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Dekeius

Time to Begin; Lageniformis x 'KK1688'

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Today I sowed my first seeds. I purchased them from SAB as Ech. Lageniformis x Ech. Peruviana 'KK1688' and sowed 12.

I used a cactus soil mixed with about 50% perlite. Unfortunately the perlite wasn't as coarse as I would have liked.

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I then mixed and added some water before sterilising in the oven (100C) for 20 minutes. I purchased a small seed germinating box which should help increase humidity with spraying. I added my soil mixture to each of the 12 sections and then bathed the base in water before putting the potted area into the bottom covering. 20160430_1508062.jpg

Next came the most exciting sowing.

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I sowed the seeds by just placing one in each section and then lightly misting before covering the germination box. I have sat it outside but out of direct sunlight. I may consider changing its position depending on temperature and sun.20160430_153634.jpg

I still have enough seed to retry if I fail. Any advice welcome. I am very excited.

 

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I like to start seeds in an inorganic medium like sand or vermiculite, and then transplant them to soil when they're bigger. When they're in soil, especially sterilized soil, they can be overrun quickly by whatever microbe happens to show up first.

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It really is each to there own with soil mixs. I find i get far more problems from sterilization than without. 

A handy tip i borrowed from zelly is to use your soil mix and then cover the top with propagation size sand and sow straight on this. It helps prevent unwanted growths and when the seedlings root system gets through the sand it gets the benefit of the nutrient rich potting below. 

Although sowing in straight mineral medium is a very safe bet against unwanted growths... You will get nowhere near the growth you will get from a nice potting mix.

Soil mixes are all a personal preference but for trich seeds i just buy the very best potting mix i can buy and add a little prop sand to help act as a wetting agent.

My thoughts are for the first 6months- year you dont want the soil to dry out at all so adding perlite is counterintuitive.

Perlite and even better pumice is great to add to your first transplant mix or for bigger trichs especially bridgesii as the extra drainage helps with black rot.

The other problem with straight sand for a sowing medium is once you take the lid off after a few months it is a hell of a job making sure it doesnt dry out.

Just one more personal note from me is the cactus and succulent mix you have there is absolute rubbish. Every time i have ever used it i got infestations of fungus nats and larvae:angry:( they can destroy seedlings root systems in days) .The fungus nats can be overcome by letting the soil completely dry out for a couple of weeks before using to sow. The dry soil kills the larvae.

The consistency of the mix is also completely wrong for every cactus i grow.

Good luck mate and welcome to the world of cactus addiction:wink:

Give me a yell in a few months and i will sort you out with some pereskiopsis if your keen to try grafting some?

 

Edited by Master B
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Listen to master b. 

I like to make up a soil mix that the seedlings can stay in for around a year. I've tried all sorts of methods but I have settled on a very similar method to master b. I wait until the seeds have sprouted before I add sand or gravel to the top though.

Another tip, put drainage holes in your containers before you sow. That way once your babies are established and the lids are off, you can water them without worrying about them getting wet feet.

I've had pretty good results with the cactus mix shown, but I've never used it for seeds. I've had amazing growth from trich cuts potted up in that mix at a 70/30 ratio with perlite, and the occasional watering with some nice ferts.

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thanks everyone

 

master b noted on the cactus soil. but would heating it in the oven kill any microbes or sources of infection?

 

Maybe I will try some with only inorganic. I have some vermiculite and perlite.

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Whatever you kill in the soil by nuking it will be replaced by spores on the seeds themselves. Personally I think the soil sterilisation step is unnecessary. If you see bad stuff growing on your seedlings you can always give them a spray with dilute peroxide. 

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Yeh I'll probably wait a bit and observe. If it seems like a waste I'll try again with a different medium. 

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Upon using an inorganic medium for germination would I use verm, perlite, coarse sand or the like in a high humidity environment? I assume in a few weeks I would need to transfer to a more organic soil mixture.

 

I think ill be looking for a cutting eventually.

 

Peace and thanks for the advice.

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nice one. my preferred soil mix is just seed raising mix and sand about 50/50. i wash it in wettable sulphur or mancozeb whichever i have on hand at the time and i get pretty decent germ rates i guess (i get the occasional small mould but i just douse it in fungicide. i figure a bit of mould sorts the seed from the chaff). one thing you'll probably want to put them on a heat mat or something over winter as they will grow hardly at all if you just subject them to the cold mornings. not sure what it's like in nsw though but vic mornings are a little cold for starting cactus seedlings without heat

Edited by DiscoStu

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Another strategy is to inoculate an organic medium with a mycorrhizae supplement to make sure the benign or beneficial bugs outnumber the bad ones.

