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ways to increase seed production in phalaris brachystachys?

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Rising Star
Hey there,

I am searching for ways to increase seed production in Phalaris brachystachys. I have the feeling that I used more seeds to sow it then I harvested from the plants afterwards.

One thing I discovered is that when sown in large pots the seed heads get much bigger so there might be more seeds.

I asked my self if the pollination on my plants was good enough. When the plants developed the pollen I ruffled the plants so that they can pollinate each others. Maybe that was not enough.

I also discovered that many plants standing around the Phalaris show little grass seedlings which indicates that I lost many seeds through the wind.

Any experience or ideas on this?
I don't understand this popular notion. I get exponential seed returns from my cultivations and it only makes sense. Plants should produce much more seed than the number of live plants otherwise they would quickly go extinct. One possible reason for diminished seed return that I can think of is indiscriminately cutting the plants during harvests. After the main stems are developed, they should not be cut off because they are the source of the largest seedheads. And yes, the deeper the roots the larger the seedheads. I always transplant them to the garden.

One more factor could be growth environment/conditions. The plant could possibly behave erratically in conditions alien to its habitat.
I might have found the major reason for experiencing this problem: overcrowding/ planting seeds too densely.

Poor Flowering
Weak flowering and fruiting occur because of a lack of sunlight, moisture, air circulation and nutrients in a crowded garden bed. Plants expend energy reaching for sunlight instead of using it to produce flower buds. If a crowded plant does flower, the blooms may be small or sparse. A plant flowering poorly because of overcrowding may still exhibit healthy foliage. Perennial plants that require periodic dividing, such as spring and summer bulbs, flower poorly because the crowded bulbs or roots aren't able to extract sufficient soil nutrients for bloom production.

Moisture Issues
A crowded garden bed often dries out quickly because too many plants are striving to absorb the necessary moisture from the soil. The bed requires more frequent watering to maintain moisture levels. It's also difficult to soak the soil since the plants cover it densely. Water applied from overhead, from irrigation or rain, soaks the foliage but may not reach the ground beneath. The wet foliage paired with drought-stressed roots make the plants more prone to disease.
For seed production of Phalaris species, especially P. Brachystachys, it's crucial that you sow seeds early on in the growing season so that the flowers bloom in spring and produce seeds in early summer and fall(autumn). You may soak seeds in a cup of water and place them in a pot with soil after they germinate or just plant directly into soil and keep the substrate moist. This is best done by a windowsill indoors or on a seedling heat mat. Allowing young P. Brachystachys seedlings to freeze before they're an inch tall will slow their growth process. Since P. Brachystachys is an annual species it relies on new seeds to be produced so that it may continue its life cycle. Sowing seeds too late in the year may give you enough time to obtain some biomass yields but often times will not give your flowers(if any) time to go to seed unless they are moved into a greenhouse with warmth. If you acquire seeds later in the growing season than spring or summer, the plants may be grown in a greenhouse and will set seed in September-November in northern temperate climates. I've had seeds that were planted in July set seed in late September outdoors even, so it is possible to get some seeds but for the best seed yields, the process shouldn't be rushed. Dividing clumps of Phalaris Brachystachys too many times in one year may prevent the production of viable seeds and they may generate tiny stress flowers with little to no seeds. Since it is an annual, cloning shouldn't be the focus of this species in cultivation. In northern hemisphere temperate climates, the months of January-May are best for germinating P. Brachystachys seeds to get a full yield of viable seeds by June-August(September) and before the return of the cold/rainy seasons beginning in late October.
In our warm mild winter we have the opposite problem. They will produce a lot of seed and little biomass. Having adapted to the semi arid environment here where rain is scarce and summers are long and hot they will stop growing more leaf and revert to growing panicles soon as they get stressed like with a harvest. Now I know that they're never meant to be toutches until spring. Also if you want insane growth plant them in the same soil where you found them otherwise they will hardly grow as good as where you seen them in the wild.

They chose that particular soil to grow for a good reason and it's not just a matter of nutrients but also soil texture, PH and organic content. They hate shade, plant in full sun otherwise they will grow poorly.

Tiller the soil well before planting ..my observation is that they grow the largest in the wild on tillered wheat fields after heavy rain.

Still I hardly think it's worth growing them in garden if they locally grow wild. Better for me to invest in a grass species that can yield usable product all throughout winter.
For that aquatica for me is the silver bullet.
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