So I decided to sow

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From0to10in2weeks
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by From0to10in2weeks »

mmcavall wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 3:48 am
So here is a picture of the experiment mentioned above. Seedlings of Frailea magnífica several months after being sowed, and are still showing differences in size that are a result of the pre-fertilization of the sowing mix.

Upper left is zero fertilizer
Upper right is 0.5 fertilizer concentration
Lower right is 1.0 fertilizer concentration
Lower left is 3.0 fertilizer concentration

The fertilizer is the same I use in all cacti (but tested in different dilutions here).
That's extremely interesting. Thanks for sharing. Is your substrate predominantly inorganic/mineral?

I've sowed for the first time in February and documented germination and growth by first daily and later weekly photographs. Sometime in April, I noticed that for the first time there wasn't much change from week to week and I decided to fertilise (half strength). I couldn't believe how much growth that prompted in the next days. So, they are definitely deprived of nutrients after the first 1-2 months.

That might only be surprising to a newbie like me and is probably not news to most of you. But the OP's experiment suggests that providing more nutrients even earlier deserves some consideration. Of course, the long term health of plants raised this way is an entirely different question.

Best.
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mmcavall
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by mmcavall »

Thanks for commenting.

We perceive cactus seedlings as not nutrient-demanding and in fact they are not. They can grow very slowly and yet very strong, being cacti. I have germinated several seeds in pure mineral mix with no fertilization and have had a satisfactory rate of success.
On the other hand I want my seedlings to grow fast because once they get big they will be more strong and endure some drought.
So I did this experiment and results surprised me. Besides Frailea magnífica I did it with F. horstii to. Same results. I'm convinced that pre-fertilization of the mix really improve initial growth (at least for Fraileas).
Important to mention that I'm not using pure mineral mix to sow anymore, because it is important that something grab the nutrients and offer it to the roots, and pure grit don't do this very well. So my current mix is an admixture of perlite, rice rusk ash and peat (I buy it ready to use).
Also important to mention that I don't want to super-fertilize my plants so as they grow older I change the mix for something more mineral (depending on the genus, pure mineral).
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From0to10in2weeks
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by From0to10in2weeks »

mmcavall wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 12:52 am Important to mention that I'm not using pure mineral mix to sow anymore, because it is important that something grab the nutrients and offer it to the roots, and pure grit don't do this very well. So my current mix is an admixture of perlite, rice rusk ash and peat (I buy it ready to use).
Thanks for the explanation. Just to clarify: the experiment with the fertiliser was already done with this mix?

Best.
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mmcavall
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Re: So I decided to sow

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From0to10in2weeks wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 8:47 am
mmcavall wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 12:52 am Important to mention that I'm not using pure mineral mix to sow anymore, because it is important that something grab the nutrients and offer it to the roots, and pure grit don't do this very well. So my current mix is an admixture of perlite, rice rusk ash and peat (I buy it ready to use).
Thanks for the explanation. Just to clarify: the experiment with the fertiliser was already done with this mix?

Best.
Yes, the experiment was done with the new mix.
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mmcavall
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by mmcavall »

From0to10in2weeks wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 8:47 am
mmcavall wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 12:52 am Important to mention that I'm not using pure mineral mix to sow anymore, because it is important that something grab the nutrients and offer it to the roots, and pure grit don't do this very well. So my current mix is an admixture of perlite, rice rusk ash and peat (I buy it ready to use).
Thanks for the explanation. Just to clarify: the experiment with the fertiliser was already done with this mix?

Best.
Yes, it was done with the new mix.

Concerning pure grit as a sowing mix, the pre-fertilization may also work, provided that you don't water the seedlings anymore, otherwise the nutrients will be washed out.
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greenknight
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Re: So I decided to sow

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From0to10in2weeks wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 5:22 pm<snip>
I've sowed for the first time in February and documented germination and growth by first daily and later weekly photographs. Sometime in April, I noticed that for the first time there wasn't much change from week to week and I decided to fertilise (half strength). I couldn't believe how much growth that prompted in the next days. So, they are definitely deprived of nutrients after the first 1-2 months. <snip>
Yes, cactus seedlings will grow well for a month or more on just the nutrients stored in the seed, but then that's used up and growth will slow dramatically if the growth medium doesn't provide more.

My thought was that using the baggie method I want to keep the baggies sealed as long as possible, to exclude mold spores, so the mix should contain some nutrients from the start. I don't get fancy - for cacti I use 3 parts fine pumice (perlite is fine, too) and 1 part of a good organic potting mix.
Spence :mrgreen:
LateBloomer
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by LateBloomer »

So just got done going thru the thread and great job. The only thing I'd suggest you do if you are going to start with a pure grit is not using so deep pots since the water will go to lower layers and dry out the top much sooner then you would want. Any pot deeper then around 7cm is overkill for tiny cacti seedlings since they are slow growing and will take a while for the root to go deeper.

I've only used pure grit for aztekium seeds and have always just use a potting mix with perlite/pumice and have been fine. For the astrophytum random death I'd say a fungicide would help but random loss is bound to happen. I've never seen my seedlings of "difficult cacti" have issues with being rot prone especially when young as long is the water drains and soil is "light" it has never caused rot issues on most... again 'random' seedlings rotting or dying IMO just means they were weak and would have died even in better conditions.

