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Halcyon Daze

overwintering cacti seedlings

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Once again winter is just around the bend and many of us have more than just our cacti to worry about, there's all the baby seedlings and grafts as well.

 

 

Lets share our hints and tips on how to best get the little ones through the frosty months.

 

 

Personally I'm wondering about allowing access to light and water without increasing risk and exposure to the cold,-any tips greatly appreciated :) 

 

 

 

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42 minutes ago, Halcyon Daze said:

Once again winter is just around the bend and many of us have more than just our cacti to worry about, there's all the baby seedlings and grafts as well.

 

 

Lets share our hints and tips on how to best get the little ones through the frosty months.

 

 

Personally I'm wondering about allowing access to light and water without increasing risk and exposure to the cold,-any tips greatly appreciated :) 

 

 

 

What are you talking about? It is summer time here my friend.

My personal take on growing seedlings in the frosty months is to let them get a little nip. Just enough to cause a little freeze damage to some and or kill a few off.

 

With that said, I grow my cacti in full sunlight and water hard throughout most of the year to include the winter months. You will get some that die if you do this, but those that live will thrive. 

 

Weakness is for those that want weak slow growing cacti.

 

Push them hard, real hard and don't stop till you've got some sploding cacti hun. 

Edited by Inyan
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Wow that's a cold cold heart you have there inyan.

 

Tough love you reckon, maybe I'll give that a go with a couple of pots, but thta's  the kinda thing I do to them at around age 2 or 3yo.

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4 hours ago, Halcyon Daze said:

Wow that's a cold cold heart you have there inyan.

 

Tough love you reckon, maybe I'll give that a go with a couple of pots, but thta's  the kinda thing I do to them at around age 2 or 3yo.

At any age culling is good, but I do prefer to get the coddling over with sooner rather than later.

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You can get really cheap grow tents now, or if it's just seedlings a cloning tent. Get the most out of any lighting you use, easy to control temps and airflow, usually have a double lining on the bottom so any water spills are contained.

Only just starting with cactus, but all ready have a plan for seedling tent, 4 x 4 flood and drain table, with a 315 cmh, should get some nice growth in a year.

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I used to have a wonderful old weatherboard shed in which i had installed a bunch of old windows on the north east corner. It filled with morning sunshine in winter and had no frost issues whatsoever. I just grew and propagated absolutely anything and everything in that spot, no matter the season. But now i have a couple of shade cloth greenhouses and a bench under some fiberglass sheeting. I'm thinking of altering one of the ghouses to make it a bit more frost hardy.

 

Still wondering about watering regimes for cacti seedlings over winter. I suppose I'll just water in between cold days and cover them up from the frost. Starting to wonder if I should look at heating my little greenhouse.

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plants aint stupid, stupidity just inflicts the humans taking care of them........come winter time when day lengths shorten & temps start dropping, most plants slow in growth & thus slow in water intake etc. 

 

remember folks, these are cactus plants,not super fragile temp & water sensitive plants....they can literally go months in the dead heat of summer with zero water & do just fine so it makes perfect sense to realize they need zero to little water in the winter months. 

 

think of their native environments....no shade cloth, butt freezing temps on cold winter nights, totally exposed to whatever mother nature throws at them, yet they thrive perfectly fine.

 

100% of what i grow (psychotria virdis, caapi, many orchids, epi's, cacti, etc etc) is exposed to outdoor temps; some though are under shade cloth, some under uv blocking green house panels.  those under the gh panels get zero water from nov30-mar1, rain or shine. If / when temps drop to 26-28F the plants have a choice, live or die.  mother nature is about survival of the fittest. 

 

if a person keeps soils dry, plants can weather much lower temps than when soils are wet, thats just common sense. 

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How successful is sowing cacti in the colder months? I imagine they take a while to pop up

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Im talking about very young plants. My seedlings/ sprouts are only 3 months old and still in have their takeaway lids on. I have another big batch that have had their lids removed. They are about 9 months, and they're the ones i'm thinking may be prone to frost damage.

 

I do cull but only about 20%. Thats the runts that hardly grow compared with the rest.

 

 

Think I'll keep them dry as possible but keep a close eye on them.

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7 hours ago, TheMooseZeus said:

How successful is sowing cacti in the colder months? I imagine they take a while to pop up

 

I think it would be better just to wait a couple more months than to sow in winter. IMO

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1 hour ago, Halcyon Daze said:

I think it would be better just to wait a couple more months than to sow in winter. IMO

Yeah, that makes sense

 

1 hour ago, Halcyon Daze said:

Im talking about very young plants. My seedlings/ sprouts are only 3 months old and still in have their takeaway lids on. I have another big batch that have had their lids removed. They are about 9 months, and they're the ones i'm thinking may be prone to frost damage.

