what's sprouting in my cold frame

Kathleen Sayce ksayce@willapabay.org
Sun, 26 Feb 2012 11:58:40 PST
A nice strong storm blew through in the past couple of days, so between rain showers today I swept off the cold frame (fir and spruce needles, twigs and a few branches) and opened it up to see how plants and seeds are doing. I had some very pleasant surprises:

Veltheimia bracteata gets water spray from the open section, so those plants are growing strongly. 

Some old pots of Pacific Coast Iris seed (2005-2010 seeds) have decided to germinate. A few are stubbornly refusing to sprout, but the ones that did decide to go for it have 3-5 seedlings apiece. 
In a separate germination treatment, I put PCI seeds in a food mill and scraped them up, 10 to 20 turns per batch. With either presoaking or direct planting after this grinding treatment, they are germinating within 30 days. 
Next I'm going to test this on very old PCI seed; the first grinding trial was with 2009 seed. 

More cold frame notes:
Toxicoscordon fremontii has some seedlings up, after a year.
Nerine laticoma has one seedling.
Lilium pardalinum and Lilium maritimum each have a few seedlings. This group can be very slow. I'd almost given up on them, then read Darm Crook's comments on the PBS website again, and put them in the cold frame last fall. Apparently it's the right temperature for these cool hypogeal lilies. 

I also have older pots of Eremerus himalaicus and Iris magnifica in the cold frame, along with all my Calochortus collection, some Frits, Scilla peruviana, Amaryllis belladonna, Rhodophiala, Romulea, Zephyranthes, and others, and they all seem quite happy. The Scilla in particular is doing quite well. The bulb had dwindled outside from year to year, but in the cold frame is slowly increasing in size. It might flower this year. 

PBS member comments helped me very much, first in taking that step to build a cold frame, then in figuring out which plants are happier there. I appreciate all the help!



Kathleen Sayce
PNW Coast, WHZ 8, dryish cool summers & mild wet winters

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