Growing from seed

Malcolm Thomas
Tue, 19 Nov 2002 03:06:22 PST
G'day from Australia, group. Just joined so I'd better say hello. Nice to
see lots of familiar names amongst the posters.

I live on the outskirts of Melbourne and have grown species bulbs from seed
for the past 15 years or so. Have something like 1500 different species all
growing in pots in my back yard.

Problem with that is it's almost impossible these days to look after them
properly so they rarely get repotted these days - just the special ones.

All the seed I receive goes into a sealed container in the refrigerator
until about March (onset of Autumn - Fall for our US friends!!!)

All my seed gets planted the same way, into a mix of 2 parts coarse gravel,
1 part peat moss and 1 part worm castings. It is quite rich.

24 3-inch pots fit just nicely into those white polystyrene foam vegetable
boxes. Each pot is covered with a coarser 5 mm gravel mulch and then watered in and the polystryrene boxes stay on my back verandah which gets a small amount of
early morning sun only. Most plants germinate in the next few months but some don't surface until the next Autumn - occasionally not til the 3rd year.

Only rarely do I do anything different. I guess I get about 70% of pots
germinate but have never kept records of individual pot germination rates.
Always happy to get just 1 seedling up in each pot, actually. Any more is a

I separate the pots as they germinate and leave them grow on until the end
of the 2nd year them pot them out in potting mix into 5-6 inch pots. If
nothing surfaces by the 3rd year, they get discarded.

Don't want to sound off-hand but I just don't have the time to treat each
species in the way they might grow the best - If they are survivers, I love
'em. If they aren't, I'll try something different next year.

Malcolm Thomas

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