marking time

It’s snowing. It’s a winter wonderland.

In order to make days like this bearable, I go down to the laundry room every so often to see how my cactus seedlings are doing.


These pictures aren’t quite in focus, but convey the idea anyway.

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I removed the cover and turned off the lights for the picture. Spray bottles are for watering.


This is the cactus seed germination flat on the lower shelf. It has a heating mat underneath; the lights are about a foot from the pots, one plant-growing type, one regular light. I check for fungus every day, but the seed mix, bagged mushroom compost, bagged sand, and perlite, is relatively sterile. One of the spray bottles contains Bordeaux Mixture, just in case.

When enough seeds have germinated, I move the pot to the flat above, just to be in a slightly drier environment.


These shelves have been used for seed sowing for a quarter of a century; the water patterns on the drywall remind me of the decalcomania paintings of Oscar Dominguez and Max Ernst.



This is my very high-tech culture tube holder for treatment with GA-3. I can put off treating the rest of the seeds, particularly from packets that had no germination just sowing under lights, for weeks, months, or even years. Cactus seeds are usually viable for a very long time.


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2 Responses to marking time

  1. Loree says:

    This is seriously intimidating. You seedy people really know what you’re doing.

    • paridevita says:

      Seedy People want plants they can’t get any other way.
      This is just a small percentage of the seed pots; the rest are outside in (hopefully) rodent-proof frames, open to the weather.
      Penstemons, manzanitas, shrubs, trees, etc.

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