Inactivity in Central Midwest Gardening

Ottawa, KS(Zone 5b)

Hello everyone,

There must be quite a few gardeners in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas, but we don't seem to have much message activity going on here. I guess that is symptomatic of declining activity in general on Dave's Garden, since Dave moved on to host the National Gardening Association forums. I participate over there, and it seems busier over there.

But there must be a few gardeners left here, so we should use this available space. I am a Kansas gardener, east central Kansas to be more specific, and we had a rain storm last night.

And the hummingbirds have showed up here, on their yearly migration North in the Spring. I have a couple of feeders up for them. We have maybe half a dozen "hummers", although they could just be on their way through. They are doing their usual fighting over access to the feeders.

My hobby is breeding zinnias, and I have developed several new forms of zinnia flower forms. I will sprinkle in some representative pictures of their blooms. If you are at all familiar with zinnias, you know that you can't get these from a commercial seed packet.

I grow my favorite "breeder" zinnias in zinnia cages. Zinnia cages are the same principal as tomato cages, only sized for zinnias. I make my cages from re-mesh wire to various sizes that I need. I get the re-mesh wire from stores like Home Depot and Menards. It comes in 100-foot rolls. The zinnia cages help protect my zinnias from our Kansas winds, which can get pretty bad during rain storms. Like the one we had last night.

ZM

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Beautiful flowers and equally beautiful photographs. There are a few of us left at Dave's, not sure if it can rebound or not. I think it's fascinating to see everyone else's particular interests, in your case your fantastic zinnias. I enjoy obscurity and seek out the unusual. Of course, most of the plants I try don't make it, but I enjoy the challenge. Anyway, I hope you keep posting your beauties. I hope there are others lurking who might join in.

Ottawa, KS(Zone 5b)

Hi Weerobin,

I don't expect any flourish of forum activity, but I have taken a lot of photos of my breeder zinnias. As unusual as some of them are, all of my zinnia mutations originally came from commercial packets of zinnias. I just made crosses between them to accentuate their differences.

ZM

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Quite interesting. Are they stable? Do you patent any of them?
Love that middle one especially

Ottawa, KS(Zone 5b)

Hi Weerobin,

They are only semi stable. Breeding zinnias is a bit like herding cats. They keep popping up new forms. I anticipate I will spend the next several years stabilizing them. I have been stabilizing some of them for the last several years, but by making hybrids between hybrids, I continue to see new forms. I do not patent them or anticipate doing so. In fact, I am not even sure that zinnias can be plant patented. I don't know of any patented zinnia.

I refer to the type of that middle one, the one that you especially like, as "Razzle Dazzle", after the name of the Razzle Dazzle Gaillardia strain, which it closely resembles. It is also one of my favorites, and it creates new zinnia forms when you cross it with other zinnias. I have Razzle Dazzle zinnias in a complete color spectrum. I am now in the process of making their blooms bigger, and improving their plants. I prefer zinnia leaves to be long and slender-pointed at the end.

http://www.dallasplanttrials.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/articles.detail/articleID/61/index.htm

I am doing this zinnia project purely for enjoyment, and not for any profit motive.

ZM


This message was edited May 12, 2019 10:49 AM

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Ottawa, KS(Zone 5b)

Wow, more than a year has gone by. I guess time does fly. These are a few more of my breeder zinnias.

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Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

I haven't grown any zinnias in the past few years. You've inspired me to grow them again this summer. Very nice pics by all. I've enjoyed viewing them.

Ottawa, KS(Zone 5b)

Hi greenbrain,

I used to live in the St. Louis area and enjoyed our visits to the Missouri Botanical Gardens. I enjoyed growing and cross-pollinating zinnias here in Kansas again last year, and I plan to expand my zinnia garden this coming Spring. I understand that the Pandemic has interfered with some seed catalog operations in recent weeks. I will plant zinnia seeds that I saved last Fall. I also have a message string titled "It can be fun to breed your own zinnias" at the National Gardening Association.

https://garden.org/thread/view/34248/It-can-be-fun-to-breed-your-own-zinnias/?offset=

I will include a photo of an odd looking zinnia seed that I found. I have a variety of new zinnia flower forms, including some that have petal ends that look something like "hands". We also raise chickens and guineas. The guineas are good at keeping our local tick population under control. I hate ticks and the guineas earn their keep by doing a good job of eliminating ticks in our living area.

ZM

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Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

I usually plant zinnias among my veggie garden to attract pollinators and where they'll get full sunlight. Thanks for bringing this forum back to life! : )

Ottawa, KS(Zone 5b)

Hi greenbrain,

" Thanks for bringing this forum back to life! "

Well, I wouldn't say that this forum is "back to life", but there is the two of us. We are having some ridiculous cold temperatures here and some more snow is on the way. I will attach a few more photos of breeder zinnias from last year. I need to start a few zinnias under lights to get an early start on Spring.

ZM

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Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

I planted a bareroot Queen Elizabeth rose today. This weekend I am planting a Sally Holmes rosebush. Also, hope to plant sugar snap peas and spinach. Anyone else planting? If so, what?

Ottawa, KS(Zone 5b)

Hi greenbrain,

I am not planting anything outside for well over a month. I think we have a chance of a killing freeze for many weeks yet. I am planting some home-hybridized zinnia seeds indoors, with the idea that I will set their plants out after the danger of a killing freeze has passed.

ZM


This message was edited Mar 24, 2021 11:25 PM

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