HAVE: new project to help kick the winter blues
It's been a solid 90 days since winter settled in around here and I read somewhere on the web this morning that contrary to what any groundhog might have said, a series of back to back winter storms should keep us holed up inside for a few more weeks. That's when I decided I needed to start a new project while I'm stuck inside.
The world of daylily hybridizing is an amazing thing. These people spend obscene amounts of money on plants and seeds (I've seen a pack of 5 seeds go for just over $300.00 dollars at auction!) use specialized techniques to coax seeds into growing in the dead of winter, and grow absolutely fabulous flowers! I always thought I had a pretty nice collection of daylillies until I spent an average of one dollar per seed (scandalously expensive to my frugal sensibilities) and grew these plants out. WOW!
Here are some of my seedlings.
I had a blast making crosses with these lillies last summer, but aside from the carefully marked and labeled crosses I made, I also took pollen from ther best looking plants each day and dabbled it all over the five dollar daylillies I have out in the front yard. I think these are all going to be splendid crosses, I mixed the lovliest "faces" from the front yard with all the stellar attributes of these latest crosses like edges, ruffles, chicken fat, stripes and spectacular branching and size. I could probably get a lot of money for the seeds at auction except for one thing:
I didn't label any of them.
That said, I truly believe there will be some incredible beauties in there. I harvested each day's seedpods seperately, dried them for 48 hours, then refrigerated the seeds in a sealed container. Unlike the dried daylily seeds that have sat in room temperature since summer, these seeds are plump, shiny, amazing things just bursting with live - in fact, two of them germinated last week!
Growing daylilies in the dead of winter is a wonderful experience, I'm a stay-at-home mom and homeschooler so I have plenty of time to putter with them but even if you only have a few minutes a day (and a sunny, south facing window) you can grow daylilies. Laying on a bed of fine gravel, they soak in a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide which keeps everything clean and seems to speed up the germination process. One person has made a great, detailed pictoral of their experience which sums up the process quite nicely:
So have you guessed what my new project to keep me busy for a weeks is? Yep, I'm giving away daylily seeds!
Reply here or email me and I'll send my address. I'll need you to send me $1.22 in postage (these will be traveling in "Package" size containers so two stamps won't be enough), a bubble mailer, a note mentioning that you are replying to the daylily offer (I have other people contacting me for other things so I don't want to get confused) and a return address label if you have one. I'll send you 25 fat, happy seeds just ready to get growing. You'll have to be a bit more patient with me than usual because I recently started homeschooling my autistic son, but I will try to handle everything in as prompt a manner as I can easily manage.
P.S. These seeds can't be kept in a drawer or winter sown, it will kill them for sure. They need to be kept in the fridge or soaked in a water/hydrogen peroxide (90/10) solution.
Any interested takers out there?
P.P.S. I would love, love LOVE to see pictures of blooms! Even if it takes you ten years to get a bloom, I'd love to see it. They feel like granchildren to me, lol!