Seed Sowing

For the discussion of topics related to the conservation, cultivation, propagation and exhibition of cacti & other succulents.
Forum rules
For the discussion of topics related to the conservation, cultivation, propagation and exhibition of cacti & other succulents only.

Please respect all forum members opinions and if you can't make a civil reply, don't reply!
Post Reply
User avatar
Andrewb53
Registered Guest
Posts: 9
Joined: 27 Aug 2018
Branch: YORK
Country: UK
Role within the BCSS: Member
Location: Goole, East Yorkshire

Seed Sowing

Post by Andrewb53 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:21 pm

Has anyone used this method of seed sowing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?

If so what were the results? And would you recommend the method?
Andrew

Just started with cacti and succulents looking forward to new discoveries.
User avatar
Phil_SK
Moderator
Posts: 4290
Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Branch: MACCLESFIELD & EAST CHESHIRE
Country: UK
Role within the BCSS: Forum Moderator
Location: Stockport, UK

Re: Seed Sowing

Post by Phil_SK » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:56 pm

Can you try pasting the link again? That's not right.
Phil Crewe, BCSS 38143. Mostly S. American cacti, esp. Lobivia, Sulcorebutia and little Opuntia
User avatar
Andrewb53
Registered Guest
Posts: 9
Joined: 27 Aug 2018
Branch: YORK
Country: UK
Role within the BCSS: Member
Location: Goole, East Yorkshire

Re: Seed Sowing

Post by Andrewb53 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:09 pm

Oops! Something went wrong there, try this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvPPawMPQlM

That should work.
Andrew

Just started with cacti and succulents looking forward to new discoveries.
esp
Registered Guest
Posts: 156
Joined: 20 Dec 2015
Branch: None
Country: UK

Re: Seed Sowing

Post by esp » Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:27 pm

I more-or-less use this method, with a few key differences.

1 point I note is that the seedlings don't seem to get any nutrients - they are grown in vermiculite and then a volcanic grit / sand mix. Unless I missed something, they will need nutrients, either in the potting mix or else as an additive to the water.

I use a "compost" mix which varies quite a bit, but typically someting like perlite (20%), Tesco calcined clay cat litter (70%) (search on the forum for latest posts about appropriate types of cat litter, it's important to get this right) and commercial coir-based compost (10%). I place it in rigid polyethylene containers (tough, flexible, more or less transparent and microwaveable), and moisten the compost with water with full strength Chempak cactus and Succulent fertiliser. I then sterilise these by microwaving for (say) 3 minutes.

After cooling thoroughly, (the compost may need to be flattened out a little), I sow the seed and moisten the surface further with boiled water. I leave the seeds on the surface (or washed in slightly), I don't cover them. Getting the right amount of water is important - all of the compost, and the surface, needs to be thoroughly wet but not waterlogged, there still must be air trapped throughout the mix.

I then seal the containers and leave somewhere bright and warm as suggested.

I leave the containers sealed for weeks, potentially months. Each container has enough water, nutrients and space for the developing seedlings. There is no need to disturb them. If they gradually dry out, I top up with boiled water and re-seal. After weeks or months I open the containers permanently. They will then need watering regularly to keep them damp. Waterlogging is a major threat to the seedlings and will often cause a lot of seedling deaths due to damping-off. Sciarid flies (aka fungus gnats) can cause problems at this stage, I use a product called gnat-off in the water which more-or-less eliminates them.

I generally don't transplant until they are (say) 1cm across or larger, normally when they are physically very crowded together.

There's quite a bit of trial and error and judgement involved, and all of the details of the process could be changed and still give good results.
User avatar
Andrewb53
Registered Guest
Posts: 9
Joined: 27 Aug 2018
Branch: YORK
Country: UK
Role within the BCSS: Member
Location: Goole, East Yorkshire

Re: Seed Sowing

Post by Andrewb53 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:54 pm

Thanks esp for explaining your method, it's interesting and food for thought, as you say it's a similar method . Do you use any artificial light or heat?

I watched the video again but this time turned on the captions. With the captions turned on it's a much more informative video and gives an explanation of why they do what they do. It is also worth reading the comments below as there is additional information in the replies. For example the video maker explains that the seedlings are sprayed with a fertiliser solution when necessary. On their you tube page there is an interesting video on the type of led lights they use.

I guess I've a lot of researching to do to find my own way.
Andrew

Just started with cacti and succulents looking forward to new discoveries.
Post Reply