to check back in the site for growing ideas from time to time but so far so good. I do like the idea of planting in cups right off and looks like you leave more then one to grow in each for some time before you transplant ?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 10:59PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Yes, sometimes it's a question of the amount of room you have under the lights. But mostly I will transplant (or "upcup") when I have two leaves. I start with 7 oz cups and then go to 9 oz, etc. Hosta seedlings grow one leaf and one root, then another leaf and a second root. Bill Meyers refers to this as an immature growth pattern.

Steve

This post was edited by steve_mass on Wed, Dec 12, 12 at 23:24

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 11:22PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

I figure the less transplanting of delicate seedlings I do, the better. No?

==>>> you just miss the playing in the dirt and fondling your babes for one go round ... in the winter.. when there are few reasons to touch.. feel.. smell ... damp media.. and dream of actually being outside in the garden [and this might be a great white north issue more than for you warmer zone peeps] ...

whatever works works..

a tray can be filled in 30 seconds.. seed scatter in another 30.. and you are done ... minimal media usage ...

filling each cup .. IN VOLUME ... 30 seconds each cup ... plus the extra volume of media ... and space.. etc ...

at the volume you are working ... there probably is not a reason not to skip to the cups..

but if you were doing thousands of seeds.. starting with the cups would be very time consuming.. and costly ... relatively speaking ...

at your level.. 6 of this.. half dozen of the other ..

ken

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 7:09AM
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bernd ny zone5

Not all seeds will germinate. I read here and in the Seed forum to place seeds densely on the medium. I use a seed tray with cells, and when the plants have 2 leaves cull all I do not want. I.e. when I want streaked seedlings, then I will pull or cut off all green ones and poorly growing plants. When they have 4 leaves I might leave them in larger cells in the tray or move them to cups. That's my up-cupping. Even with 1000 seeds, there might be only left 40 seedlings in summer. In my case I have only 225 seeds and might end up with 10 seedlings in August - there is not more space anyway and I had my winter fun.
Bernd

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 9:19AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

Even with 1000 seeds, there might be only left 40 seedlings in summer. In my case I have only 225 seeds and might end up with 10 seedlings in August - there is not more space anyway and I had my winter fun.

==>>> yep bernie hit the thing i was holding back on ...

i will yell

THEY ARE NOT YOUR BABIES ... get rid of extras ...

the key here is to have a goal ... streakers for sure ... or maybe your goal is yellow.. etc ...

one thing your goal should NEVER be.. and i will yell again.. ANOTHER STINKIN GREEN HOSTA ... unless you have a football stadium sized greenhouse.. .. and i am talking OP [open pollinated seed here .. see PS]

and that is probably why the tray system works.. if i were to germ 1000 seedlings.. in might only cup-up 100 .. and by the second cupping.. 50 ... etc .. whereas.. you may have wasted a lot of cups and media .... [i know you really arent working at this volume.]

trust me.. i made the baby mistake my first time.. never again ...

and in culling.. if you look really .. really close.. all mature traits will be there .. wavy.. ripples.. pebbled ... etc.. but you might go blind 'seeing' it all ... lol

ken

ps: if your goal is for the next giant of giants.. and your goal is addressed in your actually going out there and taking pollen from say P. Wu .. and crossing it onto some other ginormous hosta.. both green because you want all the genes of both giant plants.. well.. 99.999999% of the seedlings will be green. and you will grow them all on .. until they have flowers/pollen .. so you can keep crossing and perfecting the genetics ... this is way beyond most of us ... especially beginners ... but i though it might help superficially to mention it ...

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 11:34AM
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