You have more seedlings there than I have roses. How in the world do you know which are which?
Paul, looks like there are hundreds there! I'm curious to know how you will proceed from here? Are these in normal flats? If so I assume you will transplant these very soon to give them more room? How many of these will you discard at this point? I've had very thick germinations like this before in deep foam boxes and allowed them to grow quite tall. They undergo a natural 'thinning' out based on vigour, which I like, but their tangled roots are a pain and I believe it sets them back pulling them apart when 15-20cm tall. Transplanting all of these would be an enormous task and very demanding on resources such as time and space... so I'm interested to know what you do from this point onwards over the next few weeks when you have so many that show plenty of potential already in terms of vigour etc? I've put about 1000 seeds in the fridge already this season and have shucked out a few hundred more today to put in tomorrow and still have a very large number of seeds left to do on hips that aren't quite ready to be picked yet so I am kind of worried at the moment what I am going to do with 2000-3000 seedlings in spring (I have 80-100 clinophylla seedlings alone to work out what to do with already), and can only see that being brutal in the very early days is what is going to be required to keep on to of things. I'm not use to this kind of early selection so am keen to hear what you base your early culling on (especially in this case because one parent is a mini that is likely to also throw full sized plants so some seedlings that are small may just be minis instead of seedlings lacking vigour... if that makes sense)?
OK, so here is what happens next: at this stage of growth, these seedlings are pricked out carefully with a knife and potted individually into 3" square pots, 36 to a flat. I did this operation shortly after this photo was taken. There is a limit to how many seedlings of any given cross I am willing to grow, so after potting up about 400 of these, I stopped. There are about 200-250 seedlings still left in the flat. These will likely be discarded unless someone volunteers to adopt them. From here, these will be grown on in the 3" pots through their first bloom cycle. I expect most of them will flower in these pots and I will make my first cull at this stage. Most will be discarded upon seeing the first flower, but the best ones (if there are any at all) will be potted into gallon containers where they will likely remain for the rest of the growing season. Generally, I keep all of these first stage selects through to the following Spring to see another Spring flush. Sometimes seedlings change dramatically in their second year. (and not always for the better!) After that, I cull again and again, discarding another 90% of the gallon selects and moving keepers into five gallon pots. Lather, rinse,repeat. Lol