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Author Topic: Chipping/Twin-scaling type question  (Read 101666 times)

Paul T

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Chipping/Twin-scaling type question
« on: July 20, 2008, 11:35:48 AM »
Howdy All,

I am intending to try a bit of twin-scaling type action with a Galanthus or two this year.  I'm a bit nervous as I am concerned that they'll just rot, but I will look up the process properly at the end of the season before I try it during dormancy.  I do have a question on a related experiment though........ if I were to dig down while the plant was in growth and carefully pass a small knife through the growing bulb and cut down to the basal plate (i.e cut the bulb in half, but only from the base to a third of the way from the top) and then perhaps across that as well (i.e into quarters, but only from the base to a third of the way from the top), carefully leaving the bulb in situ, roots intact, and the top third of the bulb undamaged and leaves intact.... would this function similarly to a chipping?  I realise of course that it would not flower next year as the central area would be cut into parts, but I am wondering whether this "damage" would result in the "quarters" of the bulb still being able to feed from the leaves above which were kept undamage with the top third of the bulb, and the roots below, perhaps producing better bulbils during the growing season, which would then mature further during dormancy (when I would then properly sever the bulb into 4 parts).  It is just an idea I had which I wanted to ask about.

Has anyone out there tried slicing or damaging the bulb while in growth to promote offset/bulbil production?  If so, how did you go?  It might be a crazy idea, and I am quite prepared to be told so if that is the case, but I wanted to raise it to see what people thought.  If it worked as I envisioned then there should be a better result than just splitting it up once dormant shouldn't there?

I have seen Ian's bulblogs where he talks about the scales from Fritillarias successfully producing lots of bulbs, but the one time I tried this I got lots of bulbils on the imperialis bulb, but once put into growing media the whole thing just rotted.  I am assuming I should have given them longer, or should have doused with fungicide or something like that.  I was trying to think of whether these things could work in situ instead of while dormant, which is where I came up with my little Galanthus scheme above.

Comments please?  Good or bad, I am open to suggestions.  Please at least be civil though.  ;D ;)
Cheers.

Paul T.
Canberra, Australia.
Min winter temp -8 or -9°C. Max summer temp 40°C. Thankfully, maybe once or twice a year only.

Martin Baxendale

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Re: Chipping/Twin-scaling type question
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2008, 03:38:25 PM »
Paul, I've never tried what you suggest but a couple of thoughts occur to me:

When chipping dormant bulbs, you chop off the top bit of the bulb to induce the lower part to make new bulbils, in the same way as you take the tip out of a shrub shoot to make the lower side-buds break. Cutting the base of the bulb with the growing leaves still intact would not achieve that and I expect the bulbs might well fail to produce bulbils at the base as the existing leaves would maintain dominance.

Cutting bulbs in the soil will risk rot getting into them. A major advantage of chipping dormant bulbs is that they can be cleaned of dirt, old tunics, roots etc, chopped and kept in moist vermiculite to form bulbils in what are virtually sterile conditions, greatly reducing the risks of rotting.

I'd recommend waiting for the dormant season and trying the traditional method. The most important thing, I've found, for success is to ensure the vermiculite in the plastic bags is not too damp - better a bit drier than wetter.

All of this is not to say that you shouldn't experiment if you want to with your idea. But pick an unimportant bulb to try it on. It might help if you cut off the tops of the leaves to encourage bud formation lower down in the form of new bulbils. Watering with fungicide, or puffing with some flowers of sulphur, after cutting the bulb might also help, as might pouring some sharp sound around the cut bulb.
Martin Baxendale, Gloucestershire, UK.

Paul T

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Re: Chipping/Twin-scaling type question
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2008, 12:17:38 AM »
Martin,

Thank you for the reply.  My thoughts with leaving the leaves intact was that they'd be feeding food down to the "bulb" which now is in 4 quarters and can't do it's traditional growing.  You're right though that the fungal problem would be much greater.  I'll try the traditional way straight after dormancy.  Must get myself some vermiculite as it isn't something I use elsewhere.  Well worth it if it works though.  Hopefully better than my efforts with Frit imperialis a few years back, which produced bulbils and then everything promptly rotted when planted into normal media.  Probably not left to mature enough first I would reckon.  ::)

I have to ask... "sharp sound"?  I'm assuming it was a typo and you meant "sharp sand" but I thought I had better check in case it was a commercial name of a fungicide or something that you get over there in the UK?

Thanks again for the response.  Nice to know someone has actually been chipping and scaling.  ;D
Cheers.

Paul T.
Canberra, Australia.
Min winter temp -8 or -9°C. Max summer temp 40°C. Thankfully, maybe once or twice a year only.

Otto Fauser

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Re: Chipping/Twin-scaling type question
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2008, 02:23:49 PM »
Paul,
 Marcus Harvey does a lot of chipping/twin-scaling, and I'm sure he will share his experience with you,
   Otto.
Collector of rare bulbs & alpines, east of Melbourne, 500m alt, temperate rain forest.

Joakim B

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Re: Chipping/Twin-scaling type question
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2008, 02:59:31 PM »
Paul when I first read it I thought Martin meant that a good threat to make them do what You wanted (as a joke) then realised it was sand. I am not sure threats work with plants even though I have read many who testify to the contrary.

