If I do manage to get a few hundred berries, think I will plant half of them as berries and may try to stratify the rest.
Kduce... that bee looks a lot like a sweat bee, those little black ones that get on the bottom side of your arm and then sting the heck out of you when you mash them up against your side. Yikes...
But it is not the same thing. This little bee is mostly green (sort of shiney), with a little brown tint to him and about 2-3 times the size of that little black sweat bee. He was doing a good job of working the flowers.
You have some nice looking plants and your plants in the seed producing bed has grown a lot in size since last year. Sure hope you can save your seed from the drought.
I'm glad you are getting seeds to sow already. I've managed to pick maybe 15 berries and I've been putting them right back in the ground close to the mother plant.
I was really hoping for a bumper crop of seed this year but the weather is not going to let it happen. Now the bed I've got at the house I can keep watered and it will be later, on producing seed.
I agree with you some of the tops are larger than last year, but some are smaller too.
I think the fact that they died off early last year (in August) from the extreme heat and dry may have adversly affected some of them.
Hope they do better next year.
Today I checked on my seed bed again and some had gone down hill a bit more. Looking a little more stressed out, yellowing more and some with white patches on the leaves, not good.
We hit 102 here today and still no rain at my house.
I went to walmart and bought 8 cubic feet of pine bark mini nuggets (mulch) and I put it down on my seed bed. Moved it all in by hand being real careful, placing it all around the bottom of each plant (I'd say at leat 2\" deep) and had enough to cover the entire bed about that deep and some extra on the edges too.
It looked good after that.
That is about the only other thing I could think of that might help them thru this heat and dry.
I watered them real good after that. I have watered them every other day, for the past 8 days, total of 4 times.
Would sure like to see them make red berries, but if this heat and dry keeps up, not sure if I will be able to pull them thru.
Guys, good to hear that some of you are already getting some ripe berries to get planted. It's just too early to say how my seed crop will turn out. The plants in my seed producing area are about the same stage as TNHunter's. We've both got a ways to go before we have ripe berries. I've been considering stratifying some this fall if I get enough to mess with, but will wait a while longer before making that decision. I've had pretty good success with just planting the green seed from wild plants in the past.
I remember seeing something in one of rootman's post about believing that seed from wild plants being hardier than comercial seed. I am completely convinced that this is so. Wild plants have endured the elements for generation after generation. Cultivated plants have been helped along for generations and have lost some of the necessary genetic make-up to be able to fight through extreme conditions.
TnHunter - I've been following along your posts about your seed bed area. I think you are on the right track adding some more mulch to your seed bed. I believe that this will do 2 things. 1st it will obviously keep more moisture in the ground. Secondly it will help to keep the ground temp a little cooler. You may also want to provide a little more shade to help with this. With this being said, I also want to add that I worry that you may be overwatering them. They definately need some moisture, but as I'm sure that you are aware, too much could lead to a variety of root rot problems. I hope you don't take this the wrong way. I'm not trying to tell you how to take care of your patch, just offering my thoughts for what they are worth.
I agree with you on the watering... I would prefer to only water once a week, if possible.
But I tell you on these 100+ degree days, after just a couple days, the plants were visibly going down hill fast.
My Bed is raised and rounded and has drainage ditches on the sides so it does drain well.
I have been worried some about possibly causing root rot or even fungal diseases by watering, but at this point they are still alive and have a chance of making berries.
I am sure that some, perhaps most of them would be dead and brown now without the watering I have been doing.
Now that I have a deep layer of mulch under all plants there I am going to check for moisture levels after 2-3-4 days and hope that I can cut back on watering now - to more like every 3 or 4 days or even longer if possible.
On adding more shade... I actually took a large tarp and ladder down there yesterday evening, and looked at the trees that are on the west side of the seed bed. I am considering hanging a large tarp on the west side of the bed that would basically block all evening sun after about 3 pm (depending on how High up I can get it to hang). I did not get to that yesterday though. I waited until 5 pm to do that work and it was still 98 degrees.
Just getting that mulch done had me worn out and soaked with sweat.
I may try to hang that tarp this evening.
PS.. I will not be offenced by any suggestions you guys have on how I can help this seed bed out. I will welcome any inuput you guys have.
Bring it on..
I went out and turned the water on again this morning and looked all of the plants over. It looks like I have another handful of berries to plant again, so that is helping my bad feelings about the drought.
I share the concern about the extra water causing problems, but it seems like the water is absorbed so quickly that it can't do much more than give a short sigh of relief to the plants. We'll have to see if there are any bad effects that come from the watering. I looked at the weather across the country this morning and it looks like that even the upper Mid West is going to be suffering the same fate that we are in right now. I just hope that it doesn't take your plants down like it is ours. I'm also a little concerned that because so many had delayed germination that the seeds that might have come up next year will dry out and we won't see that late germination that we thought that we might this coming year. I'm just hoping that the watering that I'm doing now has a secondary effect where I am growing for this coming Spring.
Good luck guys, it looks like it's going to get tougher.
We need ain here now I went out scouting and found abou 4`s & 3`s some of them had a lighter color due to heat and not enough rain l8ly we to may have a short season if it does not rain good soon.
I just looked at the weather channel and according to the radar it appears that you guys in southern KY and northern TN are getting or about to get some rain. I guess all it takes to get rain is to have our buddy Billy request it on the forum LOL