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Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Posted by squirrelspur z7a NC (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 26, 05 at 19:02

Hi:
Is anyone here a donor to the Nargs seed exchange? Just wondering how large amount of seed is necessary to be a donor. I looked on the Nargs website and saw some instructions on how to send seed in but didn't see my question answered (unless I missed it).

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Is this what you were looking for, but did not find?

Here is a link that might be useful: NARGS Seed donor instructions


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Thanks Brian. A minimum of 5 seed packets - might be able to get enough to donate of our native clematis - very pretty scrambling plant with purple urn flowers and grows well in our rock outcroppings.

K


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

How many seeds go in a packet? Is it one of the NARGS glassine envelopes full of seed?


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Vegangirl:
I think you are right. The article says:

'Packaging Seed for Donation
Please use paper or glassine envelopes; suitable envelopes may be purchased from the NARGS Bookstore. '

Did you get yr. seeds yet this year? I'm still eagerly awaiting mine.

K


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

I'm still eagerly awaiting mine too. I figured I wouldn't get them till later in Feb since the deadline is Feb 2 and donors get served first, then non-donors. I spent days researching and picking them out:-) It will be interesting to see what I get. I've been mulling over what I can collect seeds from that would interest anybody. I'm thinking woodland wildflowers because we have 21 acres of mostly woods and my parents have about 70 acres of mostly woods. I don't think I'm actually growing anything that rock gardeners would want. Does anyone have any suggestions?


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

To get donor priviledges, that would be 5 DIFFERENT types of seed. They could all be, for example, iris, but different species, subspecies or varieties. And you want at least enough for five packets each. How many in a packet will vary, depending on amount available.

It's probably been about 15+ years since my chapter performed the task of gathering the seed from around the world, cataloging and disseminating, but there where times when we would only get 5-8 seeds of some very choice plant. And we were very happy to get it.

I am glad to hear you all are selective on any seed you think would be eligible to donate. Please, no Creeping Charlie, Campanula glomerata or Aegopodium podograria (all bad weeds in a rock garden). Trying to get enough to achieve donor status by doing that would not only be a disservice to unsuspecting novice seed buyers, but also add extra work for the volunteers who process the seed. Back when we did it, we did it all. Now it has gotten so big that the job needs to be split to two chapters to make it manageable.

On another note: I haven't received my seed yet either, but the time varies a lot depending on the organization and number of volunteers available. If I get mine by the end of the month, I will be pleased. Actually, I'm pleased whenever I get them. It really is a monumental task.
Rick


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Rick, thanks for the info. I was just wondering if it had to be 5 different. Now the next question is......do you or anyone know of a website that will tell us when to expect what to be ripe? Like hepatica seeds will ripen xx weeks after petal fall or something like that? And what to protect from critters and how? I basically know when and where things bloom around here but have never thought to go back and collect seed so I don't know when. Thanks!


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

I've not donated yet, although I'm hoping to be able to this coming year. I should have a couple of plants that should produce seed this next year that will be suitable for donating. I've also be working on my identification skills. I'm beginning to doubt I'll ever be able to key out the wild plants that I come across. Maybe I'll just have to take pictures of the plants that I collect seed from and post them on NAME THAT PLANT FORUM. As far as a book to help with times that seeds are ripe.. boy that would be nice, but I'm not aware of one.

I received my seeds the end of last week. I sent my order in on the 13th of January so I suspect you all will see your seeds soon.


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Oh!!!! I mailed my order January 14 so maybe soon:-)

Sagebrushred, did you get your first 25 choices or did you get some alternates?


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

No I didn't receive all of my first choices. I did receive quite a few though and am happy to get the seed that I did. I'm just a little bummed about not getting a couple that I REALLY wanted like Asphodeline damascena, Daphne stapfii and Onosma microcarpa. Maybe they'll be listed next year. I'll be keeping my eyes open for chances to puchase these as plants or seed through mail order sources now.


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

That's too bad about not getting seeds of the three you really wanted, but good that you got several of your first choices. I just hope I get things I can actually grow:-) Mine didn't come today. I don't remember where they are being shipped from, maybe closer to you in UT.


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

A good way for beginners to key plants out is first to ferret out book(s) specific to the native flora of your area. Ones that are still quite technical, so you are assured it encompasses ALL the flora extant. There will be a lot of "Greek" in it that you won't understand. That's OK. Living in Minnesota, I have "Spring Flora of Minnesota", "A Flora of Northeastern Minnesota", and "Spring Flora of Wisconsin". Finding these kinds of books specific to where you live will automatically cut way down on the number of species you have to choose from when trying to key anything.

Now that you've done that, you can use your picture books to get a general idea of what a plant in question might be. It would be fantastic if you can find a picture book that is specific to your area, but most cover large regions, and of course none have photos of every plant.

From this book you choose a likely candidate matching your mystery plant. Realizing that that exact species may or may not grow where you are, you take that botanical name and cross reference it in your technical book. Read the description, and descriptions of any closely related species. And ESPECIALLY read any small plant keys that explain differences between the related species. Voila! You've keyed your plant, and with more surety than any picture book could ever do.