(Martin I hope You do not take offence. Your reply was only serious and did not have the silly sugestion that I had, but I did not think it was impossible to come from You since You also like to joke. Generally in a separate comment though. So hope it was oK to Joke about it. Read about Your breeding and hope it will turn out nicely)

Kind regards
Joakim
Potting in Lund in Southern Sweden and Coimbra in the middle of Portugal as well as a hill side in central Hungary

Paul T

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Re: Chipping/Twin-scaling type question
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2008, 02:23:39 AM »
Thanks for the responses.  Otto, you're right it would probably be worthwhile talking to him.  I just don't like to disturb people, particularly as I know that Marcus would be busy at the moment with the recent catalogue etc.
Cheers.

Paul T.
Canberra, Australia.
Min winter temp -8 or -9°C. Max summer temp 40°C. Thankfully, maybe once or twice a year only.

Hagen Engelmann

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Re: Chipping/Twin-scaling type question
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2008, 09:15:45 PM »
Galanthophiles, Maggi,
we have such a good forum and a topic about twinscaling without pics. It isn`t the time for twinscaling but it´s the time of long and dark evenings. Let us accumulate this topic with good shots and pics. Here are two of my first twinscaling efforts. The first result is wellknown. But Brian and Chris told me the chance of getting bulbills also from the head parts of the bulb. Thank you. It was successfully done.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 10:01:21 PM by Maggi Young »
Hagen Engelmann Brandenburg/Germany (80m) http://www.engelmannii.de]

annew

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Re: Chipping/Twin-scaling type question
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2008, 09:47:36 PM »
Just a thought about Martin's suggestions about cutting the tops off the leaves, and off the dormant bulb while chipping. The latter process, as far as I know, is simply to make a flat base to sit the bulb on when you turn it upside down to cut it through the base plate. The tip of the bulb is equivalent to the tips of leaves (the bulb's layers are modified leaves), and trimming bits off leaves will not induce side shoots (=bulblets) to form. You would have to take out the growing point to do this. This is found right down in the centre of the base plate. Similarly, trimming the ends off leaves of a growing plant will not induce bulbil formation, any more than cutting in half the leaves of, say, a rhododendron will induce sideshoot formation, again the leading shoot would have to be removed.
I hope this is correct! Maybe a professional botanist can enlighten us. :-\
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annew

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Re: Chipping/Twin-scaling type question
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2008, 09:51:10 PM »
Just another tip - use plastic boxes (eg cream cheese or margarine tubs) instead of bags for incubating the chips. They can be stacked up easily and still retain good air spaces inside them. Martin's tip about the dryish vermiculite is important, too wet and it leads to disaster. I use 1 part by volume cool boiled water to 10 parts dry medium vermiculite.
MINIONS! I need more minions!
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Paddy Tobin

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Re: Chipping/Twin-scaling type question
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2008, 09:56:06 PM »
How did I miss this posting by Paul back in July? But I am glad to see it resurrected again by Hagen and to see his success with twin scaling. My  own story with twin scaling is that the scales produced bulbils but that when planted in the garden they did not seem to bulk up as quickly as bulbs left to their natural devices.

Finally, Paul, how exactly are you going to get under the snowdrop bulbs to do this proposed basal splitting. Would it be of any use if I started tunnelling down from the Northern Hemisphere to do the job for you.

Sorry for having fun Paul. The idea struck me as a very funny picture, you under the bulbs to cut the basal plate.

Paddy
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snowdropman

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Re: Chipping/Twin-scaling type question
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2008, 10:07:25 PM »
But Brian and Chris told me the chance of getting bulbills also from the head parts of the bulb. Thank you. It was successfully.
Hagen - thank you for posting your photo showing the 'top' of the bulb which has produced bulbils.

A large number of the snowdrops that I have had twin scaled over the past few years have done this, with some forms, like 'Spindlestone Surprise', producing a great many bulbils/pips. I have been asking people to pot up these bulbils/pips separately from the rest so that we can prove one way or the other whether the bulbils/pips which form on bulb 'tops' actually do go on to produce flowering bulbs - did you pot yours up separately?
Chris Sanham
West Sussex, UK

Brian Ellis

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Re: Chipping/Twin-scaling type question
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2008, 10:11:23 PM »
Well done Hagen 8)

Anne here is a picture of some chipping this year with the top showing growth too.  I think Rod Leeds may have been the first to employ the tops as well as chipping/twin-scaling.
Brian Ellis, Brooke, Norfolk UK. altitude 30m Mintemp -8C

Brian Ellis

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Re: Chipping/Twin-scaling type question
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2008, 10:23:44 PM »
One of the things that strikes me is that the bulbils on the top growth are not as strong or as large as those from the chips/scales.  Only time will tell whether they produce good plants - perhaps they will take a bit longer to do so.
Brian Ellis, Brooke, Norfolk UK. altitude 30m Mintemp -8C

snowdropman

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Re: Chipping/Twin-scaling type question
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2008, 10:33:37 PM »
Brian - yes, I think that it was Rod Leeds that was the first to start potting up the tops, along with the scales but, to the best of my knowledge, he has never potted them separately.

If indeed the 'tops' do go on to produce viable bulbs, then I would expect them to take at least a year longer than chips/scales to reach flowering stage.
Chris Sanham
West Sussex, UK

johnw

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Re: Chipping/Twin-scaling type question
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2008, 11:06:54 PM »
Hagen & Brian:

Guess I'd better getting cracking on 'Rosemary Burnham'.  I wonder when you consider the best time to get started? I was thinking of June when the leaves have died off. This way the bulbils would be ready to sever at about the time the parent within a month of rooting. 

johnw
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 12:03:04 AM by johnw »
John in coastal Nova Scotia

 


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