starting seeds with wet papertowels

Oskaloosa, IA(Zone 5a)

I had good luck lastyear using peroxide and water to start my seeds last year. Thanks to seedsower sending me her directions. I have heard of people putting them in papertowels and then placing them on the top of there fridge. Anyone here that has a successful way of starting seeds, or can give me directions on how to do the papertowel method? I recently purchased some seeds from the LA and would hate to mess them up. Thanks, Kim

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

Kim, I asked the similar questions a couple of weeks ago - so here is the link to the thread: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1148154/ (hopefully this worked). There is another link in this thread, which I was unable to copy, that had really good information.

I actually have seeds in the fridge, and on top of the fridge - all in wet paper towels with 10% hydrogen peroxide solution. I'm experimenting, since I had some begin sprouting early. I also bought some from the auction, and received some from Sandy (Seedsower). Some of my auction ones I were groups of crosses, that I bought more to experiment with, before I tried to grow the ones I really want - likes Sandy's .

My fridge ones have not been in for the required 3 weeks yet, although I have pulled a couple that began germinating and have planted them already. My top o' the fridge ones, some have germinated, some haven't. I have seen that one batch of seeds I have, Dance Bojangles Dance crosses, are VERY vigorous; a bit of moisture, and within a day or 4 - I have to plant them already!

Good luck! The daylilies seedlings are like my babies - talk about an obsession!! ~Jan

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Winnsboro, TX

Ya'll might want to look up "Starting Daylilies on the Rocks". I have used both methods and this one takes up very little space and you can see the seedlings starting to root without opening anything and poking around and distrubing them.
Since these little cups have clear lids you can just write the name on the top or sides of the cups. I started each different cross in one cup. Alot easier to keep up with this way too. Only problem I really had was starting way too many seeds at one time because it was so darn easy. You must remember once you start them, you have to plant them somewhere they will be protected until you can get them in the ground or else where. As for me once they started growing showing roots, I planted them in plastic shoe boxes and I could get between 50-75 seeds in each box and still keep up with the different crosses by using tiny pieces of mini blinds or plastic knives with the crosses written on them. Of course I was just playing with seeds that I had bought off the LA too. I think I grew around 600 seedlings. I still don't know what all I got and I'm anxiously awaiting to see them blooms this summer. Good Luck Ladies,
Marian

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

Marian, I did go get some plastic shoe boxes because of you in an earlier post somewhere in the forum, found them for 99 cents at Home Depot last week. I still have my DL in individual cups though, but those shoe boxes help with containing them.

I tried to find a thread about "starting daylilies on the rocks" and couldn't find it. I like the aspect of not having to mess with the papertowels to see if the DL are germinating or not. Can you give me some additional info? Thanks ~Jan

Logan Lake, BC(Zone 3a)

Jan I just cut small pieces of paper towel to fit inside the small plastic baggie in a single layer, moistened and reseal, you can see what the seeds are doing without opening anything.

Margaret

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

Oh I like that idea! I have some additional seeds arriving in mid February from the LA, and I think I will do it your way, instead of folding up the paper towels, and unfolding them, and refolding them....

Logan Lake, BC(Zone 3a)

If you only want to start part of your seeds you can buy extra little baggies at Michael's or Walmart.

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

I actually picked up some of those little baggies the other day, then put them back - because even if I did collect any seeds this year, that wouldn't be for months! Hahaha. I live so far away from any big box store, that I generally try to get everything I need, or even think I might need when I do go.

OK, going back on my list for next time!!!

Logan Lake, BC(Zone 3a)

Those baggies are great, I used them to collect seeds from others plants as well, its easy to collect a few extra to share with friends.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Here is the way I start Daylily seeds and now have 72 seedling growing. Some are from my own crosses, others are those I bought, still other from LA. This is the only way to start them. It is called the Deno Method, from Dr. Deno who invented it.

There is nothing to buy (except seeds). You use what you already have such as Peroxide, and kitchen paper towels. Mix Peroxide 10 parts water to 1 part Peroxide and store in jar.

