A few years ago we began collecting pods out of the flowers in the RainyDayGarden in the hope that some of them would germinate. The experiment was fairly successful, but we came to the conclusion that it wasn’t the best way to propagate the irises and day lilies. We surmised that it would be much easier to just split the the clumps/tubers/bits in the ground when that particular patch of garden got too crowded.
Last Summer, we discovered a new day lily hybrid in the garden. Our friend Melani McAlister helped us we name it “RainyDayLily.” Not wanting to risk losing the hybrid, we saved some of its pods in the Fall. Unfortunately, our interns mixed the pods with the others we had collected. Since we couldn’t tell what was what, we planted everything as is and our letting this year be “pot luck.”
We like to start our seeds inside and this year’s efforts were made a lot easier (and more attractive) using the IKEA desktop greenhouse. The unit is light, has a lift-off enclosure, and is very portable. The tray is a little shallow, so we used trays/small glass lasagna pans to keep any water from getting out.
This year we are also trying a new Miracle-Gro soil mixture called Nature’s Care. This organic potting mix has a very different feel in the hand compared to other potting soils we have used in the past. It feels kind of spongy and crumbles nicely. We think it may be because the mixture contains coir, a natural fibre extracted from the husk of coconuts, which helps with moisture control.
The portable greenhouse is great in that we can take it outside during the day and bring it back in at night. The top panels can be opened a little or completely depending on the temperature.
We planted the seeds 8 days ago. This morning the RainyDayGarden copyeditor noticed that some of them have started to sprout! That was pretty quick. While that is exciting, as the pods got all mixed up before the planting, what will be even more exciting is seeing what they turn out to be 🙂 We will post updates on the progress over the next few weeks.
Update: May 9th…outside to get acclimated.
Update: May 25th…ready for planting.