A little help/advice

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AWILTSHIRE
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A little help/advice

Post by AWILTSHIRE » Fri Jun 04, 2021 7:38 am

Hi All

Relative new member and to cacti growing/collecting so I was looking for a little help and advice please.

I have sown some Astrophytum seeds and after 10 or so came up, I now only have 4 left (the lastest one to go when I checked this morning) - after doing a little reading up on this I understand its due to bacteria/fungus in the soil.

I also understand one potential solution is sterilizing the soil - so, I was hoping for some advice on the best means to sterilize and any on going suggestions for bringing them on.

For context they were sown in a heated propagator with the correct soil etc.

Thanks
Andrew
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MatDz
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Re: A little help/advice

Post by MatDz » Fri Jun 04, 2021 8:04 am

AWILTSHIRE wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 7:38 am
[...] For context they were sown in a heated propagator with the correct soil etc.
You would need to elaborate on that, there is so many different advice "on the Internet", that this can be anything really!

Speaking from a very beginner's perspective, boiling the John Innes/moler clay mix already in pots for 15-20 minutes and immediately bagging it up, then letting it cool inside has proven to be a pretty decent way of avoiding any fungal or mould related issues for 8+ months inside the bags.
Mat
AWILTSHIRE
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Re: A little help/advice

Post by AWILTSHIRE » Fri Jun 04, 2021 8:16 am

Hi Matt

Thanks for the advice.

As I say I’ve read up in books and there were suggestions of using a microwave or boiling.

I’ll give the boiling a try.

I hasten to add I read up on sterilisation only after I had sown them!
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Re: A little help/advice

Post by edds » Fri Jun 04, 2021 8:28 am

Are you asking for advice on what to do with these 4 surviving seedlings or for future showings?

I'm sure you realised but you can't sterilise soil by boiling once plants are growing - Mat's advice was for future sowings!

I'd be very wary of repotting seedlings into new media until they are a decent size - some here don't repot for over a year. Are your seedlings still on the propagator? Are they covered still? With this batch you might be best getting them out of the propagator now and giving them some fresh air. If they continue to go downhill you may then need to repot them into new very well draining compost.
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AWILTSHIRE
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Re: A little help/advice

Post by AWILTSHIRE » Fri Jun 04, 2021 8:33 am

Hi Ed

Sorry, yes for clarity, I mean sterilisation for future sowings.

They are still covered so I will uncover and see how these do.

All a learning curve!

Andrew
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Re: A little help/advice

Post by edds » Fri Jun 04, 2021 8:40 am

Good luck.
Ed

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el48tel
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Re: A little help/advice

Post by el48tel » Fri Jun 04, 2021 9:56 am

Yes ... Good luck. There's an infallible principle. Nature will combat and overcome whatever ploy you attempt.
Endeavouring to grow Aeoniums, Aylostera, Echinocereus, Echinopsis, Gymnocalycium, Lithops, Matucana, Rebutia, and Sulcorebutia.
Currently being wooed by Haworthia, attempting hybridisation, and enticed by Mesembs.
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Re: A little help/advice

Post by Cidermanrolls » Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:27 am

Just as with everything else, there are so many different approaches to raising cactus seed.
For 98% of seed I do not use the baggy method (only for things like Strombocactus, and I have to confess to 0% success with the BCSS seed of that this year). I have a heated propagater with lighting and sow seed in there in mid winter. Most of this years seedlings are already pricked out into trays that are sitting on a shelf under the main staging. Most of my Astrophytum seed is also pricked out already (see pic). They don’t all survive the transplant.
I usually microwave the soil before sowing, but have sown some seeds in April into unsterilised soil with no issues at all.
My preference is to keep the seedling soil moist, not wet, and keep the seedlings in good light, but not too much direct sunlight.
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KarlR
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Re: A little help/advice

Post by KarlR » Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:53 am

I personally only sterilise my soil if I'm sowing Aztekium, Strombocactus or Blossfeldia. And not always then either. It's not necessary to sterilise for any other cactus species in my opinion. Most seeds that are going to germinate will do so within two weeks, with days 5-10 being the busiest in my experience. If you can keep your seedlings in a propagator for 3-4 weeks from the day you sow, it'll be fine to remove the cover and let air in. If there are no signs of fungal attacks (damping off) and if there's no harmful algae growth, you could always keep them in the propagator for longer. If you take the lid off after a few weeks you'll obviously have to keep an eye on them in order to avoid the soil drying out.

If you want to use the baggie method it's probably best to sterilise since you'll probably be planning on leaving them in the bags for months (or years). I use bags sometimes if I'm only sowing one or two species, but for dozens of species it's too much hassle for me. Then I'll just use a propagator.
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el48tel
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Re: A little help/advice

Post by el48tel » Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:57 am

Cidermanrolls wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:27 am
Just as with everything else, there are so many different approaches to raising cactus seed.
....................... I have to confess to 0% success with the BCSS seed of that this year). I have a heated propagater with lighting and sow seed in there in mid winter. ...............................
fairly close to my experience this year
Endeavouring to grow Aeoniums, Aylostera, Echinocereus, Echinopsis, Gymnocalycium, Lithops, Matucana, Rebutia, and Sulcorebutia.
Currently being wooed by Haworthia, attempting hybridisation, and enticed by Mesembs.
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