Region 14 Spring Regional

Friday, March 25, 2011

Temporary Greenhouse

With thunderstorm and hail the last two nights I was glad I had built the temporary greenhouse around my tomatoes. These were planted on March 18th. The temps have been in the low 40's at night and mid 60's during the day. They don't even know it. I actually have a few buds on a couple of them.

With the cold weather moving in last night and me already having tomato plants set out for nearly a week, I had to build a temporary greenhouse around them. I had some old plexus glass sheets. I just leaned them up against the frame. As we southerners are well know for good uses of duck tape. I used some plastic across the top and duck taped it to the plexus glass I then used some plastic to make the end covers again using duck tape to attach it to the plexus glass We did get frost last night with only a low of 35. I live in a bottom and the cold air just wants to settle in here. The plants were snug inside. I will just open the ends up today for air circulation and close them again tonight.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Selecting Seedlings

Selecting seedlings can be a mind boggling task. It is easy to find a pretty face among the seedling, but one should not let that pretty face turn your attention away from the plant itself. What do you look for in a daylily you want to grow in your garden ? This is what you should be looking for in your seedlings. Myself I first look at the flower. Doesn't everyone? Next I want some good branching and bud count. Although bud count can be somewhat on the low side it can have instant rebloom giving you a longer bloom time. I had rather have a daylily with 15 buds that blooms two or three time than one with 40 that all bloom out within a matter of a few weeks. So I am going to show an example of a selected seedling and hopefully you will see why it was selected.  This is a image of a third year seedling. It was dug and potted after maiden bloom. Left in the pot until second year bloom. Now this year I will be observing it out in the garden again.
Notice how tall it is and how well branched. Also notice the rebloom scape that has not yet had a pod set on it. You can see it is very fertile also. Nice arching foliage too. Basically just overall good plant habit.
Raspberry Beret X Border Music
Not a bad looking bloom either.
But one more good thing about this seedling is that it has thrown me some really pretty babies too. I should see quite a few new babies from it bloom this year. Below you will see images of three babies from this seedling that I will be looking at for second time this year.

(Raspberry Beret x Border Music) X Sense Of Wonder 
 If a seedling doesn't have at least three way branching it will not get to go to the selected bed, But it might be used for a bridge plant with something like the above
seedling to give it that branching. Actually I have waited until the bloom is gone. Being able to see only the branching a bud scars and choosing that plant for the selected garden. Have to wait until it blooms again to see if it has any other trites that I might want to keep going forward with.
(Raspberry Beret x Border Music) X Sense Of Wonder
Final test will be for hardiness. All my selections are tested in So. IL where there are some very harsh winters. Well this year we had a harsh winter. With four snows and temps as low as 10 degrees. All of these seedling have come back and multiplied well.
(Raspberry Beret x Border Music) X Sense of Wonder

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

First bloom Texas Blue Eyes

Remember the Texas Blue Eyes I got last fall and keep in the kitchen window all winter. I moved it to the greenhouse about a week after the scape appeared. Well it has all of two buds on it. This morning it is trying to open. I have not left the heat on in the greenhouse in over a week and the temps are kinda cool out there. So I took it from the table and set in on the floor closer to the heater and turned the heat on, hoping it will open fully so I can collect the pollen.  First image taking around 9:30 this morning and second one at 2 pm
Hasn't opened fully, but I pretty much expected that. At least I was able to collect the pollen from it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Planting seedlings

Needing to make room in the my small hobby greenhouse for tomatoes plants, I decided to plant some seedling outside today. Three weeks earlier than I normally plant outside.  But these seedling have been in the tree tray all winter and are ready for some room for those big roots to spread.

I had to remove about five clumps from the raised bed and refill the bed with soil conditioner.  This bed now has 65 seedlings planted in it. Some of them were as tall as 21 inches high. Hopefully I will get some bloom this season.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Middle Tennessee Daylily Society

Well I will give you guys a briefing on the MTDS meeting. As we were traveling to Nashville we went thorough a couple of showers, The only problem with those were when the 18 wheelers would pass me, gosh what a mess they would make on my windshield. But as we rolled into Nashville there was a steady rain. Got to the hotel and took our luggage to our rooms. Decided to go find the meeting place. GPS took me right too it. It was around 7 miles away from the motel. Problem was the traffic. It was around 4 pm and traffic was bumper to bumper. Took about 20 minutes to go those 7 miles. We get there and I asked the lady at the front desk if I had the correct building. She said yes, so I asked if I could unload my plants so I could return to the hotel and freshen up for the meeting. Very obliging . As I turned to walk to the car a lady sitting to the side asked if I was Sharon Price."Yes maim I am" It was none other than Nancy Ligon. John Rice named a daylily for her in 1998  
Nancy Ligon  Rice/1998
As I was telling Nancy about the traffic and how long it took me to go those 7 miles, she commented that it was only going to get worse. She had a eye appointment and instead for driving back across town she decided to just sit and wait until meeting time. I told her I need to go back to the hotel and change cloths. After all I had been traveling all day. Dreading the ride back in the rain, it was easy for her to convince me that was not such a good idea. That what I was wearing (jeans and tennis shoes) would fit right in with the crowd. After all by the time we unloaded the plants and set everything up, time was getting short.  No hair brush just a tube of lipstick in my purse. Everything else is back at the hotel. So my apologies to the group for looking so shabby.

I did have a little time to walk around the perimeter of the building. Oh! the lovely purple and yellow flower beds.
Remembering at this time my camera is in the suitcase back in the hotel. Shucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Members start to come in. The first one was Jack Alexander. Oh thank goodness he brought his camera.
So for now the story will be on hold until Jack sends me some of the pictures he made. Then the blog will be updated.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Increasing your Azaleas by Layering

Want more Azaleas ? Increase your Azaleas by layering. Here is an image of my two PRIDE OF MOBILE Azaleas. They were planted about six or seven years ago. As you can see, they are very tall, as Brooke is 5' 6 1/2".
Notice how the limbs grow right down to the ground. The limbs that lay on the ground after several years of leaves and pine straw falling on them have taken root. This is called layering, which simply means a cutting which remains attached to the parent until roots have formed. Layering occers in the garden when low growing plants are heavily mulched, thus partially burying some of the branches. Layering occurs naturally in the woods when tree limbs fall and pin branches of native azeleas to the ground. Ref:

If you do not wish to wait months or years for your plant to make layers, you can simply dig a shallow trench,  lay a low growing limb in the trench, cover it with a little dirt, and place a heavy object (like a brick) on it. This would be best done in the spring or fall when you usually have plenty of rain. In about a year it will take root. Then you can simply cut the limb from the mother branch and dig your layers out. You can either plant them elsewhere or pot them. I like to pot mine so I have some to share with friends and family. I could probably get at least 50 layered cuttings from these two Pride of Mobile plants right now.

Last spring I dug and potted five that I gave to my sister in GA. She simply set them next to the house for the winter and planted them this spring.
Simply keep them in full to partial shade where they can be watered regularly.
Here are four that I potted on Friday. I placed them on the north side of the house next to the faucet.
For the potting medium, since Azaleas like acidic soil, I have used the Soil Conditioner (reground pine bark) mixed with the Pro Mix BX. About 3 to 1 ratio.
Do not fertilize them!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011