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Thread: I hate to say it again, but... HELP!!!

  1. #17
    Hort. School dropout X 2
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    IMHO Bleach is not too extreme and does not appear to harm LFSM, in diluted solutions
    if you wet the entire back of NZLFSM the faint hint of chlorine eminates from the bag
    Every seed that you plant ,doesn't sprout.
    Every seed that sprouts, doesn't make it to maturity.
    Every cutting that you stick doesn't grow roots.
    Every cutting that roots doesn't grow to a small plant.
    Every small plant doesn't reach maturity.


    Who needs speelcheck?

  2. #18
    Oh, the humanity!! TheFury's Avatar
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    Well, 24 hours in and my plants haven't melted yet. Here's hoping for 24 more hours!

  3. #19
    Steve Booth's Avatar
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    Steady up on the bleech!! It is an alkaline and as such will deacidify anything it touches, at the very best after tons and tons of washing your media will be neutral (assuming the water you use is distilled or PH neutral) and tharefore not very benificial to your plants.
    Carnivorous plants should only see bleech safely locked in a bottle from 30 yards away in my opinion.

    Cheers
    Steve

  4. #20

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    Holy cow! You REALLY hate that green guk don't you!

    First off, I want to say that I am all for experimentation. The bleach and hydrogen peroxide ideas may have some merit, and I'm happy you have that quality that doesn't just accept cultivation dogma. New advances are made by those who break the rules.

    At the same time, I wouldn;t want you yo lose anything prized or special. I would advise you be more conservative with important plants. So my feelings align with Steve as his comments regarding the alkalinity of laundry bleach...and really, it is a bit of overkill providing you use good media materials like Jim Scott mentioned. In the genus Drosera, all that is really needed is sand, peat and LFS, and personally I avoided adding anything else to the mix. Since my plants all thrived, there was little motivation to find anything better. I can't speak for other genera, but for Drosera I found both perlite and vermiculite to be superfulous. If you use just the elements Jim lists and rinse before using the peat and sand, I believe your problems will be solved, although weekly syringing from the top with pure water will also help, as will frequent changes of the water in the tray. Even with utmost care , problems with algae and such are inevitable. Repot into clean mix annually and let the rains leach out your old potting media. I have noted Drosera do better using older vs fresher peat provided the salts are weathered out.

    Hope all this contributes to a good clean growing protocol for you!
    "Grow More, Share More"

  5. #21
    Oh, the humanity!! TheFury's Avatar
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    Well, I will say that this drastic action was prompted by various recurrences of algae, damping off fungus, and slime mold in my media. Another part of it was that I need some way to keep algae at bay long enough for some seeds to sprout (thanks to SDCPs for the great SASE, and for half of my plants for that matter!) I've had some seeds in a previous batch of media for less than 3 weeks and they're already completely smothered with algae; I fear they won't sprout.

    Being that I live in NYC, I don't have great access to ideal media. Even at dedicated garden centers (not just Lowes, Home Depot, etc.) the only brand of peat I can find that isn't Miracle Gro is Hoffman. And it certainly wouldn't be cost effective to order gallon bags of media from online nurseries and pay for shipping every time I want to repot my plants. As far as sand goes, all I can get is Mosser Lee brand desert sand; no silica sand or pool filter sand to be found. Again with the Brooklyn apartment thing: I do have access to play sand, but no room to store a 50 lb bag of the stuff!

    Having done this sterilization and repotted many of my plants over the weekend, I must say that 72 hours in I haven't noticed any ill effects on the plants outside of the normal transplant shock.

    For the purposes of the scientific aspects of this, I will keep you all posted on how my plants react to this media over the coming weeks and months. I will also get better about top watering my plants to supplement the tray method.

    Thanks for all the comments! This is a great discussion.

  6. #22
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Sterilizing your media with bleach can delay or forestall the growth of fungus, mold and moss and to a lesser degree algae. For germinating seeds and seedlings this gives them a better chance of survival.

    Of course much of it depends on the quality and lack of nutrients in the media. I witness moss growing in pots of pure inorganic medium such as silica sand or fired Fuller's earth (aka aquatic plant soil). Less so if "bleached" before hand.

    I have pots of standard CP mix (1/2 sand, 1/2 peat moss) that a year and a half later are still relatively moss free.

    Smaller bags of peat moss tend to be of lower quality although even with larger bales the quality can vary. The larger bales do come in various grades however the larger chain stores generally only carry the lower grade stuff (although usually a cut above the smaller bags)

    Growth of moss etc is inevitable. Peat moss breaks down. Decaying parts of plants add nutrients. Insects, nematodes etc. break down the peat moss and plant matter as well as die and contribute to the nutrients in the medium. Spores and other propagules are every present in the air and water.

    Refer also to Tamlin's article on medium quality and rinsing:
    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=99738
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

  7. #23
    Oh, the humanity!! TheFury's Avatar
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    Hey NaN - thanks for your reply! I did read Tamlin's article months ago; way before I was a member here! It was very helpful. Do you often sterilize with bleach? Have you noticed any negative effects on the health of your plants?

  8. #24
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Sterilize before potting the plant or sowing the seeds, never with plants or seed in the medium. I suppose you could after all seeds and cuttings get sterilized in a similar fashion for tissue culture.

    However, household bleach - sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) - is an alkaline (salt) with a pH of 12.5. You don't want salts building up in you medium.

    I only sterilize media that I'm planting seeds or gemmae in or if it is a batch of peat that is prone to moss or slime. Otherwise I just flush it well before potting.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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