I pretty much learned about sterile technique from mycology but its so much easier with plants, no need for autoclave here
I get little pots and 3 quater fill them with john innes seed soil,
and get another pot to tamp down the soil so theres at least 1cm from the top of the soil to the rim of the pot
..its gritty/sandy/loamy but I gather anything with little to no nutrients can be a good sowing medium
I tried all sorts of mixes , the most successful in efficiency being a layer of perlite and an equal thickness layer of john innes seed soil on top - I think this aids with air flow...
but really we're thinking longevity and I only use this when I'm going to transfer seedlings early, or for a viability test... which isn't often...
and these seeds could be in this pot covered for 6 months before poking a tiny hole in the saran wrap , then another the next day and so on...
limestones didn't seem to help so I left them out in the end - I read somewhere once that cacti like high-ish ph (ph8) but rain and aquarium water are the way
and rain is ph4..., my aquarium is ph6.8...
then I microwave them for 4x 3 minute blasts with 2 minutes between each if its the flimsy anderson die pots, - its a 1000w microwave-
or 10 minutes if its a sturdy high quality plastic pot ,
I would rehydrate with freshly boiled water from the kettle until water runs freely out of the pots from underneath, probably on a clean dinner plate over a sink
I use tap water boiled, not rain, germinating is the only time I use tap water for indoor plant use, from acacias to cacti and the water here is quite hard, enough to scale a kettle in a few days. obviously watch that the hot water spills in the sink and not down your front.
( http://www.shaman-au...=29996&p=458149, I've added pics of the pots and the ones I cut plastic caps to make with casings and you can see the perlite/john innes layer and air flow space)
...after a few hours of getting on with other things; like writing labels and records ...to give the microwaved bizz to cool down,...
I'll sterilise my hands with IPA or hand wash gel (same thing pretty much)
and sprinkle seeds on the surface without pushing them in and without adding any soil on top of them
then cover with cling film/shrink//saran wrap and often an elastic band if needed, and a label (writing the labels before you stick em on is easiest :] )
stick em in the propogator and turn it off when the room they're in is over 20C (daytime) and turn it on after letting it drop to 12-16C, usually 16C, if it does.(night time) , this could be done with a timer switch but I'm with them 24/7
The fluctuating temps seem to be the key to germinating cacti I find so far, and 100% germination has been achieved countless times with this way
so I stuck with it, ....also I shuffle the order they're in , just in case the propogators have hot/cool spots.
hope this helps
oh yeah , I get a 5ml baby medicine syringe barrel for 50p from the chemist and use that to add tap water if they look dry at a later date, this just resulted in my eagerly awaited juulsXvalidus sprouting overnight last night by adding 3ml to each and then another 5 today, no more water for now though.
Edited by ☽Ţ ҉ĥϋηϠ₡яღ☯ॐ€šяئॐ♡Pϟiℓℴϟℴ, 30 March 2014 - 06:52 AM.