Daylilies forum: What do you keep records of?

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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Mar 11, 2015 3:39 PM CST
Now I may have overlooked it, but I have not found a thread on what people keep records of in their daylily log books. I have seen threads about keeping notebooks, computer programs etc. but never what was actually put in those.
I want to start keeping better records of my plants, and would like to know what others keep records of on a regular basis. There is a thread on bud count, so that I know. What are some of the other things, what dates do you keep records of like FFO, First Scape? I would very much appreciate seeing actual pages or screen prints as examples.
Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Daylilies Bromeliad Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Birds
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florange
Mar 11, 2015 4:07 PM CST
Larry, I am obsessed. For day-to-day records, I keep a bound notebook from Target. I put a written mail label on the top of a page for each daylily. Take this into the garden so when I see something--first and succeeding blooms, how many scapes, who has rust, new fans, etc. There is a place to record this information. Last couple of years recorded earliest new scapes, but not this year. Too much data--first bloom is more important. As I cut scapes, I count bloom scars and record them. Do you need to? Only you know.

At the end of the year, I count scapes/blooms and record the info on an excel database. I keep this info for 4 or 5 years. This way I can make a realistic decision to keep or rehome or toss. Can also compare performance year-to-year. Example: Barcode did very well for me--grew well, limited rust, fairly high bud count. Two years ago I wrote that his blooms became tissue by 2 p.m. Followed up the next year, yep that was true. Tossed.

I also use the information to determine if the garden's colors are in balance. Used to have a bunch of doubles, but after David Kirchoff left the region, my doubles are few and far between, but lots of pinks, reds, need more purple, lots of yellow, need more patterns. That way I can get as carried away with blooms as I want, but when they are done, I can become more analytical. Can you believe I was trained as a financial analyst? I can analyze almost anything. It gives me something to do when they quit blooming.

Good luck, but have fun too. That's what it's all about!!!!
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Mar 11, 2015 4:31 PM CST
florange,
Gosh, I do need to keep better records, I can't even remember cutting scapes! I guess I just pull them when they are done at the end of the year, really don't remember. Maybe it was just done as part of the fall clean up...yes, that had to be it. How many scapes? I had never even thought about keeping a record of that. Earliest new scape, I guess that would be different that FFO come to think of it.
.Yes I want to keep this on the fun level, not get into the overloaded with too much detail level, I think finding a balance will be hard.
I had rather start out with too many things to keep track of then narrow it down to what I really want than to not keep records of enough different data and find out two years down the road that I really wish I had that info.
I can see this could get very complicated if not limited to what I really want to keep records off.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
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blue23rose
Mar 11, 2015 4:48 PM CST
Besides the maps, I keep a record of what daylilies I gave to whom. Most of my friends do not tag their flowers, so this way I can tell them if they ask me what the name is.

I also keep a record of the daylilies I purchased with info and a picture. Nothing fancy, but below is a small sample. I also have another spreadsheet listing the hybridizer and year of introduction. Could have put them on the same spreadsheet, but didn't.

In most cases I also list where I bought the daylily. Since these don't have a specific place mentioned, these three came from Lakeside Daylilies where the majority of my daylilies were purchased.

Thumb of 2015-03-11/blue23rose/1e09cb

Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
[Last edited by blue23rose - Mar 11, 2015 4:50 PM (+)]
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Mar 11, 2015 5:15 PM CST
blue23rose
I am currently using the ATP plant list for my meager record keeping, I may have to become creative in the way I use it to keep all the info needed. It makes things very easy so far. I would like others to chime in on any records they keep in a spreadsheet, and if they have been successful or even tried to transfer it all to the ATP plant list.
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
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Polymerous
Mar 11, 2015 7:30 PM CST
I try to keep records of the following, and I keep them on the computer, having learned my lesson from lost or water damaged journals:

What daylilies are currently in the garden, and where
Where/Who I got the daylilies from, and when
What daylilies are no longer here, and why (MIA, rotted, rust, bad foliage, flowers don't open, given away, thrown out, didn't like, etc.)
What daylilies I gave to certain individuals
What the bloom time is, on a quarter month basis (1-7, 8-15, 16-23, 24-end of month)

I want to say that I have found this the quickest and easiest way to compare relative seasons of bloom, and it is also about the only amount of work that I want to put in, for tracking bloom. I do this in Excel, with one column for each quarter month, and one row (line) for each daylily or seedling. Registered tets are on one page, registered dips on another, "keeper" tet seedlings on a third page, "keeper" dip seedlings on a fourth. I may enter FFO and LFO dates in the column, instead of just a "*" to indicate that the clump is in bloom during that quarter month.

