Location: South Alabama, USA - N31°43'59" USDA 8a/b
Joined: Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
Today the lady on the mule dropped two envelopes into the tin can beside the road. One came from waaaayyyy up north in New York (that's close to the north pole, I think!) and another all the way from our northern neighbor state...the great state of Tennessee!!! Thank you evenwind, ChefDean, FTC, the seed-bank donors for your generosity!
Here comes my thesis so grab a sandwich and a drink (might want to make that three or four drinks) and settle in...
After re-reviewing much advice from *lots* of people, most coming from the forums here and a few individuals here is what (I think ) my game plan is...
D. capensis "Typical"
D. capillaris, Eatonville FL
D. spatulata Beenak Australia (two sources)
D. intermedia Roraima Brazil
So, four different Droseras with two of a kind from two different sources...a total of five pots to be planted.
Growing medium: I will use a peat/perlite 50:50 mix as the base. Looking in the bag of perlite that I have it looks like everything from powder up to about 1/4" diameter sized pieces. I think I might have some 1/8" hardware cloth that I could sift the largest pieces out with. There appears to be a good bit of powdered stuff...should I lose the powdered stuff or use it? For the top 1/4" surface layer I'm going to pick through the bag of peat and get the finer stuff. I'll pre-wash the peat and perlite using a 5-gallon paint strainer bag. The perlite will most likely lose most of the "dust" when I wash it, so I guess that answers the dust question above.
Pots: My pots are recycled 2.75" square by 4" deep flower seedling pots. These are probably deeper than needed, but its what I have. The pots have some 1/4" round holes in the bottom so I'm going to lay in a layer or two of stranded weed-block cloth to hold the peat mix in. I'll pack down the bottom inch of mix and the rest of the pot not quiet as firm, saving about a 1/2" of space at the top of the pot to fill with the 1/4" fine peat moss (no perlite).
Water: I've got rain water (5ppm TDS), distilled water (4ppm), and dehumidifier water (12ppm).
I'm thinking of using the distilled water for germinating the seeds so as not to add possible plant spores, pollen, alien seeds from outer space, etc., to the pots. The growing mix will have been previously washed so it will be good and moist. I'll mist the top, fine layer before sprinkling seeds on top, followed by another light misting.
Humidity chamber: I'm still debating on this. It appears that drosera seeds need to be in an environment much more moist than the one I usually germinate my vegetables seeds in.I have some Sterilite containers that I use to start my vegetable seedlings in, but they are too large in my opinion. I have read of people putting the pots in zip lock bags and I'm thinking of going this route, adding a small amount of water to the bag. I would set the bags in a shoebox sized plastic container.
Lighting and temperature: Our house has lots of very large windows...the living room has floor to ceiling and *wide* windows...other rooms are 6' tall and as wide or wider...but, they all have awnings over them. It's an older house built back around 1950 when glass was cheap and propane gas was cheaper. Anyhow, I've only got one window that gets much of any direct sunlight. The big windows under the awnings block direct sunlight but there is tons of indirect light that comes in through them. I'm thinking of germinating on one of these windowsills but once I see seedlings sprout I will need to change my lighting arrangement. And there lies a possible issue...it's getting HOT down here so setting the tiny seedlings outside for direct sunlight *might* be a tad too hot for them. I could put them under some oak trees for mottled lighting (but would need a miniature Squirrel Defense 5000 (I guess that would be the 500 model).
Alternately I could use artificial lighting but I have nowhere here in the house for that. I do have an area in an old trailer at the edge of the property where I start my vegetable seedlings in the spring. I've got one shelf with three regular T-12 shop lights over it and another shelf with some super bright three panel LED garage lights. The garage lights are by far the brightest (around 8000 lumens...I don't have a PAR meter). Those LED garage lights put off a lot of heat, though. I can easily (and actually cheaply) *heat* the small, bay window room, if needed, with a small electric heater. I start my vegetable seedlings in the cool of the early spring so too much heat isn't usually a problem...if the LED garage lights heat the room up too much I have three large bay windows that I can open. BUT, cooling is another matter. The trailer has a central unit but I'd hate to spend the $$$ for cooling five little pots of drosera. I can put a fan in a window in one end of the trailer and get pretty good flow-through ventilation going...but if the air outside is 95F it's gonna be hot regardless.
Anyhow, I guess I wrote this to get some things in my head a little more organized and to see what obstacles I have ahead of me. I hope I didn't bore ya'll too much with my rambling. Be sure to get someone to drive you if you need to go for more beer.