Monday, August 16, 2010

Setting Pods in the Heat

We have had 17 days in the over 100 degrees this summer and it is mid August. It is a little off beat but it works. Dan Trimmer told me a couple summers ago how to make hard to set seed plants set pods. So i will share what i have done. As hot as it is we still have plants in rebloom here in central Arkansas.

I had a clump of Boundless Beauty that was begining to rebloom. I think 4 scapes were ready to bloom. When the blooms started to open i dug the clump with the dirt left on the roots. I cut the root ball big enough to fit a 3 gallon pot(plastic). I did put potting mix in the bottom about 2 inches deep and after putting in the root ball i added potting mix to the sides. Leave plant outside and water thoroughly.

Next morning bring plant inside and if you have some light comming in a window on the south side thats where i would put the plant. I have glass doors on the back porch so that is where i put my pots. The plants stay inside for 3 days and go outside 1 day for watering. I used frozen pollen and fresh pollen depending what i wanted to use. This went on for about 3 weeks. i set a total of 24 seed pods on this pot. After bloom is over i moved plant outside in part shade so the plant could recover as it finished off the pods. 3 inside and 1 outside. I have tried this on 4 different plants and it works. I hope you will give it a try. I did cut the blooms off short so there wasnt as much weight on the ovary. you will see in the photos the pods are shedding the old bloom.

This bloom is a 7 inch dip seedling with a height of about 40 inches. We hope you had a great bloom season. jim

Friday, August 6, 2010

Easy Garden Markers

Well the heat has ended for a day as today we got a half day of rain of 3 inches here at my house. We have had temps all week at 105 to 108. now add the humidity and its very hot.

I have seen on the Robin where people ask about what kind of Garden Markers or stakes do you use? Here is what i have come up with, with help years ago from Jack Carpenter showing me how he made his. You can find this wire i use at any welding supply store. I use aluminum welding wire that is 36 inches long and about 1/8 inch in diameter and when put in the ground it sits above the plants. I also use a 6 inch white plastic stake with a hole punched in it using a paper hole punch. I also use a pencil to write on the plastic marker, it doesnt fade and will not wash off with rain. Works for me. So here goes.

I use a half inch diameter thin walled pipe and cut a slice in it about 1/4 inch deep into the pipe. The slice must be wide enough for wire to slide into slice. With left hand hold wire and right hand twist pipe and wire will wrap around the pipe. Slide wire off pipe and next you can attach your marker. these will never corrode or rust while in the ground. You can also use stainless steel welding rods but they are more expensive. The wires i make and use are somewhat flimsey so hold the wire close to ground when inserting in the ground. Here in Conway you can buy the wire by the pound and they add up to 20 wires per pound and about $6.00 a pound.

Also this is the time of year for prolifs, here is a cluster of about 10 prolifs on a seedling scape. Thanks for looking. Jim Elliott