Daylilies forum: Too Late to Start Seeds?

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Name: Amber
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Region: Missouri Garden Photography
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amberjewel
Apr 12, 2017 8:52 PM CST
I collected a bunch of seeds last year, had some given to me by amazing mentors on this site, and even bought some on the LA. My plan was to 1) build a greenhouse with a bunch of old windows I purchased or 2) set up a grow station in my basement and then plant the seedlings outside about this time of year. Unfortunately, finances changed and I wasn't able to do either of those things. So, I'm wondering if I could start seeds now and then put the seedlings in the ground in the fall. Has anyone every done this? Would it be doable or should I just wait until the winter and start them inside?


P.S. I am glad it is daylily time again...I have missed everyone here the past few months!
Amber
Daylily Novice
Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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petruske
Apr 12, 2017 9:36 PM CST
I'm a bit of a novice myself, although I did get over 600 started (in the house in Feb. 2016, and planted into the ground in June of 2016). I'm in the same boat as you this year. I have seeds that I just did not get at during the winter months. It's my plan to germinate them in the house (SOON) as I did before and plant them in a flat so they get growing some before planting into the ground. I may try sowing some seeds directly into the ground just as a test to see how it goes. From what I have heard from others "here" the germination rate goes down some. Hope you hear from others here, because, like I said I'm a novice and don't have a lot of experience. I'm anxious to hear what they have to say also.

Best of luck to you however you end up planting the seeds. Thumbs up
[Last edited by petruske - Apr 12, 2017 9:39 PM (+)]
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Name: Kim Krodel
CT (Zone 6a)
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Krodero
Apr 12, 2017 9:45 PM CST
Not too late at all! Big Grin I still have a bunch of dry seed in the fridge, and a handful stratifying. At this point, I'll just direct sow what is left after they start to pop roots in the fridge. I think now is definitely better than waiting for fall, at least in my area. I planted a number of leftovers last Autumn and many heaved over the winter since they really didn't get enough root down.
Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
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Char
Apr 13, 2017 6:09 PM CST

Moderator

Definitely not to late to start seeds. I just started another tray a week ago..I was bored and tired of snow. Smiling Most of the seeds were started back in Jan. They'll all be going outside sometime in the next week or so where they'll sit in their trays on the west side of the house until I get the time to plant them in May. Once I finish planting if there is any space left in the seedling bed I'll take out more seeds and direct sow them at the end of the bed. Germination rate may be off a little, this could be due to my forgetting to water them. The only difference I notice is they won't be as large as the Jan. started ones and many of them won't bloom next year. The Jan. started ones will give me some bloom late this year and around 80% bloom next year.
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
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Polymerous
Apr 13, 2017 7:07 PM CST
I have some seeds that have been stratifying that I need to get started ASAP - but I live in a warmer zone than you guys do. So long as your seedlings are big enough to plant out a month or so before your first frost date, I'd think that you should have time enough.
It's daylily season!
Name: Amber
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Region: Missouri Garden Photography
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amberjewel
Apr 13, 2017 9:13 PM CST
Polymerous said:So long as your seedlings are big enough to plant out a month or so before your first frost date, I'd think that you should have time enough.


How big is "big enough"?
Amber
Daylily Novice
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
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Polymerous
Apr 13, 2017 10:09 PM CST
Hilarious!

I don't know! *Blush* All of my adult gardening life has been in Zone 9b, and I only grew a few annuals from seeds before that (in the Midwest).

Obviously the seedlings will have to have some kind of decent root system, and for that, they have to have some decent amount of foliage. I'd think if you tried planting out something that was very small, with only 5 leaves or so, and not much of a root system (not enough to fill a 4" pot), that maybe it wouldn't survive.

At this point, I'd say go ahead and start them - what do you have to lose? If you wait until winter to start them, they may have lost viability, as I understand it.

The earliest frost you would get in Zone 6a would be about October 15th. One month before that would be September 15th. If you start seeds now, and if they germinate within the next 2 weeks, that's 4 1/2 months of growth before they need to be in the ground. They might be big enough, IF they aren't all crowded growing together in one small pot. (I'd get them into the ground a lot sooner than September 15th - as soon as possible after they are up, and then watch them like a hawk.)

If, on the other hand, you have to stratify the seeds first... I dunno. Confused

Maybe someone from a similar zone to yours, who has had some late seed starting experience, can chime in here...
It's daylily season!
Name: Diana
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
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ShakespearesGarden
Apr 13, 2017 10:32 PM CST
I started seeds in the fall and transplanted them out as 2 leaf seedlings. Of the ones that survived the squirrels and their darn acorns, all of them came up this spring. They're pretty little as of yet, but they are growing. No way they bloom this year, but patience is a virtue.

So yes, as others have said, you can start seeds any time and transplant them out as long as they can settle in before winter.
Scout's motto: Be Prepared...
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Apr 14, 2017 6:49 AM CST
Amber - Since you are in a colder zone (6a) than me (9b), it would seem that starting them in Spring would be ideal (if not over Winter inside or in a greenhouse). But I wouldn't wait to start them. The sooner, the better to give them time to develop a good root system to help them survive the Winter of 2018.

For those living in a cold zone, growing them inside or in a greenhouse .... I would guess any time would work?
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Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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touchofsky
Apr 14, 2017 7:26 AM CST
I started seeds outdoors in early June last year, and they survived the winter just fine. I also started seeds in March, indoors, and transplanted them outdoors in June, and they came through the winter, too.

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