Daylilies forum: Winter sowing Daylilies

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Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Jan 17, 2016 4:11 PM CST
Has anyone tried and or had success winter sowing Daylily seeds in milk jugs over the winter? I have been thinking about trying it. Any thoughts/advice? Thanks!
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Name: Joy Wooldridge
Kalama, Wa. (Zone 8b)
Sunset Zone 6, Heat zone 4,
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Joy
Jan 17, 2016 6:39 PM CST
I've done it. It works well, though I don't know if it was because of my climate, or what? But the seedlings I started this way took five years to bloom, where the ones I started indoors only took three. Seedlings don't bloom very fast here no matter how I start them for some reason? Five years just seemed a little too long though. I'd say try it anyway, at least with some of your seeds. They will come up and may bloom sooner in your climate than they do in mine. Our typical season here doesn't normally see a lot of heat, and this may be the reason they are so slow to bloom. Daylilies love warmth.
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Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Jan 17, 2016 7:21 PM CST
Thank you Joy. I am going to try some of them this way. Then put the rest in the freezer for a few months. Then in the spring I will direct sow them into one of my raised beds. The depth should be about 1" right? or deeper, and how far apart should I plant them in my raised bed? I can always transplant every other or every two, leave one. transplant two, leave one and so on. All I have ever done is plant Daylily fans that I received or divided. I am anxious to try this.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jan 17, 2016 7:34 PM CST
Jeanne, I would recommend not putting them in the freezer unless maybe they've been air-drying for a few weeks as freezing when they still have some internal moisture could kill them. Or try it with just a few and keep the rest somewhere cool or in the fridge as a test. Freezing is not likely to contribute to breaking seed dormancy, so has no advantage other than long-term storage if successful, whereas temperatures just above freezing do (if the seeds are hydrated enough).

The rule of thumb for depth of planting is twice the depth of the seed, although outdoors you can go a little deeper than this. I wouldn't go any deeper than 1" at the most.
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Jan 17, 2016 8:43 PM CST
Thanks Sue. I will just store them in the refrigerator in the crisper drawer. I appreciate your input. I will plant them between 1/2 to 1" deep and see if they will germinate for me.
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Name: Gale
CentralWa (Zone 6a)
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GDJCB
Jan 17, 2016 9:24 PM CST
Jeanne, I direct sow all my seeds in early spring, mid April, still some freezing nights, but not hard freezes. I plant seeds 1/4 inch deep, 8 inches apart, and keep moist. I had my first batch of seedlings bloom last summer as two-year-olds, just over 70 out of a little over 100 seedlings, and had five bloom as yearlings. I live in zone 6a, recently changed from zone 5b, central Washington. I think that I may try direct sowing some seeds late summer/early fall this year, to see if I can get more bloom in one year. I would be very interested to hear if anyone else has done this in a Northern garden, and how it worked.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Jan 18, 2016 8:11 AM CST
Gale - I can't say from experience because I live in a warmer southern zone, but I would be worried that a very young seedling developing it's roots and leaves might get stressed being sowed so late in the season before a hard frost. Just my thoughts on the matter.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: Mary
Kitchener , Canada (Zone 5b)
" The love of gardening is a seed o
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tugg
Jan 29, 2016 8:07 AM CST
I plant all my seeds in the fall ( direct sowing in my seedling beds). I would say 80% make it through but bloom time does vary between 3 to 5 years! It's a long time to wait and gives me a bad case of zone envy! Hilarious!
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
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beckygardener
Jan 29, 2016 5:57 PM CST
Mary - When do you plant your seeds and when does your first frost typically occur?
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Jan 29, 2016 8:36 PM CST
GDJCB said:I think that I may try direct sowing some seeds late summer/early fall this year, to see if I can get more bloom in one year. I would be very interested to hear if anyone else has done this in a Northern garden, and how it worked.


For many years Curt Hanson has direct-sown his seed in the fall, and he's near Cleveland, OH. He describes his reasoning and technique in his interview on the All Things Plants podcast #52.

Name: Tina Hartman
Illinois (Zone 5b)
tinahartman64
Jan 30, 2016 5:59 AM CST
I tried winter sowing last year with zero results Sad
This year I started them in a ziplock with pearlite and H20 with hydrogen peroxide.
90% of my seeds sprouted and I have them in cups by the window.
I am in zone 5
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Jan 30, 2016 7:09 AM CST
Tina, how much hydrogen peroxide to how much water did you use? Did you also put it in the refrigerator for a while?
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Name: Mary
Kitchener , Canada (Zone 5b)
" The love of gardening is a seed o
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tugg
Jan 30, 2016 9:12 AM CST
beckygardener said:Mary - When do you plant your seeds and when does your first frost typically occur?


The first official frost date for my area is September 29, however it changes year to year. Most of the seeds aren't ready to plant then so they go in later, between frosts ( or during a thaw when the snow clears if it's a bad year). This year's been great, lots of warm periods. Today it's supposed to warm up to 3 degrees.
One thing I always do when planting my seeds is cover them with a thin layer of shredded coconut husk. It's really for container planting but seems to really work; balances moisture, protects them a bit and they don't wash away in the fall rains. My aim is to breed really northern hardy daylilies. Don't know if it will work but I eventually want to breed some daylilies that will do well in zone 2. So at this stage they have to survive a little nasty weather. Hilarious!
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
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beckygardener
Jan 30, 2016 9:30 AM CST
Mary - Well, sowing seeds in Winter would surely determine which are hardy in zone 5! If the seeds don't survive, then it's probably not a seedling you want to waste time growing, right? Thumbs up
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Mary
Kitchener , Canada (Zone 5b)
" The love of gardening is a seed o
Daylilies Dog Lover Birds Bee Lover Region: Canadian Herbs
Dahlias Butterflies Container Gardener
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tugg
Jan 30, 2016 11:21 AM CST
beckygardener said:Mary - Well, sowing seeds in Winter would surely determine which are hardy in zone 5! If the seeds don't survive, then it's probably not a seedling you want to waste time growing, right? Thumbs up


That's so true! Smiling
Name: Greg Bogard
Winston-Salem, NC (Zone 7a)
Sscape
Jan 30, 2016 11:44 AM CST
Plant just before first freeze: http://davesgarden.com/guides/freeze-frost-dates/
Mulch at least 3" deep--clear mulch before first thaw.
Mulching prevents heaving, and allows for seeds to germinate later to prevent Spring freeze injury.
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Jan 30, 2016 12:26 PM CST
Sscape said:Mulch at least 3" deep--clear mulch before first thaw.
Mulching prevents heaving, and allows for seeds to germinate later to prevent Spring freeze injury.


A stiff wire cover of some sort is also nice, to keep animal damage to a minimum. Seems as if something is always walking or digging in a seed plot. Birds are notorious for plucking little seedlings out, too.

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