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NOT A TA

Cats in the attic!

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NOT A TA

I like to experiment with all kinds of things and even though we can germinate many palm seeds in community pots outside here in S FL, things don't germinate as quickly (instantly?) as I'd like,  particularly during our winter months.. So, I've been experimenting with other places to germinate seed using the Baggie method and community pots in various locations. These Cat palm seeds Chamaedorea cataractarum in community pots in the attic sprouted in just 2 weeks during the coldest part of our winter here! That's much, much faster than they would pop outside. They were the first to pop followed by some Thrinax radiata and I've still got several other pots with various palm seeds still up there.

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gtsteve

Mate, That is a great idea.  I have had a similar problem, not wanting to use heaters etc. but to find a warm place to strike seeds.

I have recently used my caravan and zip lock plastic bags, which gets pretty hot and has been better than in the house for sprouting. 

Anyone who has crawled around up in the roof will know just how hot it gets up there.

I can see though that I will need to cover the pots with plastic because watering up there will be a real PITA.

I'm going to get the seeds out of the van now.

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NOT A TA
7 hours ago, gtsteve said:

Mate, That is a great idea.  I have had a similar problem, not wanting to use heaters etc. but to find a warm place to strike seeds.

I have recently used my caravan and zip lock plastic bags, which gets pretty hot and has been better than in the house for sprouting. 

Anyone who has crawled around up in the roof will know just how hot it gets up there.

I can see though that I will need to cover the pots with plastic because watering up there will be a real PITA.

I'm going to get the seeds out of the van now.

I also don't want to use heaters (and don't have any) because they just have to work against the AC in most of the house (even during winter) or be an energy waste if in the garage or outside. I've used the unheated utility/laundry room during summer months when it gets hot in there and stays warm overnight but it's not warm enough during winter.

I've done both the baggie method and community pots in my pickup truck during summer but again it's not warm enough in winter. Also the temperature varies a lot in the vehicle, especially during winter where the attic temp swings are moderated. What got me thinking about the attic was planning to germinate some Ptychosperma waitianum seed. Their natural habitat is warm, humid, and the temperature doesn't swing much. I thought the attic might be just the place so I figured I'd experiment on 10 or so types of seed I had in stock first before the Ptychosperma I bought from a member here arrived.

As mentioned the watering thing is a pain since I don't have a retractable staircase so I have to use a ladder to get up in the attic. The pots don't dry out very quickly in the attic probably because of the lack of air movement so they only need a splash of water once a week. However, a drawback I hadn't anticipated was that bugs would smell the water and ants and other bugs found the damp soil within a week. So I've started experimenting using plastic 1 lb coffee containers as community pots without cutting a drain hole in them and then snapping the lids on. If it works, I won't need to water and no critters will seek the moisture. First batch of sealed containers has been up there less than a week so nothing to report yet since I haven't checked on them.

I do have all the same seed types that I put in pots in the attic also using the baggie method in the attic. They too started germinating quickly compared with putting them on my cable box and other warm places inside and outside I've tried in the past. I now put the baggies inside clear plastic snap close pastry containers because I've found in previous experiments that certain bugs like cockroaches will chew through the baggies.

Everybody likes pics! So the top pic is getting baggies ready with orchid moss, middle is 1/2 germinated Thrinax (non-germinated went back in bag), bottom pic putting germinated seeds in 4" starter pots. I know some people will want to know what I use to write on the plastic pots, it's white grease pencil.  I get them at ACE hardware and they cost about a dollar.  Doesn't wash off during normal use but can be wiped off if you reuse the pot and want to mark something different on it. You can also get them online and they are available in various colors.

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