If the botanical name of the photo you chose is not in the technical book, then go by what is listed under the genus name. (The genus name is the first word in the Latin binomial.) If that is not there either, go back to square one.

As you do this, you will be familiarizing yourself with those technical terms, and before you know it, it won't be so Greek anymore (only Spanish, lol).

Rick


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RE: Fruiting

I don't know of any source that would give ripening scenarios or critter sense. That stuff you often get from others with experience or trial and error. Boy have I had a lot of trial and error! But I think you're taking the next step in becoming "botanically aware", Vegangirl. You'll find there are even more interesting things about plants, other than just the flowers. Bravo!


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

vegangirl, we also have mainly wooded acres. I don't know much but more than I used to! and did purchase a few books such as Botanica North America by Marjorie Harris and Field Guide to Wildflowers by the National Audubon Society and other field guides for Eastern North America (with pictures). Also joined my state's native plant society, which offers plant study classes and information about North Carolina plants. Think a lot of it comes with experience, as when plants are not in flower it is hard to id them but people who have been doing it for awhile seems to have the knack of it.


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

I have a great wildflower ID book Newcombs Wildflower Guide that has keys that make it so easy to ID. It covers from north of New England down to the mts of NC. I forget how far west it goes. It doesn't have photos and not a great many pictures but for me its easier to ID with the key than to just go by pictures. I also have Nat Audubon and Petersons field guides but Newcombs is far and away my favorite. In fact I never even take the others in the field now. I'm going to start paying more attention to the plants after bloom now:-) I want to check out Botanica North America. I haven't heard of it before. For the past two springs, I have been studying and trying to learn more about woodland wildflowers in the seedling stage which has been fun.


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Maybe they changed the date, but the most recent closing date I have seen is feb 11. I just got my order in last week. I'll be happy with whatever they send me. It is such a great resource and alot of work I am sure. I missed last years due to stupidity. Year before that was my first year.

I had good success with germination. The problem came when I went to plant the sprouted seeds. Very high mortality rate. All my fault. I wasn't knowledgeable enough nor did I have a good setup for nurturing the seedlings.

This year I am much better prepared. Took a seed propagation class from Heronswood nuresery. It was great and they gave very detailed steps for sprouting seeds and growing them on.

The first year I sprouted the seeds between paper towels. Worked well enough to get them started. Once sprouted I picked them off with a tooth pick and planted them in cell packs. The Hersonwood method is easier and very much like winter sowing. They use 4 inch pots filled with a mixture of peat and perlite (I'll be using compost) sprinkle the seeds on top of the dirt and cover with a layer of fine gravel. They get there gravel from the forest service, but they said you could use chicken grit (don't think that's the right term for it, but it is a fine rocky substance you give to chickens to help their gizzards breakdown food).

Water and keep wet until they sprout. Some seeds can take several years to do their thing. They just leave them outside with only slats over head for a bit of shade.

I am looking forward to getting the seeds and starting this process.

jb


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

jb those are great directions for the seed growing thanks. A trip to Tractor Farm Supply is in order.
I will be thrilled with any of the seeds I get, the variety is quite generous.
So far am impressed with Nargs, the books I got when joined were full of useful information and acessible to new rock gardeners like myself. In fact, was suprised all that was included with my membership fee.


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

JB, Yes, thanks for the good tips. I'm going to town tomorrow and chicken grit is on my list:-) Are you supposed to plant the seeds now and put them outside like Winter Sowing or start them indoors or greenhouse and put out the ones that don't sprout right away to leave all summer? You're right about the closing date. I made a mistake on the previous post.

Squirrelspur, I'll be thrilled with anything I get too. I'm sure that whatever it is, it will be something I don't have. I've enjoyed my Beginner's Handbook too.


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

I believe the "When to sow" question should be answered by when does the plant normally release it's seeds and what process would they need to go through to germinate. Some need a cold period. Some need fire. Some need to go through a birds... Well you know.

I have two reference books:
1. Manual of Herbaceous Ornamental Plants
2. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses

When I get my seeds I'll look them up in these books for more info on germination.

This is also a great site for info on germination. http://www.onrockgarden.com/

Good luck,
jb


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

jb, who are the authors of those books? Is S. Still one? You are so lucky to live near Heronswood. Did they recommend in the class to add any lime to the peat/perlite seed mix? Had they mentioned anything about pH?

Vegangirl, did you pick up the chick grit? Where you a little baffled about the different sizes? For seeding, my guess is that you would only need #1 size. But there are #1,2,3 and 4(turkey grit). Sometimes you can find a #00 size too. Where I live the bags say "granite grit" because that's what it is. But in other parts of the country it is made of different rock materials, like marble(or at least that is what it looks like).

