After being asked in the Aug 2018 Seedling thread to show how I grow my sdlgs outside I thought it would be nice to see how others do it too, please join in.
Starting a long post with a few simple comments....
KISS - keep it simple stupid, why make things more difficult than they need to be.
Daylilies grow in clumps, togetherness is ok.
I really don't like weeding. Mother Nature does not like bare earth. If I don't plant something there... She will....and it will be considered a weed by me.
Seedlings are started in 39 cell tree trays starting in Jan going into Feb. based on the batches I pull from the fridge. I use Promix and plant 1 - 6 seeds per cell, large crosses may go into a 23 cell tray, 19 to 20 trays total. Total number seeds around 2500 - 3000. This gives me about 2500 sdlgs to plant out in May. The trays are on a homemade plant stand in a spare bedroom with 4 shop lights on the top and bottom shelves, window light for the middle shelf. A 12" fan sits on a bookcase opposite the stand for air flow. Trays are bottom watered on Sunday morning, need it or not,1qt per tray. If really dry - depends on how cold it is outside and how much the furnace runs at night, 1 1/2 qts.
Now to outside....
There are 3 beds on rotation. Bed #1 is empty from the previous fall waiting to be planted with the newest sdlgs. Bed #2 has the sdlgs planted the spring before which will bloom for the first time, they are around 18 months old. Bed #3 are on their 2nd year bloom and any non selects will be dug and tossed in the fall to empty the bed for this years seed (new Jan. started sdlgs).
In the image from May 2011 on the left would be bed #1 , empty and started planting the new sdlgs. I plant across the bed rather than the length of the bed like most hybridiers I've seen. Why? Don't know
...my Mom always planted her veggies that way. This image has an old worn out hose dividing the bed because there is no room for a center path. Bed #2 is the area behind the pot shed, to give you an idea it measures 17' long x 23' wide, with 3 rows of plants. These are the sdlgs planted 2 springs before in May 2009. They are on their 2nd year of bloom and any non-selects will be dug and composted in the fall leaving the bed empty and ready after tilling for spring planting the next year. The large bed is divided in areas roughly 5ft wide and center walking paths are about 20" wide. The narrow path works fine during bloom as long as you always walk down the path in the same direction, the leaves are all untangled and going the same way. On the right are two long rows of bed #3 planted with a narrow center path. These are the sdlgs planted the spring before, May 2010, going on their first year of bloom.
The 2 smaller beds in the center of the image are select beds, there are two more select beds in the "box" bed above the display garden. So 4 select beds also on rotation. Way down in the right corner are newer arrivals, registered plants from other hybridizers.
This is July 2012 first year bloom on the sdlgs in bed #1 being planted in the above image.
July 2012 bed #2 has now been replanted. Sorry about the weeds...but it gives you an idea of how close together the plants are. Roughly rows are a hand width apart, so I can lean on one hand as I'm pulling weeds with the other across the row and about 3 or 4" apart in the row, roughly 5 ft wide, about 12 - 15 sdlgs per row. Note, Cy doesn't like weeding any more than I do!
Two years ago in Oct. of 2016 we changed the paddock area after loosing Duma, my 33 yr old Arab on Sept.1st. It was to painful to see the empty paddock when working out in the sdlg area. The pot shed was moved further back where the end of the old #1 bed was and the new area to the right of the gate became bed #1. The other side of the gate is a veggie bed now. Barn and fence really need painting
July 2017, I did get the pot shed painted and moved my foldable table from the other end to the new front end. The table folds up on the side of the shed keeping it dry and out of the way when not needed. In front you can see the newly planted sdlgs and the start of bloom in bed #2, 2nd yr bloomers.
A week later July 2017, we're back where we started in 2011 on the second complete rotation of the 3 beds. New seedlings bed #1 on the left, 2nd year bloomers bed #2 in the back and first year bloomers bed #3 on the right.
Nothing fancy, as simple as possible. If I were nice I would give the sdlgs more room. If I gave the sdlgs more room Mother Nature would fill up the bare spots meaning more weeding for me. With slower increase than the south I can get away with planting that close together, a select may have 1 - 4 fans by the 2nd year bloom when the bed gets emptied. Compost is added before tilling and brown paper bags or paper grain bags covered with shredded leaves are used on paths. I don't use any pesticide or herbicide other than an occasional spray with Neem when the tarnish plant bugs really get on my nerves. My chickens run the seedling beds which helps with bug trouble somewhat. Sdlgs are watered if it is dry after they are planted and in a year like this when we had day after day of high temps and no rain in July I did water them twice with the hose. New sdlgs get weeded twice, once in June and again in Aug. Older sdlgs once in June, the 1st year bloomers get cut and weeded in the fall, 2nd yr bloomers get trashed in the fall along with the weeds. Other than that they are on their own leaving me to do fun stuff during our short growing season...like making crosses, greeting visitors, taking images, checking out the selects etc.