I have discovered that some varieties of daylilies take longer to germinate compared to others. Some within a week, other weeks.

I have had the best luck by first soaking the seeds overnight in hand hot water to plump them up. Then cut a kitchen paper towel in 4th, dip in Peroxide solution and squeeze out until the towel is damp. Fold it over and place the seeds in the center. Fold the towel over the seeds and place the package in a small plastic bag, or Baggie. Since Daylily seeds require stratification (moist cold) place the bag in the fridge for a minimum of 3 weeks for stratify. After 3 weeks, place seed package at room temp where they will germinate erratically. Check on the seeds at least 2x/week. and plant those that have sprouted. I

I plant them in potting soil in 6-packs. These are about 1" or so in diameter. Once they are growing, and developed 3 leaves, I pot them to a foam coffee cup after punching drainage hole with a screwdriver.

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

I use the Deno Method on all perennial seeds. Those that does not need stratification (most do) I skip the cold fridge treatment. The great thing about this method is that there is no wasted seeds, except those which would not germinate anyway.

Below are last year's crop of Daylilies overwintering in my coldframe. Sown October 2009, and planted in the coldframe May 2010. Photo taken August 2010.

Edited to add that these Daylily seedlings are my own crosses.



This message was edited Feb 6, 2011 4:17 PM

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Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

So storing them in the fridge doesn't count as stratification? I am guessing stratification doesn't occur unless it is cold temps + moisture, correct? ~Jan

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Jan, correct. I store my seeds in the fridge but seeds need moisture with cold to become stratified. In nature cold goes with moisture and that is what you are imitating and what breaks dormancy.

I am stratifying my last batch of seeds in the fridge to be ready to bring to room temp in 2 weeks for germination.

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

NOW I get it! Thanks
Jan

Melvindale, MI(Zone 5a)

For some reason my fridge always has too much moisture so I don't need to do the wet paper towel thing. In fact I often have seeds get moldy so I have to add some of those little silica gel packets that come in medicine bottles to my crispers to prevent too much moisture.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

hemlay, That is strange about your fridge. Try dipping the seeds in the Peroxide solution mentioned in my posting above. It prevents mold.

Melvindale, MI(Zone 5a)

Ok, thanks blomma.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

My Deno methods of starting seeds have worked too well. Here are 36 seedlings started end of 2010. More on top shelf. I have another 29 seedlings in my office on a shelf under lights. That isn't even counting the seeds yet in the fridge for another 2 weeks that I won on LA and more from a Dave's member.

Those on the plant stand I will keep since they are not my crosses. Those in my office are my own crosses and I will keep one or two of each cross and give the others to my daughter for lack of garden space. This coming summer I will do lots of crosses of both Daylilies and Irises since now I know more what I am doing.

I also have Iris seedling in my coldframe plus new crosses made last summer that are planted in a plastic box and kept outside for stratification. They will germinate with warm spring weather.

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Here are seeds I won on LA. They were soaked overnight then placed in moist kitchen towel in the fridge on Jan 19 until Feb 16 when I noticed that 3 had sprouted. Photo taken today just prior to potting up. As seen, it is difficult to judge which end is up. I figured they know which way is up so planted them on their sides. The seeds are from the LA and the cross is Rob Cobb x Forestlake Ragamuffin.. Love that Forestlake Ragamuffin.

This message was edited Feb 16, 2011 7:35 PM

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Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

I have done all sorts of things with my DL seeds this year. The two most recent batches that came out of the fridge, are on the rocks - yanno, I think I am going to LIKE that method. By day 4, all the ones I put in last week had begun germinating. I stuck a few more on rocks on Monday, so I will see if they germinate as quickly this second time around.~j

Holladay, UT(Zone 5a)

blomma, your seedlings look so much better than mine. I've got to be doing something wrong!

Logan Lake, BC(Zone 3a)

Lilly I notice that you have trimmed your seedlings, mine are getting pretty tall and I'm wondering if maybe I should trim mine.

