Sunday, November 18, 2018

Ahhhhhh winter's a coming... time to slow down and relax...

Yeah Right.  

Today I will take a quick look back on our 2018 season, Seedlings, and The Future.

Starting with our seedlings, we had some standouts this year, we had a poor bloom season for seedlings due to our poor planting schedule.  We had 3 beds bloom normal, and the rest bloomed sporadically, with heavy blooming coming on late in the season.  We decided to leave these in for another year to better evaluate them.  

This is Bite Your Tongue x Hungry Hungry Hippo

This is Chomp x HNF

Like a Gee Six x Vampire Lady

Bob Faulkner x Emerald Starburst

I have tons... But I will make a post later on showcasing our 2018 seedlings.

So our choice to not remove our 2017 planted seedlings due to poor bloom has caused another issue for us... Space.

We are building another 8 raised beds for spring to fit these in.

We are done. We have no more room after that. Plumb Out.

Now onto the Greenhouse, This year I planted a majority of my seeds in August, I worked as hard as I could to collect, label, bag, and chill my seeds that we made during april/may so I could get these planted as soon as possible.

As you can see, so far, it's paid off. I normally dont see seedlings this size until roughly Mid-february, with a large majority of the "growth" occurring March to Mid april. 

I dont know if this will get me one year "bloom", but it's about the closest thing to it that I can try.

This year I upgraded the propane heater to a 80,000 BTU unit. I wanted greater capacity to heat the greenhouse during cold spells. The smaller 50K btu unit did fine, but on *really cold* nights, It would run full blast, and struggle to maintain the on demand temp (55-60). 

This year I had a bunch of stragglers pot wise, I have about 30 potted plants in the greenhouse right now for various reasons, some are high importance plants that I just didnt feel like putting outside this season, some are plants sent to me late in the year to GH over winter, some were late purchases from Dave Mussar, and lilyhemmer.

So for the Winter of 2018-2019 I will again bring my pot stock in from outside around christmas, depending on the "weather"  we are getting a sufficient amount of cold right now, so if that continues, I might pull them in a bit early.  I like to see a full 2-3 weeks in the 20's overnight. But I dont like to see the temps dip into the teens too much. 

I will also dig about 20 seedlings to bring in and use this coming year with my pot stock. Now is the time to start transition my program from using others plants, to using mostly my own.  It's still going to take a while till I have a sufficient number of seedlings to cross into... but after the next boom season, I'll have bloomed roughly 6000-7000 seedlings and should have a solid 200-300 seedlings deemed worthy for keeping, maybe even a few introductions.

So for now, that's it... I'm going into my 3rd greenhouse season, and I hope I find more time to fill you guys in on it!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Summer update! 

Well sorry again to be long in the tooth with updates!

So far so good, this year I implemented a few "upgrades" I tried a few "new" things... and of course learned some new stuff! 

So let's start out with the seeds that I planted in November, This was the first time I grew seedlings in the greenhouse. I kinda messed up and planted way too many seeds... A counting error is to blame, I believe this is an affliction most daylily people have. 

I planted Roughly 4500 seeds, which made me use every last availible inch of "overflow" space I had made availible. 

The seedlings on top did better then the seedlings on the bottom, the ones on the bottom only received artificial T5 light. 

Now, I never really meant to use the bottom, only as "overflow" but I went 1500 seeds past my limit... and here we were. 

Compared to my first year of growing seedlings indoors, under lights... These plants were much larger, with much larger root systems. I am overall very happy with them, but I will have to address the under the table lights for next season. 

Things I also changed-  

Used larger 6.5 x 6.5 x 6.5 Square pots- 10 seeds per pot max

Consistent watering with "flood bench"

Consistent feeding, with addition foliage sprays 

What I'm changing for next year- 

Will Plant first flush of seeds in the last week of July, giving them an additional 3 months of growing time.

Better lighting under the benches

Using a more economical pot mix

Actually planting 3000 seeds. 

So, onto the Potted mature plants!

I pulled the pots in later this year, by almost ten days hoping to delay bloom by about the same amount. didn't work... I got bloom a week earlier. Dont ask me.. the temps stayed the same, etc etc etc.  My only idea is... most potted plants were hold overs from the year before, so they were well established in the pots this year Vs. last year. 

I had solid bloom from End of march till the second week of May. 

April 27th

May 7th

April 7th

So as of right now, I am collecting seed pods from crosses made 4-25 to 5-5.  I estimate that I have picked around 600-700 pods so far this year, and suspect I will finish with about 1100-1300 pods total, with about 15,000 seeds made in total. 

This year, I wont be crossing on plants outside except for my selects and seedlings. So I am basically done with seeds this year. 

Other note worthy stuff... 

