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Thread: medium for seedlings

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    what does everyone use for planting medium for seedlings? I have learned the hard way that peat isn't exactly the best choice, as what I used invited algae in and ruined more seed and gemmae then I want to remember. So when s. obsessed sent me sar seed, I tried both on peat and sand, and one on lfs. the lfs certainly took faster and is much neater as I have algae on both my s. alata, and s. leucos. so, what do you use and why?

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I have used a mixture of LFS, peat, and sand. I have had mixed results as far as germinating - amount and speed. However, freshness of seed, type of plant, and temperature were the main determinants. I have also layered the media, ith LFS on top, followed by peat, and then sand. Not sure that affected germination rate or not. In both cases I have had algae produced, probably due to saturating the media, windowsill light, and not adequately rinsing the media. I don't think the algae has prevented germination or killed seedlings. It may be in competition with the seedlings or have hindered their growth, but I am too inexperienced to know for sure. I use the layering approach because I have read that the top layer of a bog is the living sphagnum. Below it is the dead material. Sand is often encountered below these.

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    I prefer clean peat and silica sand. The problem with algae and moss can be prevented if the peat and sand you use is rinsed before you plant in it. Peat and sand both contain micronutrients which favor the growth of algae and mosses. It's not just a matter of competition: the nutrients are not good for the plants. If you rinse your peat/sand, and then microwave it, you will be doing a double duty. The rinsing will remove the micronutrients, and the microwave heat will kill spores which might germinate. Simply microwaving the mix is not enough, as the nutrients will remain, and may cause problems later down the line.
    "Grow More, Share More"

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    I have all of my peat and a good amount of the sand outside now. I remember you tamlin saying something about that before. I have had it all outside now for about a month and it has had much rain run through it. the peat is in a container that drains and the sand is in a shallow tray to allow for fast evaporation. I have had better luck with that peat after it is cleaned with rain water, and now I know why. I cannot count how many seeds I have lost or that never germinated because if this. I'll do the microwave trick as well, thanks.

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    I use pure LFS in sealable plastic containers, add water, bright light, which also adds the needed heat and I have gotten sarracenias to germinate in as soon as 10 days. I do sometimes get a slime mold on the LFS. I have seen no ill effects to the seedlings. I use to use ground cinnamon on it. This year I did not and they seem to be doing fine despite the complete covering of the medium by the mold, going on 5 months now.
    I remain a man obsessed with a genus
    Brooks

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Brooks, strange question: Do you have a pic of the slime mold? Are we calling algae what you are probably correctly referring to as slime mold?

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    Somewhat Unstable superimposedhope's Avatar
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    I use a plug that is made from numerous mulchings combined. It's sold in hydro shops. It DOESN'T grow algae. It is then put inside Gerber tuperware things (they use this instead of glass now) that the fruit comes in. Very convenient as it has a lid, also its clear. Under bright light and heat. I have only used it on VFT as far as CP's go. It works well for non-CP's too.

    Joe
    \"There is nothing here of interest to any nation, as a matter of fact there is nothing here but humans!\"

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Could you name a hydro shop, if there is a chain store? Could you name the product?

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