I noticed that you're using various types of germinating media. Looks like you switched to LFS, any discussion on why the move to a more costly media? Have you experienced problems with the other medias?
How long are your lights on for daily and what is the average temperature in there? (Day?/Night?)
Thanks! Everything looks like they're doing very well.
I had some mold problems with peat, but in most cases a Captan spritz took care of it and the seeds were unaffected. I decided to try chopped LFS for a comparison. This particular stuff is Chilean moss, and I cut it up with scissors. I have also chopped it with a food processor in the past, I think I prefer it a little coarser. I also had mold on the LFS, but not nearly so often. The major problem with the Chilean moss has been that the trays are full of grass seedlings. I might try nuking the next batch.
The lights are mostly T8 and T5, with a very few older T12. I have 4 different timers running, with overlapping photoperiods of 16 to 18 hours a day, for no particular reason.
The temperature varies a little too much, because I have not yet finished the 2" thick foil-faced foam ceiling, and the ambient temperature in the basement has some wide swings during the cold months. I hope to get it more or less sealed up in another week or two, then I'll start taking readings and make adjustments as necessary. As of now, however, the seed trays themselves stay nice and warm, since they are very close to the lights.
Joe, I buy Chilean moss locally, at the Lowes just a few miles down the road. New Zealand moss is not available locally, so I have to order it. That's all I mean.
No, I haven't noticed any difference in germination between various media. I suspect they would germinate just as well on wet paper towels. I'm more interested in how well the media will nourish the seedlings during their first few months of life.
I didn't know they had a Lowes in Chile and why would they import moss from New Zealand?
Most of the time the suppliers I deal with have moss from Sri Lanka. It is very clean and comes in 2 cu. ft. bails. After the tsunami tragedy Sri Lankan moss was not available and we started to get moss from Chile. The Chilean stuff was not as clean and contaminated with various (interesting) grasses. I liked the grasses and still have a few clumps around in various pots but will no longer buy the product.
I suspect they would germinate just as well on wet paper towels. I'm more interested in how well the media will nourish the seedlings during their first few months of life.
When I first started germinating seeds I tried a number of different mixes. I came to pretty much the same conclusion. I settled on coco-peat ( ... also from Sri Lanka)
germination rates were as high or higher in this material than in others I tried
it is easy to keep moist
it is more resistant to algae and slime than moss or peat if you fertilize your seed trays. (In general, I don't fertilize seedlings until they have been singly potted)
it retains a consistency that makes transplanting very simple and without, in most cases, disturbing the seedling (simply spoon it out of the tray and into a pot)
it is clean (I have never had any contamination in the bales other than an occasional leaf or twig.)
it comes in convenient sized bales and fluffs up to fill a lot of trays
it has a long life span
it is about the cheapest of all the materials I use around the nursery
I try to use larger trays as I don't like them too densely packed with seedlings. I don't like pealing little plants from one another. I prefer to spoon it out and into a pot and it never knows what happened.
When I singly pot seedlings it is to 2" pots. This begins the transition from pure coco peat to a looser and quicker draining mix. By the time they are ready for 6" pots they are planted in a standard well drained mix and the coco peat has pretty much washed away.
Thanks for picking up the joke, Sam. I was beginning the hear the crickets chirping after the punchline.... Many pet-stores sell coco products that are actually Sri-Lankan. You can get bricks of compressed peat, and also chips. The chips are pricey, but if you do not have nursery supplies locally... I had not heard all that about coco peat, Sam. All the stuff I have read indicated it broke down into toxic sludge, especially after fertilizing. Maybe it's the source? I tried perlite/vermiculite a few times. I never got germination(probably the seed) and I got a slimy algae -like stuff every time. I thought it would be the most sterile medium and many people over in Europe seemed to have great success with similar mix. I am also seeing in these threads, a lot of undrained containers(or so it looks) for sowing seed . Is that true?
Yeah, most of my seedling containers are undrained. They have tight lids and retain moisture well, so I don't have to water often. Of course, once the plants reach transplanting size, they go into small pots with the normal medium and drainage.
I have a few blocks of coco peat that I picked up at the local marijuana growers' supply store (they have all the latest basement gardening technology), and I'll try it out with my next batch of Nepenthes seeds. One thing you have to watch out for with coconut husk products is the salt content. Apparently, some manufacturers rinse the stuff in seawater. If you are uncertain, soak and rinse it well a few times before use.
As far as I can tell, there are, indeed, no Lowes in Chile. And of course, no mayonnaise in Ireland.
Post by Dave Evans on Nov 4, 2009 12:38:16 GMT -10
I'm pretty sure the only people who call it "pot" are not only not tokers, but they are also using a term "pot plants" which could be confusing to overseas readers who often use the term to describe any plant that is grown in a pot.
Everyone who smokes bud I know refers to marijuana by its cultivar name ('Bubba Cush' or 'Sour Diesel', for example). There are so many fantastic cultivars available now from Canada and California, it just boggles my mind And gives me hope for a brighter future as fewer and fewer people consider this awesome plant as a threat (a threat to what exactly?? Warfare? We should drop tons of weed on the Middle East, maybe they could finally mellow out--LOL). When people say "pot" to me, I think about a cooking vessel.
Anyway, back to CP's: Walter, I'm starting to think of your set up as "Sumatra Gardens" As I'm under the impression most of your seedlings Neps are from Sumatra...
They got control of the heart of a nation Their social bribes seem so graciously As time goes by 'Cause time as you can see will slowly die for you and me
Look at the lost souls they seem so black Look at the lost souls Souls of Black