Friday, March 7, 2014

Outdoors at Last!

I finished planting our daylily seeds this morning.  One final pot with seeds from a couple of short crosses I went back into the seed bag to hunt for.  One was Kathy's cross of WIZARD'S WAND x unknown.  WIZARD'S WAND has been one of her favorites in the garden, so even when a tag is lost or is unreadable, Kathy wants to see the outcome.  Here is WIZARD'S WAND, hybridized by the wonderful daylily mentor for so many people, the late Steve Moldovan from Avon, Ohio.

The other cross involves Rich Howard's PAWPRINTS ON MY HEART and again the pollen came from "unknown," though in this case there's a good chance the parent was Subhana Ansari's SECRET OF SECRETS, another favorite here.  This is PAWPRINTS ON MY HEART:


I took that picture just before sundown in late June.  The flower has all-day glamour!  Let's hope for great germination!

I'll say a little more about the Burpee bricks of coconut coir from Home Depot, costing $2.47 a brick and making 8 quarts of seed starter.  This is what the product looks like:

You don't see the words "coconut coir" there.  Who would know that that is?  Better to call it by a plain vanilla name, "concentrated seed starting mix."  It's a very lightweight material, highly compressed, and totally dry.  Unwrap it and put it in the bucket.

Then pour in 4.5 quarts of water and let the show begin!

The brick wicks up the water, all of it, without your intervention.  Just walk away for five or six minutes and this is what you'll see:

The brick has absorbed all the water, even into the driest recesses.  What you see is a fully decomposed brick needing only to be dumped into a larger container.  I mix this with an equal amount of Perlite to get a lighter and fluffier planting mix.  (The package says the material is ready to use in 2 minutes.  I have been unable to verify this claim and suspect it's the invention of the advertising department.  I've made a lot of these, and they all take 5-6 minutes to soak up all the water.)

With some reasonable pre-spring weather coming up, I moved all the trays outside this afternoon.  The seeds will germinate when the planting mix warms up.  That could be any time in the next three or four weeks.  Probably they won't germinate all at once.  I hope it will be fun to see all the green sprouts come up.  I hope there are thousands of them.

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