Sucks that its been difficult to get seeds into Brazil. I've placed a number of orders from various different vendors and countries so hopefully atleast a portion of my orders come thru and the rest are returned to sender so I can just pay for ask for a refund. If all goes well I'll be growing astrophytum asterias and ariocarpus mix as well. I've purchased from Germany, France, Canada, USA, Ukraine, and Thailand... NETHERLANDS I'd assume would have the hardest trouble making it due to certain plant seeds as well as Spain and UK for the same reason.

I'll post which seeds made it thru as well as the countries,companies. Koehres and Adblps are the largest orders which hopefully make it with a few vendors from ebay and etsy spread around the world. It's annoying the lack of reputable vendors here in Brazil even worse the lack of options... most seem to actually be selling scam seeds like those 'rainbow rose' Chinese listings on ebay. I've purchased quite a lot of seeds and in 3-5 years I hope to be a seed provider directly in brazil to prevent customs losses. Will be grafting some to speed up the seed process but most will be own root plants.
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mmcavall
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by mmcavall »

Thanks for all the input, LateBloomer.
I bet your seeds will arrive safely.
Good luck!
LateBloomer
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by LateBloomer »

So all my orders have passed customs so far. Thailand(THGardenStore)100 astro seeds, Germany (Koehres 2 separate orders one with 300 seeds other with 650) and USA from CALI 50 seeds from ebay seller. All of these orders had tracking so easy to follow... took 2 days in customs and just charged the 15 reals fee.

2 more Thailand orders soon and one from Ukraine and I have 3 orders coming WITHOUT TRACKING AND I DIDN'T PUT CPF on the letter so not sure what will happen... Others are not sure if regular letters need CPF or not to enter. Adblps said they would send unregistered and I agreed was around 75 astrophytum seeds which should arrive by end of JULY unless doesn't pass customs due to lack of CPF. 1 order with 40 seeds from CANADA without tracking and 10 Dioscorea seeds from USA Cali without tracking. I'll update if these pass or not.

I think the reason your seeds are stopped more often is just due to the countries they are coming from? Netherlands, Spain, and UK have lots of headshops so I assume customs will take a closer look at these countries to prevent MJ seeds from coming in.. Just a suspicion really. Unless you are receiving massive amount of seeds at once like over a few K seeds since cacti seeds are normally very small.
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mmcavall
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by mmcavall »

Cool, good to know , LateBloomer.
Yes I had the same impression about the reasons why seeds from Netherlands were blocked.
I have successfully received seeds from Mesa Garden and Koehres but is always a risk we are taking.
Have a happy growing!
LateBloomer
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by LateBloomer »

So just an update on seeds overseas to Brazil... Canadá, usa and France also came in WITHOUT TRACKING AND WITHOUT CPF. The letters with cpf and tracking all passed customs and charged the 15 reals fee but still are not delivered and can take upto 40 business days. French seeds were ADBLPS, Canadá and USA were Etsy sellers.

Maybe I was just lucky but all 12 packages of seeds came thru... some were very small amount of seeds (50 or less) but largest order of 750 seeds passed without issue.

I purposefully didn’t buy from NL, Portugal, Spain and U.K. I’m sure some packs would pass but I’d assume that customs will check closer any package from these places
MissyLee5
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by MissyLee5 »

mmcavall wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 3:48 am
mmcavall wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:13 am Just before sowing I soaked the mix with a fertilizer solution in four different concentrations: zero, 0.5, 1 and 3 x concentrated. Seedlings responded to that and there is an increase of growth, seedlings with 1x fertilizer grew better than with 0.5, and those better than with zero. Using 3x the concentration didn't increased growth but it was useful to make me confident that the fertilizer wouldn't do harm.
I just finished reading through this thread. Thank you for taking the time to document everything, this was incredible to read! If I may ask, what are you using to pre-fertilize the pots before sowing? I'm interested in trying this method as I have a few seeds on order.
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mmcavall
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by mmcavall »

MissyLee5 wrote: Tue Sep 07, 2021 2:10 pm
mmcavall wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 3:48 am
mmcavall wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:13 am Just before sowing I soaked the mix with a fertilizer solution in four different concentrations: zero, 0.5, 1 and 3 x concentrated. Seedlings responded to that and there is an increase of growth, seedlings with 1x fertilizer grew better than with 0.5, and those better than with zero. Using 3x the concentration didn't increased growth but it was useful to make me confident that the fertilizer wouldn't do harm.
I just finished reading through this thread. Thank you for taking the time to document everything, this was incredible to read! If I may ask, what are you using to pre-fertilize the pots before sowing? I'm interested in trying this method as I have a few seeds on order.
Hello, thanks for your comments. Unfortunately I have been lazy lately and didn't updated my threads since a long time. This is such an amazing forum but I just don't visit it as much as I visited some years ago...anyway...thanks for reading my thread and commenting on it.

I use a fertilizer that is NPK 12-25-25, plus Ca, Mg, S and micronutrients. I don't have the complete formula since someone prepared it for me.
I believe that you can use any fertilizer indicated for cacti, diluted in water to half of the strength indicated by the manufacturer. Hope it helped you. Regards!
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