Rick


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

JB, thanks for the link. Please tell us everything you can remember from your class!! I need all the help I can get. The past couple of years, I've been really discouraged about my seed starting--vegetables, perennials, annuals. I used to do really well and have grown lots of neat flowers. I don't know what happened last year but year before last, I got some really awfull soil mix from Walmart. It was all they had and nobody else had anything. Very few seeds germinated and those that did literally sat there and didn't grow. I had tomatoes that had not grown true leaves after 6 weeks. I finally transplanted them out into my coldframe and they took off growing. I don't know what the problem with that mix was. It had a funny smell and big chunks of some kind of bark in it.

Rick, No I didn't get the grit. The farm store only carries crushed osyter shells and said that most people just get sand out of the river for their chickens. So that wasn't much help to me! We're planning to visit DD and SIL in TN weekend after next so I'm going to look for it along the way. Thanks, its good to know what size I need.


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

P.S. Vegangirl: I am sure you know, but you will need sand with your non-soil part of the mix. #1 isn't small enough to do it on its own. I've heard of oyster shells, but don't know zilch about it.


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Rick, No I don't know! I really need to study the planting media options and see what I can put together. Any advice is most welcome! I bought some Jiffy Mix Plus and then realized it had a little fertilizer and that probably isn't good for the alpine plants, is it? So I guess I'll use it for my peppers and tomatoes. I have a seed starting book by John Kelly from T & M and he gives some advice for alpines. He says not to use a soiless mix for alpines. Instead to use a soil-based mix with one third of its volume of sharpe grit, the very best being chick grit. It's all confusing to me. Can I buy a soil-based mix at Walmart? (Walmart & Lowes are the only stores that sell plant stuff. We don't have a garden center within 60 miles).

I got my NARGS seeds today!!! I was totally thrilled with what I got. I got 19 of my 25 first choices. I can hardly wait to get them started but I'm also scared that I will not be able to do it right and get them to grow.


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Vegangirl,
For your seed mix, although there are so many variations, this is what I would do in your case:

1 part Jiffy mix (with fertilizer)
1 part coarse sand
1 part chic grit#1
1 part perlite

You could substitute the Walmart potting soil for the Jiffy mix, but I think the JM will be better. You can also substitute more chic grit for the perlite. But the surface of the perlite is quite unique, being micro-rough enough to hold a little water on the surface but not too much.

Once you mix it up, if you think to yourself "Heck, what's going to grow in this?", then you've got it right. Some growers use a 1/2/4/2 mix (imagine!), but then it requires other compensations.

Most seeds will be simply pressed into the surface, or they may just fall through the cracks. If you want to cover with a layer of something, use ONLY sand. And wash it to get the fine particles out before you use it. You will also need to re dry the sand so it can be spread, and not be clumpy. The brown play sand used for sand boxes and under patio brick is usually prewashed and a good coarse grade.

It's like a Christmas gift when the seeds come, isn't it? I usually get about half of my first choices. You did well.

Rick


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Rick, thanks SO much for the recipe and thanks for being so specific. I need that:-). That really simplifies things for me. Yes, it's like a Christmas gift! I think I probably got so many of my choices because I didn't ask for really rare seeds. I chose seeds that many of the members probably already have. I don't have anything suitable for a rock garden except armeria, a helianthimum, some dianthus, iberis, some narcissus species, sedums, and woodland wildflowers; so most everything listed was new to me:-) Hmmm...I just remembered a couple of geraniums, a dwarf blue platycodon, a campanula. If I made a list, I would probably find I've got more that I thought. Anyway...thanks again!


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

In the method taught in the class the chicken grit or gravel is not mixed into the potting mix. It is put on top, about 1/4 to 3/8ths of an inch thick. The gravel they used was 1/8th of an inch in diameter, that should be the grade of chicken grit you buy. The mix itself was just perlite and peat moss. This method was used for sprouting shrubs, perennials, vines and trees. I don't know if it would be good for true alpines.

The seeds are sprinkled on top of the seed mix and then the gravel isplaced over the seeds. This helps hold them in place so they don't get washed away with water and it helps hold moisture. For seeds that require light to germinate HInkley said they only need an hour or two of light exposure. With those types od seeds he would add the gravel first and then sprinkle the seeds on top of the gravel. They would stay on top long enough to get teh light exposure and then would filter down throught the gravel.

He would start a hundred seeds in one 4 inch pot. Grow these on for a few month and then remove them from the pot and carefully seperate the roots from the mixture and other roots and pot them up individually in larger containers. In some cases he woudl grow them in these 4 inch containers for a year or more until he was ready to deal with them.

I don't think this method would work well for veggies.

Good luck,
jb


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Vegangirl,
I couldn't believe there was no exact recipe in the NARGS beginner book (or at least I didn't find one). How discouraging, and no wonder you're confused!

I plant each type of seed in its own 3-4" pot. Different species take varying amounts of time to germinate; if you make a tray with several species, some will come up while others are still sleeping, and you won't be able to cater to their needs as the growth stages will be different. If you have to, it MIGHT work to put species of the same genus together. Be sure to label all POTS, not the bags!