To continue, I also try to keep records on:

What pollen parents (and clips) I used for any given year
What seeds got harvested from each parent, and how many per cross
What seeds got planted, and/or what seedlings got potted up
A map of this year's seedling locations (even though, having switched to copper labels, I don't anticipate more problems there)
At least images, and polymerous % stats (if applicable), on the keep-for-another-year seedlings (not necessarily all seedlings)
Overall notes on the seedlings that had maiden bloom (I don't take pictures of all of them, but I will write short comments on each seedling, such as "flower ugly, flower won't open, top-branched, sketchy foliage" and so on)
More data, for those few seedlings that persist here for more than two seasons of bloom

Lately, I have started keeping records on rust susceptibility. This includes data both from online sources (such as the ATP plant descriptions), my own observations, and my own half-baked estimates as to what I might expect for resistance/susceptibility, based on the parentage. I do not, however, go into rigorous scientific data recording of just how rusty something is (in terms of percentage of a leaf that is covered with rust); either a daylily has (at one time or another) exhibited very little or no rust here, moderate rust, or a lot of rust. (I should mention that what I consider to be very little or no rust doesn't necessarily match other people's ideas on that score; I do not consider 25% of a leaf surface being covered with rust pustules to indicate a resistant plant. I live in a climate where rust is normally not much of a problem, however; YMMV.)

I really don't bother with budcount, branching, flower size, or scape height unless it is maybe for the persistent or keeper seedlings (and not even then, if I don't ever envision registering them).

For the most part, I don't have much of my information in the ATP plant list. Not all of the daylilies (let alone other plants) are on my plant list, and the plant list isn't necessarily up to date (both for plants that have left the garden, and for those that have come in).

It is what it is; gardens are enough work, without the additional burden of being unnecessarily obsessive about record keeping. (This, from someone who can be plenty obsessive/compulsive about some things Whistling ...) Parentage of seed(ling)s is important (I do try there but even still I have had failures), but is it really necessary to keep track of budcount and branching for registered cultivars - at least, if you don't hybridize, and/or do hybridize, but aren't going to use those plants as parents?
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Daylilies Bromeliad Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Birds
Garden Photography
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florange
Mar 12, 2015 8:16 AM CST
Poly, the reason I keep bloom detail records is that so many of the hybridizers exaggerate cultivar bud counts, and I have 80 daylilies. So, with the records I determine who does what when it comes to bloom season. The funny part is, I live in the same county as Pat Stamile did. Trimmer is still here as are the current owners of Floyd Cove. I won't even tell you the bud counts of plants from these people. It would make all of us sick. Because I have a small beach lot and a small daylily garden, every one of those plants have to prove their worth to me. Thus, the records.
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Mar 12, 2015 8:37 AM CST
Well, Im the odd one out, Im good if I can just keep a tag on the daylilies. Knowing who they are, is about as far as I go.

Now with seedlings, I do keep parentage, that kind of thing.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Mar 12, 2015 8:41 AM CST
Don't feel bad Pam. I don't keep a lot of records but I do keep crosses and a journal with all the crosses I make each year with how many seeds I have from each cross. I also keep a spiral notebook, that I have had for years, with a picture of each daylily in it and the date of the FFO and whether or not the plant rebloomed that particular summer. I really need to check bud counts though. That can vary from year to year depending on the weather. I rarely get the registered bud count in my garden or the rebloom.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Kim W
Md (Zone 6a)
More daylilies!!!!
Charter ATP Member Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Daylilies Plant and/or Seed Trader
Hostas Echinacea Garden Art Region: Northeast US Region: United States of America
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kimkats
Mar 12, 2015 9:26 AM CST
I keep a spreadsheet with the ahs data on it plus whether it is fertile for me, both pollen and pod or one or the other. I have started to add where it came from to that list as well. I keep a seperate record for my seedlings. Some years I'm better at seedling stats than others. I make sure to get at least one photo of each seedling too. To help me remember how they did. I am finding out that what I thought was spectatcular the day it first bloomed does not always excite by end of summer. I have a notebook for each years pollen parents with their tag, wire color. I keep a list of harvested seeds for each year in the same notebook. And I can not stress how important maps are. I have 6 maps for my beds that I update when I move something, get something new or something leaves. It is great for when the deer or crows move your plant labels. The seedling bed is mapped too, so hopefuly I won't lose parentage on them. I wish I was organized enough to keep better bud count, ffo and bloom time records, but I'm just not.
It's my cats world, I'm just here to open the cans.
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
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Polymerous
Mar 12, 2015 8:25 PM CST
Arlene, it sounds like you have very good reason to track bud counts. For me, not so much - unless I am thinking of using something as a parent. (Thank you for not making us sick by reporting the bud counts the hybridizers get down in FL. Rolling on the floor laughing )

