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Thread: Need some help!

  1. #1

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    hello every one
    i just had a little problem and was wondering if you master growers could help me out.
    i have been trying to start some dif. types of drosera seed and gemmae and am having a problem with this green slimy stuff that starts to grow on top of the soil about 3 days after i put the pot in water.also in one of my gemmae pot i have a gray mold growing on the green slimy stuf and i think it might get to the plants. i cant move the little gemmaelings(just barly sprouting/growing gemmae)becuase i am afraid i will damage there roots.
    also the green stuff seems to smother the seeds or does somthing so that they will not sprout.
    i have some that where about4 weeks ago and i don't see a single sprout.i also have some planted about the same time and some later and i don't have a single seedling except one that i planted about 2-3 months ago
    could some one help me please
    LMK
    thanks and merry christmas to all
    Enoc22
    Oliver

  2. #2

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    Reprinted from an earlier post. Hope this helps:

    Since this is a perennial issue, here is my dissertation on the subject of rinsing peat, including a detailed rationale of WHY I bother, LOL.

    The fact is, cyanobacteria do proliferate in peat, especially in peat that has high levels of CO2, which they utiilize. This bacteria converts CO2 into carbonates and bicarbonates: think lime, while at the same time fixing NO3 (I checked and this is correct: Microbial decay of organic wastes from plants and animals (mainly amino-N, present in proteins), resulting in its mineralization, first to NH4+, then to NO2-, and finally to NO3-. ) There are numerous studies on the presence of Cyanophyta in peat: one showed over 400 species (as per the abstract). So, you can see there is no denying that they are present in peat bogs, and that they do fix nitrogen and carbonates into these ecosystems. In the bog, the Cyanophytes will utilize the food reserves (mainly starches) found in the peat. In the Co2 rich lower layers, they will convert this Co2 into carbonates and bicarbonates, which are water soluable. As I said before there is peat, and then there is peat. Upper layers of the bog will have far less of the concentrated carbonates, but as the peat is harvested from successively lower layers, the potential problem of carbonate rich peat increases. Since the cyanobacteria reproduce via spores, these too are present in the medium. What leads to their proliferation in the medium is not the presence of minerals (although they are certainly there with them) but rather from CO2 typically found in overly wet, dense mediums. So, the best thing you can do is firstly to remove the carbonates initially present, and this is why I rinse my materials, and secondly to increase the presence of O2 in the substrate. Acidity will not discourage Cyanophytes, but oxygen will! This is why I like LFS so much: it provides aeration to the substrate, as well as having antibacterial qualities (another reason why the upper peat levels are good, there is a blanket of naturally occuring antibacteriant). Once I have removed the carbonates and NO3 already present in the peat, it becomes a matter of discouraging their subsequent proliferation. Another measure is to use naturally antibacterial agents in the mix, especially at the bottom of the pot where O2 is minimal, like sphagnum and/or redwood or red cedar mulch. Good peat is light brown and fluffy, bad peat is darker and crumbly. There is a world of difference, but I just rinse everything, and this includes silica sand and perlite as well. The only thing I use straight up is LFS. I hope I have explained my rationale better this time around! I can't tell you how many times I have argued this issue, which I regard as essential to good growing. Besides I like playing with the mucky stuff, and I really like peat as a medium: it's inexpensive and readily obtainable. So don't give up on it, just rinse your blues away (preferably before they start).
    "Grow More, Share More"

  3. #3
    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    RINSE your media ingredients just before you use them. Rinse them until the rinse water tests at 20ppm or below, preferably below 10ppm (parts per million) of TDS (total dissolved solids - ionic solids only).

    This thread:

    RO water purification thread

    Discusses what TDS and PPM are.

    If you decide to rinse your media ingredients, including peat as I do and recommend doing. You will still need to be careful especially about the purity of water you use to water with.

    Another method I use when germinating seed, is to drain off excess water from the pots used for germination and then after sowing the seed, seal them in ziploc bags to keep humidity high and preclude the necessity of adding any additional water until germination. Of course, pots treated like this will need to be kept out of any light source strong enough to cause them to overheat.



    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

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