When the time comes, and you are planting seed, you'll only be watering with a mist bottle at first(on mist or sprinkle setting). You don't want to dislodge the seed you just planted. Watering from the bottom is fine, but you'll probably need some from the top too. After the pots have drained for several hours or overnight, seal them in clear plastic bags and keep them in good bright light but no direct sun: things can cook inside those little greenhouses with direct sun.

Because it is a sealed environment, no watering is needed until bags are removed and evaporation begins. Open the bags individually when you see the first evidence of germanation. Don't wait for seeds to be up and unfolded, and don't wait for more than one seed to show germination in each pot. If one is showing life, others(hopefully) are already swelling and well on their way. Because of the inherent nature of alpines, seedlings are more susceptible to damping off disease in a humid environment(i.e. inside the bag). This is why it is important to be vigilant. Try to check them every day. This is also why the seeding medium is less moisture retentive then in the plant's adult world. Besides, removing bags early will help produce stockier plants. After 3-7 days, remove the bag entirely.

Rick


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And also:

Don't be tempted to overseed in pots just because you may have a lot of seed. Thinning out seedlings later with a tweezers, trying not to damage what you want to keep, really isn't that fun. Even now, I speak from experience. Mostly, you'll find that nearly all your seed will germinate, or none.
Rick


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RE: the Heronswood class

Thanks for sharing your class gleanings with us JB.

I am sure Heronswood plants 100 seeds per pot for nursery purposes, and they have greenhouses. That's not good for us. I usually grow about 6 per pot, depending on what it is. But others in my chapter grow 10-12 and transplant earlier. One member only allows 2 or 3, so she can wait even longer to transplant.

For seeds that need light, he has a very good idea. The hour or two of light is a daily requirement, but once germination begins, light shouldn't be needed. In the technical sense meant here, germination is actually not the sprouting up, but the initial stages of seed awakening.

Rick


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Yes you are right leftwood. They seed that many for production purposes. Never intended to imply that was a good idea for us.:)

And the authors of the books is S. Still and Michael Dirr.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was thinking that many, if not most, of the seeds in the exchange are not alpines, no?

jb


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

JB, I'm not sure. I think (just think here) that about a third grow in alpine regions, but not necessarily ONLY above the tree line, maybe another third do well in alpine gardens but do not natively grow in the high reaches, and a third not alpinish at all.

Being a woody plant nut,I was very excited that seed from the northernmost disjunct population of American snowbell(shrub) was donated. Incredibly special for people who want it. I haven't got my NARGS seed yet, but of all the seed from the 4600 choices this year, that is the one I want most. If I can get that styrax to grow here in Minnesota, the ONLY chance would be genetics from that population.

JB, I have both of those good books, but I didn't realize Dirr's had such a long title. Dirr has a much better book if you are really in to woody plant propagation: The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.

Rick


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Hmm, That's the book I thought I had. Looks like he has two. I had intended to buy the one you mentioned. I'll have to look into that.

Thanks,
jb


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

JB & Rick, Thanks so much for the good and detailed seed starting information. Very, very helpful. I couldn't find an exact recipe either and kept going back and re-reading thinking surely I had just overlooked it. They really do need to put one in the beginner's book. It's such a basic beginner need:-)

Rick, I hope you get your styrax!!


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

This has been a great thread! Thank you JB and Rick for all the great information.

Rick I do have 'A Utah Flora', 'How to identify flowering plant families', an illustrated dictionary of botanical terminology and several books on local flora with pictures. The 'Greek' is still way over my head but as I become more familiar with the different types of plants it is becoming easier. I'll try out your suggestions this year while out and about.

This year is the first year that I've had seeds that required GA3 treatment and I'm treating some now. Some of the seeds from NARGS still need 12 wks of cold treatment. Here in Utah we won't have that many more weeks of cold so these seeds are going to have to go in the fridge. My question is: do you suggest using the papertowel method or would potting them up like normal and sticking them in the fridge work better? Hmmmmm I've done the paper towel method several times and it works but mortality rate of pricked off seeds is still higher than I would like. I'm also a bit hesitant to stick a pot of dirt in the fridge... but if it means better success I'll do it. Any other suggestions are welcome.

Congrats vegangirl on receiving so many of your first choices.

The below picture is of most of my 2005 seeds sown.(I'm going to be a busy girl this spring)


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Saagebrushred, That's impressive!!! How many different varieties do you have there?


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Sagebrush, my oh my, you will be and are busy. Are those all alpines in the photo? It's obvious you don't use the same method for initial germination as me. (I don't see any evidence of bags.) How about telling us about it. Of course you have drier air than me or out east; what is your watering regime?

I've never tried GA3, but eventually will. When you get a bit of results, I want datails. Which seeds treated, for how long, at what concentration, etcetera, etcetera.

It is fun, but I've never been a fan of the paper towel thing, and for the same reason. Those radicals(tiny root initials) are so delicate and so easy to damage and thus susceptible to disease. Frankly, I can't see how the paper towel method would work at all for stratification, only for immediate sprouting.

