Mulberry from seed

First time for me growing mulberry (morus alba tatarica for future rootstock) from seed, and I could use some advice.
I stratified my seed over the winter in the fridge and saw 0 germination until I planted them in standard veggie flats at the beginning of June. Seed must need temps above 60-70 degrees F to germ, once the warm weather hit the flats got crowded fast! I probably over sowed, there’s hundreds of plantlets per container and I am scratching my head over what step to take next.
I think I will try a couple different approaches with the three flats of seedlings, but am open to suggestions…
1- Leave them in the flat for one season, bring into the cellar for the winter (or leave outside in protected location?) then transplant into the field next spring where they can grow another year before grafting.
2- Prick them out and transplant into inground bed during a wet overcast spell.
3- Prick them out and plant them individually in tree pots.
4- Prick them out and plant 40-50 in 10 gal containers.

Some concerns I have are overwintering them in my z5 location, some of my mulbs have not made it overwintering inground as young plants. Also slugs, they really like mulbs and I am concerned inground babies would get chomped.


Here’s my situation-


Dang, that’s a lot of baby mulberries! How deep is the flat? When I grew out seedlings for rootstock a few years back (which didn’t seem to need cold stratification), they sent down deep roots pretty quickly. I think you should try to get a few in tree pots and see how they respond.

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Next time you’re welcome to come by my place and dig up all the mulberry seedlings you want. I have a wide range of ages to choose from.


Flat is typical 3.5".


I would use a Garden hose and gently rinse the dirt off the roots and transplant them to styrofoam coffee cups with holes in the bottom. Don’t try to overwinter them outside
In pots because pots are at least a zone or two colder.


Running the seeds through a robin helps too!


You need to transplant them soon and since you have so many you can try all listed above methods and see what works better for you. I would prefer to plant them in ground in the protected location like veggie garden since it is the least work later on. I think in zone 5 they should survive just fine.


Since these are destined to be grafted, I would transfer them as soon as feasible to individual pots. This will make everything easier down the road.

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