MrXeric's seedlings 2022

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promethean_spark
Posts: 839
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:10 pm
Location: Sunol, CA

Re: MrXeric's seedlings 2022

Post by promethean_spark »

The substrate looks too wet, that'll create problems for growing beyond germination. With the right moisture level and sanitation, there should be no algae or moss. It should be moist but not wet. Ideally it will dry out slightly on a daily basis due to the heat from the lights pushing moisture around, as well as condensation. If it looks dry-ish at the surface when the lights have been on a while, but moist when they're off, it's perfect. That's easier to accomplish in a larger pot and reduces damping off greatly. Seedlings in nature mostly live on condensation and moisture that wicks up at night that they get daily in the growing season, and this mimics that.
I've used the 'disposable shot glasses' with decent results before, but rather than poke drainage holes I plop in the properly moistened media, sow and snap the lid on. Then they stay sterile and at the perfect moisture level indefinitely. Taller ones (IE 4oz) with clear lids allow you to keep track of progress without breaking quarantine, but translucent ones also work fine, you just can't see inside. These days I use 3.25" pots in 6" wide x 12" tall ziplock bags, that eliminates needing to repot for several years. They can also stay in the bag for up to 5+ years (strombocactus, aztekium, blossfeldia). They are zero work that way, and since you aren't adding water the soil doesn't get salty to require new soil. Little guys will never use up the available nutrients, and they don't get disturbed by watering.
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MrXeric
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:31 pm
Location: California, USDA zone 10a

Re: MrXeric's seedlings 2022

Post by MrXeric »

promethean_spark wrote: Wed May 25, 2022 6:19 pm The substrate looks too wet, that'll create problems for growing beyond germination. With the right moisture level and sanitation, there should be no algae or moss. It should be moist but not wet. Ideally it will dry out slightly on a daily basis due to the heat from the lights pushing moisture around, as well as condensation. If it looks dry-ish at the surface when the lights have been on a while, but moist when they're off, it's perfect. That's easier to accomplish in a larger pot and reduces damping off greatly. Seedlings in nature mostly live on condensation and moisture that wicks up at night that they get daily in the growing season, and this mimics that.
I've used the 'disposable shot glasses' with decent results before, but rather than poke drainage holes I plop in the properly moistened media, sow and snap the lid on. Then they stay sterile and at the perfect moisture level indefinitely. Taller ones (IE 4oz) with clear lids allow you to keep track of progress without breaking quarantine, but translucent ones also work fine, you just can't see inside. These days I use 3.25" pots in 6" wide x 12" tall ziplock bags, that eliminates needing to repot for several years. They can also stay in the bag for up to 5+ years (strombocactus, aztekium, blossfeldia). They are zero work that way, and since you aren't adding water the soil doesn't get salty to require new soil. Little guys will never use up the available nutrients, and they don't get disturbed by watering.
Thanks for the feedback. I actually have noticed the substrate surface drying before. I assumed I didn't provide enough moisture so I opened those bags and sprayed the pots. I did not think to check if there was any condensation going on on the surface before turning on the lights/heat. I will keep this in mind for future sowing.
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