I stratify a lot of my seed in bags of moist peat. I'd say you need at least 4 times the volume of peat as that of the seed. I read somewhere lately on the forums that someone doesn't like to use peat because it holds too much moisture, and that person prefers sand(was it?). That is true. You need to learn the difference between wet and moist peat. Sometimes it's not as easy as you'd think. Sand, peat, perlite, or any combination will work.

Myself, I don't know what is wrong with dirt in the frig,unless it takes up too much room. The pots would be in bags anyway, so it wouldn't impart taste to the food. Otherwise you'll find the medium drying out all the time. You could stack them too, as long as you're not compacting the soil.

Rick


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

I've really enjoyed this thread, esp. the great seed starting info. I really think some of the info would be good to put in the faq...does anyone know how to do that???
Would like to refer to it in the future.

I'd like to know more about the GA-3 also...where can you purchase it and how do you get instructions for its use?


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Good idea, squirrelspur! I don't know how to do it though.


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Hi all, I'm new to this thread but have enjoyed it immensely. I use a layer of "Oil Dry" on the top of my pots for starting seeds and have good success. You can also tell when it dries out. I mailed my seed order to NARGS on Dec. 28, and still no seeds, so you are indeed lucky! I have however received my seed from NEWFS and am still potting like crazy. I am fortunate to have a spare fridge--so it is full of pots now, but also have a bunch outside in the cold frame. Last year I placed my NARGS seed in damp peatmoss in the fridge with moderate success. Going to try vermiculite this year I think. I noticed a better germination rate on seeds that had been wintered over outside over those from the fridge tho. So with exception to some seeds I was really thrilled to get, specifically different Dodecatheon species, I am trying to put most of them out--but anything not planted by this weekend will have to go in the fridge. Hope you don't mind me jumping in.
Tommie


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Hi Tommie, Welcome! You mean NEWFS has a seed exhange like NARGS?!!! I'll have to check. I might have to join that too:-) I think I might email somebody about the NARGS seeds, if I were you. Seems like yours should have arrived since its first come, first serve. What is "Oil Dry"? I'm still in the gathering stage, trying to get the supplies I need to start my seeds.


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

You don't have to be a member to buy seed from NEWFS-it is more expensive tho if you're not--definately check out their site-- the seed sale is almost over. They also have good propagation info in the seed list, some may be applicable to your NARGS seed. I just found a really neat site for other unusual alpines a couple of days ago--but am not sure if i can post the name here, and you may have heard of them--they are located in Colorado--e-mail me privately if interested. Oil Dry is used in garages etc to absorb oil, spills etc. It is clay particles like cat litter--only no scent. It doesn't break down when wet either. You can buy a 40lb bag for less than $4 at Sams Club. I have seen mention of this in some literature, but I learned about it from a NARGS member years ago. I find it easier to use then sand--but it is a matter of preference, and also what I am sowing. To me 40lbs of Oil Dry isn't as hard to handle as an equal amount of sand--don't know why. It is great for surface sowing too, since seeds lodge in the "cracks" All they sell for chickgrit here is crushed oyster shells too. But I have found that Quik Crete sells a bagged sand with a choice of small, med or large grains--check your local building supply. I have also used sandblasting sand with good results. Sagebrushred, are you using Ga3 per Deno? If a solution what strength are you using? I will be potting like crazy today!! So good growing all!
Tommie


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Tommie, in Canada we lovingly refer to our east coast neighbors in Newfoundland as 'Newfs'! lol
What is NEWFS? And yes, please mention the name of the place in Colorado here... As long as you aren't shamelessly promoting your own web site or product it is okay.

Thanks,
GardenChicken


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

I think some of this information can be found in the FAQ on the Growing frome Seed forum.

I think I remember hearing that to cold stratify seeds they need to have been exposed to moisture. Just putting them in the fridge in their packets, dry, won't have the same effect in triggering germination. Is that correct?

jb
PS You can post any link as long is it's not your business.


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Hi all, New England Wildflower Society:) Their seed catalog is worth the paper and ink to print because of the species specific propagation info. (I usually print it then have it spiral bound at Kinko's for reference) They also have a couple of really great books, they encompass a geat variety of wildflowers, not just alpines. I checked and the members only order period ends tomorrow the 10th, but ordering continues thru Mar 22, so the catalog should be available online to non members on the 11th. I store seed in packets in air tight container in the fridge just to preserve viability. You are right J.B., that isn't enough to stratify them. To stratify I usually place the seed in moist peatmoss in a baggie. However, the moist stratified seed I received from the NEWFS this year had vermiculite in it-- the seed was easier to see so will do that instead this year. I also have planted pots and covered them with a humidity dome (taped shut) & placed them in the fridge--takes a lot of space--(DH wants to know where he is to put the beer--LOL) again that is for special seeds, namely all the Dodecatheons I received from Jim Almond in the U.K. The name of the nursery I just found is Rocky Mountain Rare Plants. www.rmrp.com Their sales period ends in March, but starts in the fall so you can bet I will be back there then, since my seed budget for the year is going into the red zone;). They had some neat neat stuff.
Tommie

Here is a link that might be useful: New England Wild flower Society


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Vegan girl I have somewhere between 200 and 300 varieties sown right now I think.