Margaret

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

Why trim them? ~j

Montgomery, TX(Zone 9a)

What is on rocks?

Logan Lake, BC(Zone 3a)

Their getting top heavy and will soon be too tall to fit under the grow light. I do hate the thought of trimming my babies.

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

Try this link (if it works) for information about starting DL seeds on the rocks. I am using aquarium gravel, 10%peroxide water, and instead of individual 'cups' with lids, had an old divided plastic "bead" bin around that I am using instead

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1157277/

Definatly interesting! And so far, is working (but so have all the other ways I have tried!) ~j

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

Thanks! I too would hate to trim my babies! ~j

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

nhuntley, Thank you. Yes, I'm pleased with how they are growing.

What do yours look like? If you can, post a photo. Then tell me what you are doing with them.

I plant the seeds after they sprouted in a 6-pack. The square pots are only 1-1/2" across. I leave them growing in there until they produce 3 or 4 leaves. The reason I plant them in a small pot is to prevent overwatering and rot since they only sprouted and don't have a good root system yet. I also water them with Quick Start, a transplanting solution that helps plants become established quicker. That I do only once after transplanting.

After they have produced the leaves, I transplant them to a foam coffee pot which is about 3" in diameter. Again, the first watering they get is Quick Start. Two weeks later I begin feeding with Miracle-Gro at 1/4th the strenght. I use regular potting soil and allow the top to dry out a bit between watering.

Ofcourse, once they have broken throught the soil, they are placed under Grow lights which is on for 16 hours per day. The lights are hooked up to a timer.

As far as planting on the rocks. It makes no sense to me. The small zip lock bags containing seeds don't take up much room stacked in a plastic container in the fridge. Besides that, I like opening up to see if they have sprouted or not. Also I don't have to spend money on gravel and containers. The 2" x 3" baggies cost $1.00 in Walmart. for 100.

But, to each its own.....

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Hi Margaret You have a sharp eye. Yes, I read somewhere from a grower that you can trim the leaves of both Iris and Daylily seedling. I did that last year also since they were getting too tall to fit under the grow lights. I just trim enough so that the top of the leaves are 1" below the tubes. They produce additional leaves from the center so it does not do any damage. Most likely it is beneficial since then more leaves will receive light more evenly.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

I have noticed that seeds from the same pod tend to germinate more or less within a week of each other. Also, some from the same pod takes longer than those from another variety.

I am curious. I wonder if it has something to do with their hardiness. Meaning, those labeled evergreen or semi-evergreen tend to sprout sooner than those that are dormant types. I have mostly dormant types and a few semievergreens. I will check that out.

Logan Lake, BC(Zone 3a)

Thanks Lilly, it won't be too much longer and they will be touching the light so I think they are going to need a little trim.

Margaret

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

Like I mentioned, I am experimenting this year since it is my first year doing this. So I am trying a variety of methods to see which I have the most fun doing. (It's all about having fun, isn't it?)

The first batches I started, I put into snack size plastic bags with wet (10% hydrogen peroxide) paper towels. Half went into the fridge, half on top of the fridge. I checked them constantly. I had decent germination, and some started while still in the fridge. After complaining about wrapping & unwrapping those seeds from the paper towels, Blomma turned me on to those small bags from Walmart, so I bought some of them. Instead of wrapping the seeds in the paper towel, I stuck in the towel, and some seeds in a single layer in the smaller bags, and that solved that problem.

Quite by accident, I also discovered those square face wipes work REALLY well in place of the wet paper towel. I cut them in half.

Since reading about the 'rocks' method, I now have some germinating that way. This most recent batch I removed from the fridge, I have a dozen crosses on the rocks right now. It didn't cost me any money because I already had the aquarium gravel at home, and the divided plastic bin. I do like being able to just pop open the lid, and look at all of the little sections all at once. I have to be careful how I handle it though, if I drop it, I might mix up some of the seeds if they shift into the section next to it. But, I don't know, because the individual compartments seem like they close pretty tightly.