Mine are roughly the same age, still with the takeaway lids on. It doesn't get so cold here but they seem to have slowed right down

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I take the lids off my lophophora seedlings at a month and harden them off, grown under 40% shade cloth that's stretched out a fair bit, I planted 150 seeds about 5 months ago, I'd say there's about 20 theatre still alive 

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I'm thinking of putting the lids back on or laying a piece of glass ie an old window over the whole lot of them. Just untill the frosty weather is done with. All still under 30% shadecloth

 

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This is my first winter with my seedlings. Most of them still have their takeaway lid on, and they're getting about an hour of sun 9am-10am that warms them up and hopefully lets them grow a bit. They're sitting just outside along a brick wall, under an awning.

 

I've also got a few containers of 6 month olds that I've got in full sun with no lids, I guess my main concern with them will be to not let them get too much rain in the colder weather.

Also thinking about taking some containers inside near a window... 

 

Hoping most of them survive :)

 

@TheMooseZeus I just sowed a few containers of trich seeds a few days ago. I've been putting them on a seedling heating pad at night and then outside with a bit of morning sun each day. I'll let you know how they go :)

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These are my babies... I've taken the lids off the containers on the left just temporarily to let out some moisture, so that I can add some weak fertiliser to them without getting them too soggy.

seedlings.jpg

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3 hours ago, aguacolla said:

@TheMooseZeus I just sowed a few containers of trich seeds a few days ago. I've been putting them on a seedling heating pad at night and then outside with a bit of morning sun each day. I'll let you know how they go :)

 

Cheers! I hope all goes well :) 

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7 hours ago, Matt1208 said:

I take the lids off my lophophora seedlings at a month and harden them off, grown under 40% shade cloth that's stretched out a fair bit, I planted 150 seeds about 5 months ago, I'd say there's about 20 theatre still alive 

 

 

Why so many casualties?  Maybe a month is too soon. Some people go for nearly a year before removing the lids,  the seedlings can get pretty big like that. But I go for about 3 months myself.

 

Im not that interested in over culling as I have a big block which will take ages to fill, so I need all the killer crosses I can muster.

 

I really protect my seedlings but once I pot them up it's all 'Grow Hard' in the full sun or go home

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I hardly have time to water my plants lately, everything but my cacti have died, I'd much rather month old seedlings die then to lose year old seedlings that I've grown attatched too 

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On 24/05/2018 at 10:46 AM, aguacolla said:

These are my babies... I've taken the lids off the containers on the left just temporarily to let out some moisture, so that I can add some weak fertiliser to them without getting them too soggy.

seedlings.jpg

:drool2:

 

Wow agua, that's an instant awesome collection in the making right there!

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17 hours ago, freakazoid said:

:drool2:

 

Wow agua, that's an instant awesome collection in the making right there!

 

Yep, just not going to have space for them all here at my place :(

 

But having too many cacti is never a problem :). I'll probably end up giving containers of year-old seedlings to friends so that they can repot them themselves or put them right in their gardens.

 

If I had access to a large amount of land, i'd plant thousands of them in the ground.

 

But all I have is a suburban sydney backyard..... for now!

 

 

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im no katcoose expert but lately( last 3 years or so) I have spend winter(oz) planting the little seeedlings that didn't even get a look in summer for up-potting. I dioont water them, just polant em uyop in sliuhghtly laerger pots. thgen by spri g they rerally get a jump on life. (thanks) to @Change for thtat tip .x

Edited by etherealdrifter
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Wow Eth, thanks to YOU for that tip. That's exactly what I'll do myself. Why didn't I think of that. Cheers mate :)

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These are where my 5 ish month seedlings are at- razor blade for size reference, humidity was taken away from the at one month, just counted them and there's a total of 37, sowed 150 seeds but never counted how many sprouted 

IMG_3251.JPG

IMG_3252.JPG

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as for wintering most just gets left in the shade house, seedling trays and variegates are moved out of the weather if there's heavy rain, but other than that everything's just left where it is 

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I've been busy today, just in the nick of time as there's some cold weather a-comin' in a couple of days time.

 

I've been inspired to utilise the famous "Halcyon's 2 cups 1 cactus tek" that I've previously used for growing seedlings (they can be watered without removing the top cup)

 

It's a bit of hard work potting up all the little ones but will be worth it in the end and the main thing is I'm no longer worried about frost. Even on a shocker of a night I'd just lay another sheet of glass or glad wrap over each styro box for extra protection.

 

These are Rosei #1 x bridge 'Ben'

 

Cheers for the tip eth :):):) 

 

 

P5270092.JPG

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P5270109 (2).JPG

 

This last pic is a bonus pic that snuck in LOL Validus x (SS01 x SS02) aerole graft, substantially younger than the seedlings which are around 8 or 9 months old.

Edited by Halcyon Daze
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