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Evil Genius

Learn from other Peoples mistakes

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Hi Guys, i thought it might be a good idea to have a Thread where people can talk about the growing mistakes they made so others can learn from them without actually having to make the mistake temselves.

I will start with the ones i recently made and would appreciate if others would add some as well. No need to be ashamed; failures are the foundation of success.

1. Dont re-use growing containers for sowing out. Its pretty much obvious but i didnt really care and used some older ones when i ran out of sowing containers. Long story short, moss and algae covered the purely mineralistic soil even before the seed germinated. Fucking hell of shit.

2. Write your labels with a pencil! All those magic markers paints and shit disappear when you spray your plant with an alcohol based solution.

3. Dont loose labels. In semi-professional growing, they are everything. Keep track of your plants history and create some kind of journal to write everything down. Especially if you should ever intend to re-sell a plant. A plant with a name always sells better than "Random Trich A", "Beautiful Cactus B" and crap like that.

4. Use coarse sharp sand or some similar cactus soil for sowing out. It will save yourself a shitload of seedlings that you´d otherwise lose to fungal infections. If you wanna do it even better, make sure to use quartz sand with at least 1-2 mm because finer sand doesnt keep away the moss as good as the one with bigger stones in it.

5. Small pots for small plants. Large pots take forever to dry out what leads to rot.

6. Dont use dung-pellets for cacti. I know i was using them for a long time and was kinda mentioning them every now and then but i didnt know what i was talking about. They take forever to breakdown and will pose a constant risk for infections.

7. Venting. Especially if you overwinter cacti inside. Fresh air reduces your fungal infections tremendeously.

8. Try to give your cacti a cold and dry winter. The colder the better. No frost, but many cacti need cold periodes to flower. It also improves their health.

9. If you want your cacti to flower, fertilize them REGULARLY. In growth periods, every 2 weeks at the latest. If you never had flowers, you´ll be surprised how many you´ll get doing that. Wouldnt recommend that for all cacti though.

10. If you collect fresh and moist seed, dont use a ziplock bag. It will rot. Use the pergamine paper that is being used as butterbread paper. You can also get it from stamp collecting shops. Its also very good for collecting fresh pollen.

Some more to come...

Edited by Evil Genius
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I am guilty of #2 and #3 , and they are pretty important ones too hey.

:)

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Yeah you know, i always said to myself "i will never forget the name of this plant because it is so "reason a" or "reason b" but in the end, my fucked up brain always let me down. Also, Trichos can be so variable that every pup looks differently. So i finally went on to write a journal. Best decison of my life. Its also great if you want to breed in a bigger style. This way, you can keep track of the things you´ve done that worked and the ones that didnt.

Edited by Evil Genius
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neat,

7. Misting. Especially if you overwinter cacti inside. Fresh air reduces your fungal infections tremendeously.

a little unclear on this, do you mean misting for watering?

what is the relationship to fresh air?

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I just realised i used the wrong word for opening the windows. Shouldnt read misting but venting. sorry.

This is targeted at people who take their cacti inside over winter. If you keep the windows closed, excess moisture cant really get out and you´ll end up with mold on top of the soil. In no time, you will lose some plants to rot.

Edited by Evil Genius

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ah ok, gotcha,

i currently have some seedlings indoors, they're next to the window (but it never gets opened),

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I always underestimated the role that fresh air plays in overwintering large cacti. Lost like 5-10 plants every winter. But since i constantly open the windows, i could reduce that to a minimum. This is extremely important for people who also use dung pellets. Dung pellets + closed windows = Literally Shit

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I think your mostly spot on EG but some things are its horses for courses

# 1: i always reuse all my growing containers, however the get washed then a bath in pool chlorine over night before storage & reuse.

# 2: i like to "engrave" my tags either with a steel scriber on metal or a hot nail (or soldering iron) with plastic tags, it never wears off!

# 6:pelletized poop, i agree its bad news with plants like lophs & some tricho's but they are great for most of the tropical & semi tropical forest cacti like a lot of the Cereus, Pereskia's & some of the Piloso's i think they are great since they break down quickly with the more frequent watering.

