JBP contest after 1 year.

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Considering every one of my seeds that germinated, died due to damping off. Im looking for a little motivation, and some do's/dont's with germinating jbp seeds. Originally i used regular potting soil that was screened down to .25 inches. I only watered when the top .25" was dry, yet they all shriveled up at the soil level, fell over, and died.
My 2nd batch i microwaved the same potting soil with the idea that it would kill any fungus or bacteria. The same exact results happened on the 2nd try. At this point i dont have many seeds left, but i want to overcome this hurdle.
What would you do different? Also what am i doing wrong?
 

0soyoung

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Humidity and still air. Spores waft in from everywhere and anywhere.
Two things that have helped me remedy similar troubles are:
  1. Try to keep seedlings in a place that has moving air.
  2. Spray every few days with 2 tablespoons 3% hydrogen peroxide (from the grocery/pharmacy) in a quart of water.
 
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Use better draining mix and create some air movement. If I see what great results some have with a relative wet mix I might be overly cautious about it. Do you cover the tray?
 

Lou T

Mame
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Humidity and still air. Spores waft in from everywhere and anywhere.
Two things that have helped me remedy similar troubles are:
  1. Try to keep seedlings in a place that has moving air.
  2. Spray every few days with 2 tablespoons 3% hydrogen peroxide (from the grocery/pharmacy) in a quart of water.
Moving on this sentiment, inside in a south facing window is a good place to start seeds. Add a fan for good measure. Low humidity and lots of light kill Pythium. Which btw are no longer considered a fungi but oomycotes.
 

River's Edge

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Considering every one of my seeds that germinated, died due to damping off. Im looking for a little motivation, and some do's/dont's with germinating jbp seeds. Originally i used regular potting soil that was screened down to .25 inches. I only watered when the top .25" was dry, yet they all shriveled up at the soil level, fell over, and died.
My 2nd batch i microwaved the same potting soil with the idea that it would kill any fungus or bacteria. The same exact results happened on the 2nd try. At this point i dont have many seeds left, but i want to overcome this hurdle.
What would you do different? Also what am i doing wrong?
How about a picture of your germination set-up!
When you say screened down to 1.4 inch, do you mean only that particle size with fines removed? Or do you mean nothing bigger than 1/4 inch?
just trying to get a handle on moisture retention and possible air space in your set-up/
 

sikadelic

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For me, when I was new to starting seeds, I would hug them to death. I think they need more water...no wait, I better spray them. Should I move them into more light......hell, no I need a lil less direct sunlight, etc. I just messed with them too much. When I plant them, water them, and treat them like the rest of my table, I have had no issues. Just an idea. Good luck!!!!

And I would also post some pictures of what you have going on over there. It is a lot easier to give advice when we can see what you are working with.
 
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Your seedling trays were pretty deep I suppose?
I had the same issue in potting soil until I started using seedling trays with just 1 inch of depth. Any deeper caused root rot.
Gnat larvae were a big deal too, they came from the soil my containers were standing on. After putting them on a raised bench, that never happened again.

Switching to 100% bonsai soil did help too. The germination percentages overall are lower for some reason, but survival rates make up for that loss.
 

Bonsai Nut

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My last post was a little indirect, so let me clarify:

(1) For your germination medium, either use a sterile inorganic medium (like pumice or perlite or inorganic bonsai soil blend) or screened peat moss (which has antimicrobial properties). I have had good results with peat on top, and pumice below as a drainage layer. If you use organic media, assume it will come loaded with mold and other not-so-beneficial-to-seedling microbes - because that is the whole point of using organic media.
(2) If at all possible, have your seeds in the sun - in a greenhouse, cold frame, or a south-facing window. Sun is the enemy of mold and mildew.
(3) Air movement is important, so consider a small fan to keep the air from being stagnant / still - even a small muffin fan that measures a couple of inches square.
(4) Bottom heat, bottom heat, bottom heat! There is a reason why commercial nurseries of everything from seedlings to cuttings to hydroponics use heating pads. I can get a 10" x 20" pad from Amazon, delivered, for $9.99. The large 20" x 48" one that I use cost $32.

Keep your seeds in sterile media, in the sun, with air movement and bottom heat - no damping off.

Keep them in organic media, in darkness, with no air movement and cool temps - you might as well be growing mushrooms.
 
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Use better draining mix and create some air movement. If I see what great results some have with a relative wet mix I might be overly cautious about it. Do you cover the tray?
I used a germination tray with a lid. I would leave the lid slightly off. Could crushed/sifted red lava rock and bark be used as a grow medium?
 
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How about a picture of your germination set-up!
When you say screened down to 1.4 inch, do you mean only that particle size with fines removed? Or do you mean nothing bigger than 1/4 inch?
just trying to get a handle on moisture retention and possible air space in your set-up/
I removed the fines
 
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For starting the seeds I don't see benefits for a lid. Unless you are unable to water or have extreme weather. For initial germination I don't think it makes big difference in what they grow. As long as it's damp and dries out. In the 6 years pine contest I've seen all sorts of mediums used. Try one that matches your situation. Once you get to the cutting stage extra moisture will reduce evaporation and aid overcome the initiatial shock. But even without there are little dropouts. Read the threads again and you will see some solutions I think. I don't see why lava and bark wouldn't work. Regular potting soil, cutting mix. Regular bonsai soil, peat or coir with pumice or perlite (the results with these last are amazing when looking at mr. Comstocks results.)
 

RobertB

Chumono
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what i learned, is you can literally throw them anyone in the sun, or hell even the shade and they will germinate and grow! i had them all over the dam place sprouting out of other pots, the yard, flower beds, everywhere.
 

RobertB

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3 weeks of cold stratification seamed to help with germination rate, in sphagnum moss.
 
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This “air circulation” you all keep talking about has me baffled, I start my seeds in trays of properly moistened sphagnum or peat then I wrap the tray in Saran Wrap andvplace on bottom heat. I won’t open the Saran until I see sprouted seedlings. Zero air circulation. Control of bac/fung issues is the most important part of this issue some of you are having,,,,,I start bac/fung treatment in the seed stage and every step of the way. If your trays are sealed it’s harder to catch bacteria or fungus that are floating around
 
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Messages
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Location
Old Lyme CT.
This “air circulation” you all keep talking about has me baffled, I start my seeds in trays of properly moistened sphagnum or peat then I wrap the tray in Saran Wrap andvplace on bottom heat. I won’t open the Saran until I see sprouted seedlings. Zero air circulation. Control of bac/fung issues is the most important part of this issue some of you are having,,,,,I start bac/fung treatment in the seed stage and every step of the way. If your trays are sealed it’s harder to catch bacteria or fungus that are floating around
these are some current trays of tridents and some jbp that I have removed the Saran. After I remove Saran I seal with 1/4” screen. Mice are really freaking hungry this time of year14E8D9DA-2C44-45E0-AB5F-5A6C3C49B1B8.jpeg0B13544A-DBB0-418A-AC20-1C9950D0E2EA.jpeg54B70EF9-AFC1-45F5-B19E-12F0E1103CA7.jpeg147C0633-8337-47FD-B810-4FAE1407BCCD.jpeg38EEF68E-F7B4-4FF8-AB79-5EC6B7BAE8E9.jpeg
 

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