Kim, you are very correct about the importance about maps; I have finally, if very belatedly, learned my lesson about the importance of making maps of my seedling beds. I offer my story here as a cautionary tale for others.

I have four seedlings now of uncertain parentage, and a fifth which I believe is a child of one of the first four, which I am keeping around for at least a while. In the case of two of the four seedlings, the plastic label was faded/broken/carried off/lost, and I did not have a map. (I cite medical problems as the reason for why there was no map, and why labels were not refreshed in a timely manner.) I believe that both of these seedlings may have "Hip to be Square" somewhere in the background, but I don't know what the other parents are, or even whether H2BS is a parent, or a grandparent. (It is dismaying as I am trying to make crosses with at least one of these two seedlings, but I cannot undo what has (or rather, has not) been done.)

In the case of the third seedling, the label was faded and snapped, but still readable when I moved the seedling. For some reason I couldn't immediately go make a new label (this may have happened at a time involving a different (but serious) medical problem and subsequent treatment), and when I finally got back to the job, the faded/snapped label had gone missing. (AND I was still making seedling observations in a paper journal at that time... which subsequently got waterlogged or lost or something, so I can only guess at the possible parentage from some few computer notes.)

The fourth seedling, let's call it "A", came about because I was too hasty to remove labels in a seedling bed. I had already long since decided that there was nothing earth shaking and worth keeping in the bed, and had removed all of the labels from the seedling bed some weeks (months?) earlier, in the fall. Come spring, I had finally gotten around to digging up all of the seedlings to dispose of them, when I saved that one seedling "A" at the last minute - because it was putting up a scape which showed several poly buds on the emerging scape. (I didn't have a map, but from the seedlings that I had recorded which got planted (there were not, at that time, many tets), and the bloom and other traits, I'm about 95-98% certain of who the two parents were, though I don't know which way the cross was (I had done it both ways).)

The fifth seedling "B" I believe is a child of "A", but it is possible that I don't know the pod parent. Blinking THAT came about because I had several (overgrown) seedlings in one of those deep 32 or 38 plug trays, and I was having a horrendous time getting the seedlings out. I had to tip over the tray to try to forcibly push the seedlings out, but unfortunately several labels came out. (I can't recall with 100% certainty if the label stayed IN for this plug or not - I believe it did. But I had to put other labels back in the best as I could determine where they should be, and a few of those seedlings turned out to be clearly not from the cross on the label.)

Assuming this fifth seedling is a child of "A", I believe that the pod parent matches what was written on the label (so this seedling "B" is possibly "Q" x "A"), but the pod parent could also have been two other possibilities, "R" or "S". (Again, from certain bloom traits I am leaning towards "Q", but I could be wrong.) Or, I could even be wrong about that, and it might not be a child of "A" at all - but a seedling from one particular cross between two different registered cultivars. (But I doubt that - because the seedling flower is nicely formed and opens well, whereas I would not expect such a result from that last possibility.)

I may very well use that fifth seedling (and continue to use the fourth seedling, and two if not three of the other three seedlings) in crosses. As you might imagine, I am not happy at not having the parentages nailed down with certainty. (And can you imagine registering that fifth one? At best, the parentage would be listed as Unknown x Seedling.... Glare )

Lessons learned:

No more plastic labels, or any label that can break or snap apart or fall out or be carried off by critters, or whose name can fade. (Once I actually plant out the infant seedlings, I have decided to use impressionable labels from now on; if I want to read them easily, I go over the impressions with a garden marker.)