 

I have started seedlings inoculated with http://www.plant-success.com/product/great-white/ in vermiculite and sprayed others with a solution of the product and it doesn't seem to have harmed them. I don't have enough data to tell you if it is better than nothing, though.

 

Edited to add: for my inorganic-medium seedlings I get much better results from a humid environment (I routinely measure about 70-85% RH but I plan more experiments with approaching 100%) that is quite warm, about 34C. When I remove seedlings from that environment to a colder, less humid one for whatever reason, they always stall until they are put back.

Edited by karl_marx

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Thanks stu i reckon it might be a bit cold in a month or so yeah. Ill grab a thermometer and measure outside, inside by a window and maybe on top of the hot water system (some light but none direct).

 

Glaukus duly noted on the sterilising. I guess its a bit of a habit from fungi cultivation. I cleaned most of my tools and potting containers with isopropyl haha.

 

Discostu and karl marx I'll check out adding supplements. I have plenty more seed so i may give it a shot straight up. 

 

I've really struggled to find any kind of time frame online. Currently they have a cylinder of soil with a diameter of an inch and probably an inch and a half deep. At what point will i need to find my friends a new larger home?

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One of those wells would probably have been fine with 10-20 seeds.

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Planted some more seed last night. Into a moist medium of just perlite. I sprinkled more dry perlite on top. Placed seed and misted before covering in cling wrap. These guys are going to start life indoors. They have an obscured window for light. 

 

In an exclusively inorganic medium i really should add some type of fertiliser? 

 

I'll add some pictures tonight. 

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Finally I have life. I went away for the weekend and on my return have found the tiniest little green shoots. They are about 9 days old now, still outside, high humidity but out of the sun. 

 

My main concern is still temperature as we get closer to winter. 

 

Peace.

20160508_225817.jpg

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You can use a heating pad for seedlings and take them indoors. They will grow as long as they're warm and humid enough.

 

Some of the fluorescent seedling rigs featured on SAB are pretty simple to put together, and work for grafts too if you're into that. They're easier than they look.

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For some reason I feel opposed to using a heat mat, don't really know why as I can get one for about $15. Maybe I will for my next go round. 

 

For now I am very pleased with the growth I'm getting. I believe I'm getting the very first areole atop some of my shoots. Bit hard to see in the photo however. 

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Aiming to try a graft within 3 or 4 weeks time. 

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Update. Grafted 5 of my trichs and sowed some loph seeds. Seeds and pereskiopsis courtesy of a member :)

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Currently don't have any plastic for humidity or weights on the scion. Have them out of the sun though. The trichs were small and juicy. Will wait to see if the grafts take. 

 

Only question for now is what will happen to the base of the trichs i took to make my scions. Any chance they live?

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I typically give my grafts a week in a plastic container with 100% humidity, or as close as possible, then some time at 60%-70% with artificial light and heat until the new growth is visible at the top.

 

It's a pity about the bottom halves of the seedlings but as your seed and plant collection grows you'll realize that some death is an important part of not being overrun with cacti.

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One graft failed and some idiot bumped another off so I did a bit of surgery and then decided to sow all the remaining seed I had. I now have trichs and lophs in a variety of organic and no organic soils. Got some lophs sown but none germinated. I've also tried a technique i found on the forums to get pereskiopsis to root in just a glass of water by a window. Got 2 of my seed trays indoors.

 

With this amount of experimentation I'll get some success hopefully. 

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Alls going well in my cactii Kingdom. got some beautiful seedlings and some not so. tried and failed at grafting and will try again with bigger scions. been to bunnings a few times to acquire some terracotta pots. 

 

All my guys are outside now and some still with glad wrap coverings. sun burn is still a problem and my holiday to the states was not welcome by my cactii. 

 

Lets go summer!!!

 

Pics to come.

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These are my original sown seed. Quite proud of them. No lights, no heating, sown in Autumn. Very pleased.

20161115_160838.jpg 20161115_160847.jpg

One of those guys there is a little smaller but also seems to have limited spines. Would love to see it keep growing without becoming real spiny.

I have a tiny little lophophora williamsii about 3mm in diameter.

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I'm rather nervous about him. its the only loph I've got to germinate out of 10 seeds or so.

 

will try grafting a trich or two in the coming weeks.

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