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jpfloors 03-15-2008 10:23 PM

Soil Temperature vs. Air Temperature? Help Please!
I'm doing test runs for temperature of my germination station I'm putting together prior to actually germinating seeds. I've read everything here and put together my own plan of action on how to go about testing my go at germination, but one thing I can't seem to find is what the soil temperature should be. Should it be in close range to the air temperature or should it be at a higher or lower temperature than the air around it? Any help on what others have had successful in the past would be great! I'm currently getting soil temps at about 90-100 (which I'm sure is too high for bananas, but believe great for cacti!) with air temps at 85-95. I'm using a digital meat themometer to take the soil temps. I'm now going to try lifting up the soil trays with cooling racks and see how much of a difference this makes with the soil temperature.

Thanks ahead of time!

Tropicallvr 03-16-2008 07:23 PM

Re: Soil Temperature vs. Air Temperature? Help Please!
Sounds like you are on the right track with reducing the tempatures. I think 100F is too much, but some species like E.superbum seem to like it hot, so it may also depend on species also.

jpfloors 03-16-2008 07:57 PM

Re: Soil Temperature vs. Air Temperature? Help Please!
Today I did a retrial. I'm keep it going on the cycle it's going to be on so I can get an accurate patern. The temp dropped by several degrees in the soil. The soil temp is now holding steady at 94-98, I'm going to try raising them a little higher off of the bottom and I think that'll be good enough. I have several individual aluminum cake pans (9x9) in the bottom to seperate out the different things I'm germinating (bromeliads and cacti are also in there) and to make better to prevent cross contamination so the ones for the bananas will probably end up going above the ones for the cacti and bromeliads. I'll take a picture later to post! Maybe I need to ditch the aluminum pans as they radiate a LOT of heat and go with plastic ones! That's my next step if higher does at least keep the soil below 96. I'll also list the varieties I'll be testing later as well.

sandy0225 03-17-2008 05:08 PM

Re: Soil Temperature vs. Air Temperature? Help Please!
Maybe you should put them in styrofoam trays, or use styrofoam risers. It sounds like the air temp should be warm enough.

jpfloors 03-18-2008 09:59 PM

Re: Soil Temperature vs. Air Temperature? Help Please!
Thanks Sandy, Yesterday I actually ended up getting my seeds and I kept a CAREFUL eye of the temps and actually once everything was in there, the temp stabled out not going over 91. I just lifted everything off of the bottom with wire racks.

jpfloors 03-18-2008 10:12 PM

Re: Soil Temperature vs. Air Temperature? Help Please!
Here's pictures of my germination station.

I couldn't stick with just ONE variety, so I have ten seeds of each with two trials, one soaking for 3 days, the second soaking for 10 days. The varieties are: sikkimensis, velutina, voilecea, ornata, balbisiana, and zebrina. I decided to go with a sterile medium, with soil mixed with compost, natural soil from my yard, and leftover soil from my other plants that I had just planted... also put in some dead banana root for luck (and baked it ALL)! Wish me luck!!!!!! I love a challenge!

I do have a good question though. I also decided to give it a go with palm seeds that I found. I soaked them, and then planted them into peat pots. Everything was sterile; the soil and water. The peat pots formed a fungus on them. Would this be a bad choice of a pot, should I serilize the pots as well, or just give in and revert to another potting method? Thanks!

jpfloors 03-18-2008 10:35 PM

Re: Soil Temperature vs. Air Temperature? Help Please!
Wow, I forgot to mention, I already have had today three cacti and one bromeliad germinate in my station in 5 days!!!

sandy0225 03-19-2008 03:32 PM

Re: Soil Temperature vs. Air Temperature? Help Please!
I'm not wild about peat pots, I don't think they would be sterile. Of course, you could always dip them in fungicide, like you do with everything else. As long as it's one that's safe for plants and not bleach.

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