I am going to attempt to build all the benches in the greenhouse as flood tables.  It was so effective in the speed in which I can water but also in the effectiveness in actually getting the pots "wet". As we all know, once a pot dry's out... well its a bit of a battle to get it wet again.  Not with the flood tables. It really made it easy to avoid getting a dry pot mixed into the bunch. 

Downside?  Flushing the pots is a bit difficult. 

Pest control!   Did I get pests this year?  OF COURSE!  

They popped up in march, spider mites of course.  I treated them with a knock down spray, and then bought predatory mites, spider mite destroyers, etc etc etc. 

Did it work?  NO!

I'd really like to give everyone a happy ending here, but after about 200 dollars in predatory mites, and 5 or 6 applications of them. They were not effective, the spider mite population existed, and grew beyond their control. 

I have kept spider mites in check with Tri mixed pesticides, with rotating MOA's

They haven't been a problem for me this year after that.

Not much else really going on in the greenhouse, outside bloom has started, new seedlings are popping up, and I am collecting pods and picking out crosses to plant next month!  

Till next time! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sorry... Its been a busy Spring! Updates!

So lets start out with... Its April 17th and snowing outside... Ugh!~

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile guys.. Its just been a crazy spring lead up for me.. Work, Finishing the last leg of our home remodel, and a few other things has made this a busy spring!

So I'm into bloom season!  Yay... Here's a few pictures! 

Clown Pants

Papio Shelli Mae 

Full Greenhouse Shot

Colorful Chaos R2D2

Master and Bold Ruler 

Reign In Me


So how's the greenhouse going?  



Of course-  Spider mites have made their way in this year again.  I was super selective as to whom I bought from for early shipping. That in turn burned me again.  Next year I will introduce no new plants into the greenhouse at anytime period without it coming in with no foliage.

I have been using Predatory Mites for control, but it seems like I'm losing that battle. I'm going to have to go into a rotation of insecticides. 

Heating bill wasn't bad this year.. maybe 1000-1200 for the winter so far.  I expect one more fill before no heating is needed.

Watering and fertilizing has been normal. Nothing much ado here. 

Seedlings are growing well, Hoping for a clear 10 day forecast so I can get them outside very soon. 

Seed set seems to be good this year, My scapes are taller this year.. so again.. I guess I need to lower my benches again! 

My water benches worked very well for getting many plants watered with minimal effort, that was a huge time saver on my end. 

That's about it guys.. I really haven't spent much time in the greenhouse until recently.  

Will update again soon! 

Obligatory cat pics to follow! 

Monday, January 8, 2018

So the season of 2018 begins...

So today is a wonderful wintry day, with freezing rain, some snow on top, mixed with the last day of 

below freezing temps during the day for a little while.

So winter 2017-18 has made her mark so far, with a polar vortex visit on the side...

Our 2 week cold snap resulted in the most propane I've used over a 15 day period yet, 91 gallons from 12/12/17 to 1/03/18. Not the kind of usage I want to see. 

But, there is nothing I can do to change the weather, even our southern neighbors got a taste of northern suffering.

My condolences to our Canadian friends. 

In early November me and my wife planted about 4500 seeds, this happened about 3 months later than anticipated, but that was basically my fault... I made 35,000+ seeds this year and that is ever so time consuming...  Not doing that again.

From here on out, I will make my seed in the GH early in the season... dabble during bloom.  But I rather enjoy the plants, not punch a clock for them. 

After that, we took a vacation to Key West... We needed it!  

Here's a quick picture from the Dry Tortuga's- 

Well moving onto the  "Greenhouse"  

This year in an attempt to save fuel costs I wrapped the exterior of the greenhouse in closed cell bubble wrap... we will see.

I pulled the pots on the 24 of December, 10 days later then I did last year...

I was trying to get them more "cold hours"   I still had a few plants trying to grow...

My local vole/mole/mouse population found my chilling pots to be a wonderful snack...  I wasn't assumed. Next year I will bait traps, etc etc etc. 

This was as of Jan 5th... Almost everything is in active growth.. I haven't watered the pots yet... Nor do I have room for all of them... A constant problem you'll always run into in the daylily world I suspect. 

Seedlings getting going, because of the late start with planting some of these seeds wont germinate till we get a run of a few days with GH temps over 80+.

I still have some sorting to do, I still have the new GH heater to install (upgrading to a larger unit) 
I have to finish waterproofing the lower benches, and fix a few grow lights. I hope to get that done in the coming days. 

Some comedy for everyone... My very deciduous tree.. with all its foliage still attached. I'm just going to call it dormant and move on! 

And Helen!  You always save the best part for last!   

So thats it for now, I will try my best to get another entry in very soon once stuff starts really growing.. but the winter months are pretty boring to start with...