I'm definitly bordering on insane... I need to learn to strive more towards the median in my endeavors rather than the extreme. In the next couple of weeks I'll be writing down all the names and dates sown and trying to get them put into a spreadsheet on the computer. I should have done this as I sowed my seeds... you know what they say about hind sight. At least I have everything labeled and dated.

Rick I use the method much like the one JB describes. I sow the seed in a moistened medium (a mix of soiless mix, vermiculite, perlite, turface, osmocote, sand/grit) top with grit and place them outside exposing them to the devices of mother nature. I suspect I'd have more seed germinate using your method but this seems to work OK. I've been potting up seeds since late November. I've not watered them yet, as we've had a sufficently wet winter this year. I'm not sure how I'll handle the watering once the weather warms up. Last year I only started about 30 different type of seeds and hand watered them as needed. And no they are not all alpines. There are only 10 or so that would qualify as alpines.

As for the Ga3 I ordered mine from J.L. Hudson. They have a basic kit that came with instructions on how to use. And yes I'm using the Deno method. I am using a 500ppm and 1000ppm solution. I soaked 1/2 of each of Penstemon duchenensis, P. fremontii and P. compactus for a day and have sown them as usual. I've decided to place these outside until the weather begins to get too warm and will then place in a baggie and put in the fridge for the remainder of the recommended stratification period. What do you all think? This is a first for me so any advice from those of you with more experience is greatly appreciated.

OK you guys that start the seed in moist peat/vermiculite or sand (I think sand would work great) in baggies, then what. Don't you still have to prick the seeds out of this similarly to the paper towel method?

Good to hear from you Tommie and thank you for the link to NEWFS. Rocky Mountain Rare Plants is a very good source for seed and information.

In addition to RMRP I also check the site listed by JB, www.onrockgarden.com, tomclothier.hort.net, and Alplains cataloge.

This would be great information to have in the FAQS page if anyone can figure out how to put it there.


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

We can't put things in the FAQs ourselves. But the webmaster (aka Spike) can do that stuff. I am sure there is a direct line, but I don't know what it is. If you post on the suggestions and comments forum, I am sure it will get read by him/her/them.


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

I have about 150 varieties either sown or in the process--
Gee if we are all successful we should have one heck of a plant swap! I too am prone to extremes. The seeds are just so small......
On sowing in the baggies, I do it only for stratification when it gets too late to start them out. The rule of thumb I use is if they are planted out by Feb (read that somewhere) they will have enough time for germination inhibitors to be removed. Later than that and I use the fridge method. I am pushing that deadline until this weekend tho 'cos I have so darn many. I have had very few actually germinate in the fridge--if they do I just pot them up-but generally I spread the contents on the potting soil and cover with oil dry (unless they need light--then they go on top) The sucess of either method remains debatable tho, guess it just depends on the species, and probably who you ask. I tried Matalea decipiens outside last year and also with indoor stratification, got almost 100% germination outdoors and about 2% from the indoors. Indoors is more controlled, but like you I think some things prefer the natural rhythym of freezing & thawing provided by nature. I am definately enjoying this thread--so many knowledgable people in one place! I appreciate the sites you listed & am going to peruse them along with the one J.B. mentioned this evening. One day off a week just isn't enough!! I am interested in how your GA3 plants turn out. I am new to that method myself. I am trying it on some Erythroniums, but the seed is from last year so not sure how much success I will have. I have had the Deno books for years, but for so long it was very hard to come by the GA3
Tommie


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Wow some very experienced seed starters here...150..200..300. And I thought I was good when actually got plants from seeds last year!

Going to email Spike and see if we can add to FAQ.

squirrelspur


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Oops! If I had to pick out the seed I was stratifying in any medium, I don't know what I'd do. No, No. I spread the medium with stratified seed over potting soil (or whatever I deem appropriate) in a pot to sprout. If they are non-alpine large seed I might cover lightly with soil.

About the oil dry, Tommie, are you talking about the proprietary name Oil Dry or just any? I would be careful if it was just any such substance, as who knows what other brands might be made of or what contaminates there might be.

And I'm fessing up here: what the hecks a Deno? Does he sing and dance too?

rick


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

I don't think it matters how long one has been growing or how many seeds have been started, I still am thrilled when the first hints of green start poking up through the medium. To me, there seems to be something so magical about the whole process. I (obviously) can never get enough. In answer to your question Rick, I use the "Oil Dry" brand specifically--sorry my keyboarding skills are not great-- I'm hit or miss on the shift key!! This has worked well for me for years, and for me is easier to handle then sand which even tho the bag says 40lbs, is usually wet and weighs more like 80. Norman C. Deno may sing or dance, I'm not too sure about that;) but what he has done is conduct GA3 experiments on virtually thousands of varieties of seeds. He has self published 3 books with this info. They can be ordered directly from him and are reasonably priced. I am sticking a link in that describes his work--also a valuable tool for using the books since the site references which book has info on which species.
tommie

Here is a link that might be useful: Norman C. Deno Info


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Thanks Tommie!

