The week was wet! Temps were in the high 60’s to 70’s and lows in the upper 40’s. We still have 2 nights in the 30’s on the forecast so my seedlings are still in their flats and getting root bound. It’s been increasingly harder by the day to keep them healthy! I spent some of the week looking online for hardy pitcher plants for the bog garden and settled on a set of 5 from an eBay store for about thirty dollars. These will be hardened off as soon as they arrive and will be planted as soon as frost is off the forecast.
The Bermuda grass is greening up and my husband cut it down so the lawn is looking pretty good. Bermuda greens from the bottom so you need to cut back the brown grass on the top to get to a green lawn in the spring. The first spring flowers that I direct sowed are in bloom. Spurred snapdragon, or linaria, are opening!
I took the time to put a little liquid miracle grow on all of my beds this week to give spring a push! My roses were fertilized as well. The frost a few weeks ago damaged the ends of iris leaves and rust and rot set in. I went through the beds to tidy them up and cut off the dead ends and rusty spotted leaves and threw them in the trash. Getting rust out of your environment is helpful so these diseased leaves did not make the compost heap.
I lost nearly all of my peas in the freeze. This week I replanted so peas will be a bit late. I deadheaded in the daffodil bed out front to clean up the look and pulled tulips and hyacinths from the pots that need planting with seedlings to make room. The spent bulbs are replanted in temporary pots so the leaves can die back naturally. This feeds the bulbs. Then they will be dry stored in my garage until September and placed in the refrigerator for 16 weeks and replanted next winter.
I moved my daylily seedlings in grow bags outside 24 hours a day and and planted a new pot up with salpiglossis, petunia and trailing vinca seedlings. They don’t look like much now, but in a few weeks expect an update! I received this pot free to review it and it’s quite colorful!
In spite of the rain, I set my rain bird hose bib fed sprinkler system back up this week. I removed 6 rotating sprinkler heads last fall to avoid freeze damage and didn’t think to label them. I’ve been avoiding setting these up as I did not know which sprinkler went where and they were set up to cover certain angles and areas. Somehow, my first try worked! I doubt all 6 are in their original spots, but where everything is now works to water what I need them too. What luck!
I mentioned in a previous post that I had mysterious perennials taking up space in my grow houses. As the houses have slowly filled with sequenced planting of annual seeds and our local daytime temperatures have warmed a bit, I have moved these perennials out from under the lights and on to a greenhouse shelving unit that I have attached to a rolling dolly with zip ties. This is a big help to my back and will be covered in a Learning Moment post very soon. I need the space under the lights in the warm grow houses for my delicate seedlings and the perennials need to be hardened off to to go outside in full sun for spring.
The reason these perennials have not been outside from the start is that I have had them under the lights since August, 2021. Most of these are daylily seedlings, others are seedlings I will discuss in separate posts.
One set of plants are from seeds I took from my own planned crossed. I crossed the pollen containing stamen of a White Temptation to the pistil of a Pink Embrace (White Temptation x Pink Embrace). I made a notation of this in a journal, tied a colored twist tie to the stem and collected the seeds from this cross when a seed pod formed. I attempted other crosses this way, but this was the only one that made a pod. I also collected seeds from Stella d’oro as well as White Temptation that I did not cross myself so these will be a mystery to me, and are coming along nicely.
In addition to my own seed collection and crossing, I purchased seeds of know crosses from a reputable breeder. Specifically, I purchased seeds from the cross of Peace Pattern x Blue Mystery, Crimson Sun x Rodeo King. I was gifted the crosses of Pumpkin Tree x Raspberry Mint Sorbet* and Carved Coral x Be Cool** by the seller as well. The gifted seed cross parents are in the photo collage of 4 daylily’s below with the first pairing* on the top and the second pairing** on the bottom. All of these were purchased from the seller “stretchman” at the lily auction serviced on the site daylily.com. YES! This is a site where you can bid on seeds as well as seedlings and plants for daylily. If you love daylily, I recommend checking it out! The photos below of all of these daylily are from stretchman’s auctions except Carved Coral and Pumpkin Tree which are from Bellsdaylilygarden.com. Bell’s wordpress site was not up and running when I wrote this, but I want to give credit to their photographs nevertheless.
All of these crosses were started under lights in August and September 2021 and kept under 16 hours of light in 60-80 degrees night/day temps to grow them as large as I could over the winter in the hopes that I might see first year blooms in 2022. At the date this was written in mid February these daylily are all between five and half to 6 and half months old with fans with 3-6 leaves about 6-10 inches tall. These are going outside daily to harden off whenever the temperatures are above 55 degrees. I am incrementally adding a half hour per day to the hardening off time. They spend nights in the garage as we still are getting frosts. Perennials can take a frost, but these have been under lights in a controlled temperature environment since they were seeds and need more time to get used to the variability of temperatures between night and day that spring time will present. I put these out in 7 gallon fabric grow bags. They are planted all in one bucket by cross and buckets are marked so I can keep track of which crosses were most successful. Hopefully next fall, they will be large enough to move into my landscaping. I will update in my weekly reviews this summer if any of these bloom!