Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Running a marathon

Breeding daylilies is very satisfying, but also exhausting work. We started transplanting 4500 seedlings from the greenhouse on June 8. Lots of rainy days and torrid temps since then to slow us down plus spending time lining out plants for next year's regional and the upcoming national but about 3900 are now outside. In the middle of the process there are days when it feels like there is no end in sight, but I can see it now:-) Have also collected nearly 2000 seed pods and anticipate 3000 in total.

Greenhouse seedlings continue to bloom while we're emptying it out. These are 42710, 44310, 45010, 45410, 45810, 46410, and 46610.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Some of today's new seedlings

This is #43210 - out of Desire of Nations, 13107, Storm Shelter, bluish 17305, etc.

#43310 - 7".

Seedling #43410

Seedling #42810

Seedling #42410 out of Keep the Faith and 37106.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rain, rain go away

Rain is the lifeblood of daylilies, and we've had just the right amount of it this year. The fans are huge and the plants look great. (Most years we get very little rain from May through the end of August - thank goodness for the sprinkler system - about 40 zones that takes 40 hours to complete). The constant drizzle makes working outside pretty uncomfortable, so we had to call it quits this morning after a couple of hours. But the greenhouse was warm and cozy with lots of new seedling bloom. This is seedling 42110 - out of 47607 x 34609 (which is the second picture - it's out of 40807). Tall and 7", and I didn't even mind that I had to untangle it a bit. Too late to use in breeding this year (I have to quit by the end of May in order to plant seeds by early Aug, which is what's needed to get bloom by next spring), so will hold it over in the GH to use next spring.

Seedling 40110 = 5409 x 28809 (which is out of 47607).

Seedling 42210 = 15303 x 35309 (which is out of 13107).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The really hard work of the season begins

Today we started moving out of the greenhouse the approximately 4500 seedlings from seeds planted last August. It takes 3 of us about 3 weeks to do it since they're so large. Have made more new beds to put them in across the street in the gravel pit - there are now 7 beds that hold about 2000 seedlings each. The achingly beautiful faces with great branching inside have to show their stuff outside. In Minnesota that's a harsh test and few pass. The goal is to obviously increase the passing rate each year. I try to include one hardy parent in each cross, or use a seedlings where all or most of its parents are hardy, but it is so easy to forget.

New seedlings the past few days include 39410, out of Fear Not x It is Finished.

This is 39110 - out of 15303 x sharky 11808.

Seedling 38910 is out of Mount Ararat. I was delighted to get a beautiful edge in one generation. Have seen a couple of others out of Mount Ararat and am very pleased with the color and form. Mount A was always an "outside" plant (meaning I first saw it and numbered it outside rather than in the greenhouse, and left it there for several years of evaluation), so it didn't get used in breeding until 2009. Wish I'd known a few years ago how good it would be as a parent. Just like 15303 - serendiptity that it ended up in the greenhouse.

Seedling 38710.

Seedling 37210 - tall and 7" and thick substance with great opening - just what I'm looking for.

Friday, June 4, 2010

All the bells and whistles

Saw this for the first time yesterday - seedling 38310. Out of 47607 (of course) x 13207 (which is a sharky lavender out of Entwined in the Vine, 35502, and a few other things). The flower has everything (at least in the GH)- good branching, multiple eye and edge, sharks, green throat. Love it:-)

This is seedling 35310 - out of (Intelligent Design x 40807) x (13107 x 47607). Fascinating echo eye.

The next two seedlings - 37410 and 37110 come out of Entwined in the Vine breeding.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Magical cross

This is seedling 15303 - out of Heartbeat of Heaven x [(Chance Encounter x Shaka Zulu) x sib of Heartbeat]. Gorgeous color, 6+", hardy, sharky, good budcount and one of the favorites of spring fling visitors - but outside it's only 18-20" tall. So the challenge was to recreate this look on a taller flower.

This is seedling 12708 - out of 25107 x 34507, where 34507 is out of hardy 38104 (ruffly) and 29504 (sharky). Will see 12708 bloom outside this summer for the first time, but it is large and very tall in the greenhouse.

I planted about 15 seeds using 12708 as the pod parent - a really long cross for me as I usually just do 3-5 - but I really believed this could be a winner and and am grateful for the results. So far, 5 of the 15 have bloomed and all are large and well-branched and tall and have great color. In order, they are 10710, 33910, 35410, 5510, 37310. I also made the reverse cross, with 15303 as the pod parent, but haven't seen any of them bloom yet. It will be interesting to see if the height comes from 12708 either way, or if the pod parent is dominant (lots of folks say that, but I've never seen it in my short crosses).