Kinda bummed that there's no song and dance number though. Do you or Sagebrush have the supplements too, or just the first book? And are they adding more species, or more about same?

Rick


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RE: Deno

Hi Rick, I have the supplements too. They are not as thick as the first book, but include more species as well as more current germination info on some others previously covered. If you look through the info on the link I sent it sorta gives you an idea what info lies where. I have a shortcut on my desktop for it--saves lots of time.
Tommie


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

I'll just toss out another site for you to visit, they too have GA-3 and a very nice selection of seeds, alpine & otherwise. Good germination information and articles.
This is where I get a majority of my seed from, and the quality is always great.

~GardenChicken

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardens North


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

So much good information here!!! Thanks to all for aharing knowledge and links.

I was reading a database online and saw that the temperature requirements were quite specific. Like 68 degrees for 2-4 weeks then 24-39 degrees for 2-4 weeks then move to 55 degrees for germination. What do you do about that middle cold period? My refrigerator isn't that cold (it's 40-42 degrees) and my freezer is colder. My basement stays around 57 degrees when we don't have a fire in the woodstove. How do you achieve the proper temps? Does it really have to be that specific?


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

I have some seeds with those requirements too. Usually they are the ones more dificult to germinate. Some natives are best stuck outside. some species just need a cold moist stratification, but some need sucessive cycles. I know that certain species (Lilium & Clematis)need a warm moist period, followed by a cold damp period-- In the wild it would take them a year to break germination inhibitors. Guess it just depends--in zone 6 like we are you could put them in the house for the 68 deg--in the freezer for the 24-39 and by that time they could probably go outside for the 55. If space is at a premium you might want to keep them in a moist substrate in a baggie then pot up for the final round.I wouldn't take one source as the gospel tho--- shop around for different info (again I recommend the NEWFS site although it is not all inclusive). Why don't you start a new thread & list the species and gather insight from all the people who visit here? In just the couple days I have been visiting I can see there is a lot of expertise here. I'm sure someone will have experience with specific species they would love to share. If you do--I would certainly look forward to reading it.
Tommie


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Sagebrushred & Tommie, I'm inspired by all those seeds being started!!

Tommie, I think I will start a new thread when I have time to list the species. Should have thought of that myself :-)


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Received my seeds last night. Great selection. Very happy with what I got. Look forward to getting the supplies together, doing a little research and letting them go into the world.

I don't know about others,but I was unfamiliar with GA3. I found a site that has some good info onusing it for germination and propagation.

jb

Here is a link that might be useful: GA3 uses


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

jb, Great! Glad you are happy with your seeds.

I've been reading the NEWFS seed index while eating lunch. I can see right now that I'm going to have to order some of those seeds before the deadline. Woodland wildflowers are one of my great loves! The seed sowing information on the web site is very good and detailed.

Tommie, about how many seeds does NEWFS put into a packet?


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Just depends on which species. Larger seeds like Magnolia tripetala had about 15, the teeny tiny Gentiana clausa seeds looks like about a tablespoon. Of course with my track record with Gentians--I'll be lucky to get 1 plant out of all those! Got my NARGS seeds today--a good selection!! Definately going to have to be a donor to get in on the really good stuff tho;)I had the newfs seed pared down to 2 packages to go and now I have about 25 more. Oh well so many seeds--so little time. Of course it is the house work that suffers, LOL.
Tommie


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

OK $3 isn't bad for that many seeds. Glad you like your NARGS selection. Yes, I want to be a donor too. I've made a list of NEWFS seeds I want. My coldframe is full from last year so I've got to move all that stuff out...or build another coldframe! I like that idea:-) The Great Solomon's Seal seedlings were still so small last year, I hate to put them out into the big world just yet. Everything else is big enough to be moved out.


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

They have a great selection at NEWFS. It's $3 plus 4.95 shipping which means for a min order of $15 you get five packets for $5. At first I thought this was kinda high, but then I went to JJA Seeds. Their prices are higher. Ended up getting some acquilegia and arisaema from them. I'll have to peruse the NEWFS list later.

jb

Here is a link that might be useful: jja seeds


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Thanks for the link JB, I really shouldn't have gone there--but sure enjoyed myself:) Looking forward to getting my order from them now. I know the feeling Vegangirl-- I put all my seed pots under screens, but other wise out in the open-- I have been raiding screens from everywhere. When my husband gets in off the road--he is going to be-ummmm- a little shocked--(but he won't be surprised). I'm including a link to Jim Almond's Alpine website. He too has some great propagation info, including the use of GA3--and yes--seeds.
good growing all,
Tommie

Here is a link that might be useful: Alpines for the Enthusiast


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Well, I just checked out those two links..jja and Jim Almond's. OH MY !!!! You folks are going to be my downfall LOL!

Rick, did you get your sytrax seed?


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Such good links! The Archibalds are well known in my neck of the woods. There are a lot of older members in my chapter. I have seed from them through the exchange but had never been to their web site.

