At the beginning of this thread, Nan suggested looking at Ron Reimer's video for ideas about culling. That is the perfect place
to start! In his video there are a bunch of plants that I would dearly like to grow- and he threw them out! I have told him that
a lot of my work is just trying to recreate something from his video that he dumped. And that is where it begins for me. I am
really picky about what I grow and what I buy, but I just like everything! I can't afford that, and I sure don't have the energy to
take care of so many. Ron's video is an inspiration though, because it gave me the idea of planting the seedlings in blocks
where they are only about 6" inches apart in every direction. I had a terrible time trying to keep them weeded that way, but
Jamie Gossard suggested some herbicides that can be used, and that has worked really well as long as I do it well before
they begin to start budding, as it will cause the scapes to curl.
When mine bloom, I will flag the keepers like Pat said, and move them to a select row at the end of the season. That will often
set them back, but it will also give me a second chance to see if they do well enough to keep them after that. Many times my
own seedlings are nicer than those I buy that are hardy here, so I have dug out a lot of the named ones to make space. I am
also trying to keep my clumps smaller so there are more clumps. Ron Reimer will tell you that he is a hybridizer, and not a
collector. I only hybridize because I am a collector and I know what I want. This year will be my biggest year because I planted
at least 5000 seeds. Of course, I am hoping half of them don't come up, and I will also cull the small seedlings before I even
plant them in the garden.
As years go by, I am finding that my tastes change. Larger flowers, brighter colors, hardier plants, eyes and edges. That makes
it a little easier to decide which ones remain, but I think it is always difficult. Selling a few like Pat said would be a great incentive.
When I go to the garden, it is a big signal when they make me stop in my tracks. If I just pass by without much notice, I will often
tag it to be taken out. And I always do that long after they have stopped blooming so I'm not tempted to keep them.