Don't use multi-plug trays. (These are an attractive option and I'm sure that they work well for some people, but in my garden, I get around to things when I get around to them. I have clearly learned that if you wait too long to empty the plug trays, it is a nightmare trying to wrestle out the seedlings - and the labels can fall or be pushed out in the process, with ensuing identity confusion. If I really, really, absolutely wanted to continue to use the plug trays (I don't), I would make a map of each tray before trying to wrestle out the seedlings.)

Map all of the seedling beds. Maintain the maps. 'Nuff said.

Don't remove seedling labels until the actual Moment of Truth (which is when you dispose of the seedling, or keep it).

Finally, when transplanting a "keeper" (even if only for another season) seedling, make sure to keep the label with it, and/or make a new one if needed.
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Kim W
Md (Zone 6a)
More daylilies!!!!
Charter ATP Member Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Daylilies Plant and/or Seed Trader
Hostas Echinacea Garden Art Region: Northeast US Region: United States of America
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kimkats
Mar 12, 2015 8:56 PM CST
Great idea about mapping the seedling tray. I had not thought of that one. Thumbs up I tip my hat to you. I have a few seedlings with a similar story to yours. That is when I decided to map them. Dang crows removed fully half of my labels one year. Luckily that year was mostly dogs Blinking Whistling Rolling on the floor laughing so most were compost. Only have 1 or 2 left from that mess.
It's my cats world, I'm just here to open the cans.
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
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Polymerous
Mar 12, 2015 10:21 PM CST
It's nice to know that I am not alone!

Crows, other birds, I swear that the squirrels (and maybe raccoons) are culprits, too. And I darkly suspect my two garden helpers, who I still have to admonish to leave certain plantings and beds alone! Glare (They usually come for 3.5 - 4 hours a week, to help with maintenance things that I can't or don't want to do... but sometimes they decide to be helpful... Rolling my eyes. ... which usually results in missing plants ("weeded" out) or missing or misplaced labels, and subsequent shrieking on my part Grumbling .)

For the seedlings and new cultivars, I am now using impressionable copper labels on stakes, like these ones: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HHJL6A/ref=oh_aui_detai... I buy them from Amazon, and (if they are in stock) at the local hardware chain (where they are cheaper).

So long as the stake and foil label hold together, I won't lose the ID (because of the impression in the copper foil)... So long as nothing bangs up hard against the copper foil part, the stake and label should hold together... I just hope that these aren't as attractive to the critters as the plastic labels are, and that they don't try to rip off the foil part, or otherwise try to carry the whole thing off! Blinking (They do sink solidly enough into the ground or pot, though... Whistling )
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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LarryR
Mar 13, 2015 12:30 AM CST
Great topic for a thread, Larry. I use regular Microsoft Word as my database. It gives me a lot more flexibility regarding the types of information I want to record as well as an opportunity to insert photos at will. Here's what a typical entry in my database looks like:

Thumb of 2015-03-13/LarryR/742e37

I simply copy the ATP database entry into Word, omitting info that's not pertinent to my needs and add my own info to it. I can keep track of my crosses and inventory this way as well. And the database is searchable. All it takes on a PC is CONTROL f. On an Apple it's COMMAND f.
Each entry is infinitely expandable. When one page for an entry is full, Word just brings you up a new page on which to continue.

Here is an example with more use of photos and lots of additional info:

Thumb of 2015-03-13/LarryR/32c1ff

Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
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Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
Foliage Fan Garden Photography Houseplants Hybridizer Organic Gardener Cat Lover
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LarryR
Mar 13, 2015 12:35 AM CST
Meant to add that you also have clickable links that come in from the ATP database copy and paste.
Larry
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Mar 13, 2015 5:16 AM CST
Well I know for sure that birds can steel your plant signs. I used to use mini blinds but after I saw a blue jay take one and fly away with it, I don't use them any more. Would not have believed it until I saw it.

I also use the flower program(don't know if it has a specific name) but have not used it yet for seedlings, which I probably should.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Mar 13, 2015 6:36 AM CST
LarryR,
Without even realizing it, I was actually already using a similar record keeping system. I print out the ATP database entries and keep them in a notebook (sometimes have to hunt other photos) out in the garden shed, but I will certainly be able to do a better job using some of your suggested methods. I just considered my system as a mere reference and had never thought of it as a "record keeping" system. I guess the issue of bud counts, branching et. made me think more along the lines of spreadsheets, and the ATP plant lists which I am also using in a limited capacity.

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