LOL "people who take their cacti inside over winter" i have to put mine undercover for the summer & take them out in the winter when its dry

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Hi Shortly, its funny how different australian and european growing can be. lol. Well, pellets are a good way of getting nutrients in but they dont mix very well with the european winter. The pots i had it in where very oftenly the ones i lost during that time.

Nothing bad about re-using a container for a normal plant but i stopped doing it with sowing containers. Had one very small rest of old soil left on the walls and thats where the moss inferno started. Had some bleech in the watering mix as well so i cant really say it helped. Cost for new containers are probably close to the ones for bleech so i will go with new containers in the future. Especially since most food carry containers dont last more than 2 seasons anyway because they breakdown from the UV Rays.

Edited by Evil Genius

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Something more:

Dont use round seedling containers for sowing out. They waste too much space in the greenhouse. Also, i went on to use smaller sowing-out containers filled with less seeds because it saves you the time to transplant gazillions of seedlings after one year.

Edited by Evil Genius

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I can imagine the mess pellets would make sitting in a cold winter. Like i said i dont like the pellets much for the true desert plants, i prefer liquid feed for them, but the forest dwellers i recon they are great with slow release & liquid.

I still sneak my seedling containers into the dishwasher when no one is looking, god forbid i ever get caught :uzi:

Your dead right about using a journal, best thing any grower can ever do, for any & all plants. It allows you to see clearly what works on your patch & what doesn't.

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I still sneak my seedling containers into the dishwasher when no one is looking, god forbid i ever get caught :uzi:

Made me lol big time. :) Im guilty of that as well. Still have the vegetable crispers from my fridge hidden in the cellar because i used them as pots. What a nut-job idea btw. Will need to smuggle them in sometime this week.

Edited by Evil Genius
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I dont get vegetable trays here. I rather like the plastic meat trays for seedling trays, i'm always in the poop for snaffeling them out of the rubbish & washing them up. I have to secrete them away in my shed, if the kids find them i invariably get dobbed in & the girls toss them out on me :BANGHEAD2:

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Just had to google the english term for what i meant. Crispers. :blush: Took them out the fridge and potted two giant cacti in them because i thought it would be a great idea. I think "temporary insanity" is the word that fits best. :wink:

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LOL "temporary insanity" nah sounds like a perfectly normal thing to do to me. :P

Edited by shortly

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1 of my crispers has been used as a pot. The other as a vomit bucket. The later being a long story.

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evil and shortly sitting in a tree..........k...i....ss....i...n..g

(props to chunder for that one, where the fuck has faustus zenned to??

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Never a truer word was spoken there Fasimy,, bag bad things indeed

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sterilize your blade/secateurs in metho before taking multiple cuttings/grafts/ etc etc. it's pretty shit when you contam your prized work just because of laziness :(

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If you store your cacti cool, dry and dark in winter, remember to give some water to younger plants that are not as well established and can't store as much water. i killed all my 1,5 year old seedlings this winter neglecting them.

Just had to google the english term for what i meant. Crispers. :blush: Took them out the fridge and potted two giant cacti in them because i thought it would be a great idea. I think "temporary insanity" is the word that fits best. :wink:

I have seen some Echinopsis planted in a crisper at a botanical garden plant sale two weekends ago. I was thinking its a brilliant idea, looked neat. Were these your plants or is this becoming a trend? :lol:

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I used bat guano (powdered) this spring, hope it breaks down for summer.this plants are not covered and in desert like conditions, watered 2 a week.I imagine powder breaks down faster than pellets.

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After issues with plant tags, I now just cut up aluminum cans into tag shapes and scratch the details into the aluminum with a sharpened nail.

No rust, no washing off.

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I sowed most of my sacred succulent trichocereus seeds on Sunday and came home tonight to find an infestation of mold growing on the soil :( the only thing I could find at the shops tonight was tomato dust which has

400g/kg sulfur as elemental sulfur

40g/kg copper as copper oxychloride

0.5 g/kg spinosad

would this be ok to use this as a funguside?

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I would consider a Hydrogen peroxide solution MM

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