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Tue Jun 30, 2015, 03:04 PM

I have some 20 year old hollyhock seeds...

....that I gathered while walking in Colonial Williamsburg, a favorite place. Found them stashed away in an envelope. Is there any chance they will sprout? And what time of the year should I try to start them?

Thanks in advance.

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Response to grasswire (Original post)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 03:06 PM

1. 20 years is a long time for seed - but you never know.

I would try a few now and see what happens. Best chance would be if they were kept dry (low humidity, consistent temp)

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 03:11 PM

2. well, they have been in that envelope in a tub all the time...

.....but the tub has traveled across the country twice in moves, with all that entails.

Good idea. I'll try to start a few now, and then if they sprout, make a major effort next spring.

Thanks!

And while you're here....should I fertilize my tomatoes growing in pots? (Not dwarf varieties)

Thanks!!

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Response to grasswire (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 03:13 PM

3. Oh yes! All of mine - all 90 - are in containers or bales - and they are getting twice

a day watering and weekly feeding. Of the 90 plants, I've lost or am losing only 3 to diseases - far better than usual, and considering how we are roasting, I am fine with that.

Gardeners have to be well adjusted to occasional failures!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 03:24 PM

4. feeding with what?

What should I buy?

Re: watering. I thought the idea was to deep water tomatoes and then let them sort of dry out before watering again. I have been watering every other day and it has been pretty damn hot here, too.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 03:47 PM

5. In the ground that is true to a point - if you let tomatoes visibly wilt when there are green fruit

on the vine, it leads to blossom end rot - the wilting causes calcium to leave the fruits, creating the beginnings of the rot. When planted in the ground, there is a larger reservoir of moisture that the plants draws on. In a container - esp. if the plant is large, and the mix is light and well draining, you can't overwater - but you can underwater. I let the plant tell me what it needs and watch for that first sign of wilting from midday heat.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #5)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 05:27 PM

6. I think I just need to get your book..LOL

Good advice, thanks.

I plan to buy some kind of food for them tomorrow, but I have no idea what's best. In years past I have used fish emulsion, but I think you said that wasn't best.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #6)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 05:31 PM

7. Fish emulsion is fine. Plant tone or tomato tone is fine - those are both organic.

I am actually using just miracle gro water soluble all purpose - the "blue stuff" - 1 tbsp per gallon of water, and mix it up in a watering can and give each plant a 2 second slug of it each week.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #7)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 05:52 PM

8. thanks

I started with fish emulsion because I began using it on zinnias and it is fantastic for zinnias.

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Response to grasswire (Original post)

Sat Jul 4, 2015, 10:00 PM

9. They have germinated some lupine seeds that were > 10,000 years old

You could take some of your seeds and plant them now in flats no deeper then
1/4" but I would plant the rest next spring in flats or in the ground ..... not deep .....
about April 15th. Keep the seed in dry place but keep them in an unheated shed
or garage next fall because they might need a cold spell to help them break dormancy.

Or you can seed them into flats this fall and leave them outside over the winter but
place a piece of window screening wire mesh over the flats so you don't get random seeds
dropping into the flats.

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