I have no exchange seed yet. Placed my order late 'round about Jan 25. Actually, I bought a couple styrax americanus plants from Ellen Hornig of Seneca Perennials two years ago. (She donated the NARGS seed.) Winters have been so warm here lately that I can't tell if they are hardy. But if I could get a bunch of seedlings going, I'd have a much better chance of finding some cold hardy enough genes.

Rick


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Oops I made a mistake. The seed starting mix I mentioned was the one for doing cuttings. The actual recipe is:

2 parts peat moss
2 parts potting soil
1.5 parts sand
1 parts perlite

I apologize for misleading people and I hope no one suffered seed loss.

Yikes,
The Red Faced Balloon


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

That's OK, at least for me. I haven't started any seeds yet. I did find the chick grit!!!!!! In TN the past weekend.


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

I haven't started mine yet either. So many projects. Last weekend I built a seed germination station. It's made from 4x4 posts with a slatted roof for shade and has a 2x4 tray with a mesh bottom 2 1/2 feet high(less bending...I hope). It's 4deep and 8 feet long. Should give me plenty of room to sow all the seeds I have.

I received the second round list from NARGS the other day. Have to sit down and make 100 selections. You can get up to 80 seed packs in the second round. $5 bucks per 20.

I have read on a few other threads of your difficulty finding chicken grit. I found a 25 pund bag at the feed store here in town. Heronswood gets it's gravel (same as the chicken grit) from the forest service. The forest service grows thousands of conifers and uses the gravel as a topping on the soil. Probably to reduce fungal growth and weeds. Perhaps there is a company in your area that works on reforestation projects and grows conifers.

Good luck,
jb


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

jb, Your seed germination station sounds great. DH & DS are working on something for me right now and for their pepper and tomato seeds. Ours will have to be in the basement. They are also building a coldframe. I hope we have enough room!

I just looked at my chick grit and even though on the front of the bag is says "crushed granite" it has a lot of other stuff in it. I didn't even think to look at the ingredients until I opened it up just now and smelled the anise. It says "oyster shell, washed heat treated silica, calcite, potassium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, zinc oxide, calcium carbonate, mananous oxide, iron carbonate, copper oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, sulphur, calcium sulfate, oil of anise." I realize that plants need and use trace minerals but will any of these things have a negative effect on my seeds?

Thanks for the tip on reforestation projects. I don't know if there is one going on here but there are a lot of Christmas tree growers that I will check with.

NARGS 2md Round--I got my seeds last week! I got the 80 packs for $20 and I'm very pleased with what I got. Except for one thing which was my fault. I wanted a veronica but I marked the wrong number and got Vernonia which is Ironweed. We have ironweed growing all over our property:-)

Good Luck with all your projects!
vg


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

jb, Is the mix recipe in your Oops post the cutting mix or the seed starting mix? I would love to have the cutting mix recipe. Is it for alpines only or a general perennial cutting mix recipe?


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

The oops recipe is the seed starting mix. The other mix I posted earlier in the thread is a general cuttings mix. I'm not sure how well it would do for some alpines, especially those with crown rot or root rot issues.

Yesterday I went to the Greenhouse and Nursery supply place to purchase ingredients. They didn't have the potting soil. They do sell pre mixed bales that have each of the ingredients that I listed. They don't say what the exact amounts are. I purchased two bales of Sunshine Number 1. It looks very similar to what we worked with at Heronswood. I potted up 36 4 inch seed pots and it seemed to go OK. We'll see how it does in a month or so.

jb


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

jb, I don't know what my problem is but I can't seem to find the cutting mix recipe earlier in this thread:-( I'm going to use the recipe Rick reccomended for my JiffyMix, if I can ever get some sand! I would like to have your cutting mix recipe though. I have several perennials I want to start cuttings of as the season progresses.

Sounds like your seed project is coming right along! I did wash about 20 4" pots but that is as far as I have gone with mine. Did you get your second round seeds ordered? I plan to sort my seeds according to requirements and hope to get them started in the next week or so.


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

The cuttings recipe was just a 1 to 1 ratio of peat and perlite. Half and half.

I thought I had said that earlier, but I didn't. Hmm, memeory is a funny thing.

jb


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

Don't worry about it if you don't have sand. For cuttings, jb's mix is probably the most universally used. The important thing is that a very large volume of air is part of the mix as compared to soils that plants normally grow in. So in general, the coarser the texture the better. Using peat instead of the Jiffy mix would likely be better in this respect.

Inside I use jb's half and half or something similar. Because I get a lot of gusty, windy days outside, I switch to pool filter sand, which is very sharp and washed better than any washed sand I have ever seen. This gives weight (ballast) to my pots so they don't get blown into the neighbor's yard. Animals tend to leave them alone too.

The thread below from the Far North Forum might help too.

Rick

Here is a link that might be useful: Cutting Propagation


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RE: Anyone a Nargs seed exchange donor?

JB and Rick, thanks for the good information! I'll check out that link, I've been out of town for four days.


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