Re: Proagating roses from seeds
Greg, if you have a few hips and you want to plant the random crosses, it's not too difficult to do. If your hips are orange, although not all hips turn orange, you can just bring them in and open them up, take the seeds out and put them into a small bowl of water with a drop or two of bleach to disinfect them. Dry them off with a paper towel and then put them onto a doubled damp paper towel and then into a plastic baggie. Store that in the refrigerator until late January when they should be sowed into a sterilized potting mix. Once the seedlings have a second set of leaves, they can be transplanted into a separate pot. Be very careful not to touch the stem when transplanting as the oil from your skin can kill them - yes it can!! - We use a small spoon to dig them out and carefully transplant into soil in a pot that has been prepared with a depression in the top of the potting soil. Water it in well, and don't water again until it's seem dry to the touch. Don't fertilize until it's well established and then use about half the usual dose. We use either fish emulsion or a soluble such as 20-20-20.
If you have never done this before you will find it quite exciting to think that the rose you get will be the only one of its kind, and it belongs to you. This is a very simplified way that works - the hybridizers of course have a lot more twists and turns which one may like to get into later. Have fun. And just in case your wondering, yes we have planted lots of rose seeds and actually have come up with some very nice roses.
As an aside, you may wish to use a little "damp off" according to directions.