After they germinate I plant them in a styrofoam cup with some of that aquarium gravel on the bottom. I use regular potting soil. I have tried 4 different stores, and have been unable to find Quick Start yet. So for now I used distilled water, and dilute miracle grow when they get a little bit bigger. As for the next step, who knows? haven't gotten that far yet! ~j

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Jan, it sounds like you have been a busy girl. It is about having fun (and satisfying our addiction) but also to create a beautiful and unique flower.

Walmart has the Quick Start as does Home Depot. Both stores are getting ready for the summer season in selling so putting out garden items, at least here in WY.

This is my 2nd year of sowing daylilies, the first year of sowing my own creation and purchased seeds. Opening those little plastic bags to peek is one way to pass the winter away. I'm in no hurry and like that they germinate in different days. Less hectic since as soon as they do, I plant them.

I am hoping that the seedlings in my coldframe will bloom this season. Also the irises I started at the same time.

Keep us posted on which in your opinion is the best and easiest way to germinate the seeds. I like my way but open to try other ways too.---Lilly

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

LIlly, I have tried two different Walmarts and not found Quick start yet, and a garden store, and a box store. But I will admit that the last time I looked was 2 weeks ago. If I end up at a store this weekend I will check again. I try to stay away from stores as a rule- I spend money at them. But of course, I also try to stay away from DL sites and the auction for the same reason - and it doesn't work very well as I have an order for some DL to stick in the mail this morning!

The 'rocks' method is kinda fun - perhaps because I have them in one of these 'bead' bins. I numbered every compartment, then made a master list so I know exactly which cross is where. Very quick to check them all, all but 3 of the current dozen are germinating. The only issue so far is the condensation that forms on the lid, and that is only a problem when I open it, I have learned to put a towel under it when I do so. I am hoping that this method will allow me to be more patient before planting them into soil, I think on occasion I plant them too early and need to let them grow a few more days. I will post some pictures this weekend.

I actually have a batch in the fridge 'on the rocks' because after reading the method I was anxious to try it, and used some seeds that hadn't had been stratified & chilled yet. Of course, it was while I was home during the blizzard! So I used a chinese takeout container drew lines across it and labeled sections. They come out of the fridge next week. Currently the other way, they are in the small ziplocks in the fridge then on the rocks, which seems like a waste of resources for me. ~ Jan

Altus, OK(Zone 7a)

Alright! Something else to use Hydrogen Peroxide for!

I shop the weekly sales at Walgreens and had managed to somehow stock up on a SERIOUS supply of Hydrogen Peroxide over a period of time. Its pretty sad when for donation time for the various drives that I donate more of that than anything else out of my cupboards!

Starting seeds this way won't go toward depleting my stash very much (still have four unopened bottles) but every bit helps.

I have seeds I need to start so this will be a good experiment.

Dawn

Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

I started my seeds last week after soaking for 3 days in hand hot water as recommended. I checked on them after 3 days and found that they had frozen. Will they still be ok? I put them on a lower shelf in the fridge now. Annette

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

Dawn, realize that hydrogen peroxide will expire.

This is photo of my former bead bin, now converted to a 'seed' bin. You can see that I numbered each compartment, then I wrote on a scrap of paper which cross was in which bin. I have recently transferred all that info onto a spread sheet.

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Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

Cem, I haven't a clue. I would expect that they might because they can freeze outside in the dirt. But I would wait until more experienced folks give their opinion, I am new at this!

Here is a photo of some of my "on the rocks" crosses germinating. Like I mentioned, I do appreciate that with one quick glance I can see what is going on. These 'babies' have been on the rocks since 2/13. They were in the fridge for about 3 weeks prior to this.

Edited to add- sorry they are a bit blurry, the camera focused on the divider, not the seedlings.

This message was edited Feb 18, 2011 9:11 AM

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Hazel Crest, IL(Zone 5a)

Good going Jan. Here is some in three phases.

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Hazel Crest, IL(Zone 5a)

My biggest seedling to date-Woodside Ruby X Unknown. Harvested from my plants last season.

Thumbnail by HazelCrestMikeB

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