Seedling bulbs

Rodger Whitlock
Fri, 20 Jul 2012 19:26:42 PDT
In 2009, I took special pains to collect the seed of Anemone caucasica. Sowed 
this in four 6" bulb pans, a convenient size. Good germination in 2010, first 
true leaves in 2011, lots of leaves in 2012.

In 2011, I planted out two pans of seedlings but kept two back. Those kept back 
were planted out yesterday, and as the monkey said to the lemur, thereby hangs 
a tail.

After dumping each pot out and pawing through the soil, I found 21 young tubers 
of A.c. These were perhaps 1/8" diameter (say 3-4mm), reddish in color, and 
hard to discern in the dark, damp soil. I was a little surprised at how few had 
apparently survived and wondered if there were some I hadn't spotted. Planted 
them, spread the potting soil over the planted area, and so to bed. Overnight 
it rained, a blessing as it saved me having to water in the disturbed soil 
where I'd planted the young tubers.

This afternoon, I went out and as I had suspected, with the rain having washed 
the potting soil off them I found another 79 tubers. Now we are cooking with 

Crass observation: just pawing through the soil only led to finding 20% of the 
young tubers.

Moral of the story: if your seedling bulbs are hard to spot, don't depend on 
pawing through the potting soil looking for them. Dump the potting soil into a 
container of water, swish it around, wait for coarser matter to settle, then 
pour off the muddy water; repeat until the water is no longer muddy. Your 
seedling bulbs will be sitting on top of the remaining, coarser elements in the 
soil as they are lighter than soil.

I'm going to have a great deal of fun planting out this second tranche of 
seedling tubers. Hopefully next spring will see some flowers.
Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Z. 7-8, cool Mediterranean climate

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