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Re: Spore sieve(s) / spore refrigerator / digital pH meter.


I'd have to agree with Sue regarding the "need" for a sieve to sort spore. I generally use the paper tapping method myself and end up with fairly clean spore. That being said, I have used a series of graduated sieves to get rid of large detritus, or if I know I have lots of trash that I want to go though.

Sometimes I'm collecting spore from older, dried fronds that have shed most of their spores but, given the amount and type of indument on the frond, will tend to always have some spore clinging to them. In this case, I often crush the fronds in a?marble mortar and pestle, and then run them through the sieves. I'll also do this with Pellaea mucronata, and P. brachyptera, as the pinnules can close before shedding all or most of the spore when being dried.?The small sieve set I have currently, has 30, 80 and 100 mesh screens. The 100 mesh equates to 150 micron openings. 

Given what limited information I could find regarding spore size in Cheilanthoid ferns (Flora of North America-Vol 2, The Pteridophytes of Mexico), it seems that most of the spore is less than 100 microns?(Astrolepis cochisensis var. arizonica and A. cochisensis var. chihuahuensis both--87 microns or smaller). This would equate to about a 140 mesh (106 micron). 

I will note that occasionally, I've ended up sowing whole sporangia (because that's mostly what was left when done tapping) and had good germination from them. If I had used a sieve with a 140 mesh in that case, I would have had much less success in the germination...and no, I can't remember with what particular fern species that occurred. 

The spore that I'll be sending you should be pretty clean. I try to be diligent, especially when sharing spore I've collected. I'm not sure if issue with the farina and Pentagramma pallida spore will be addressed unless you can get down to the 100 micron level. The other option is to wait till later this winter or spring and allow me to try to collect fresher spore, and maybe that will come with less of the farina.

Regarding pH; I've found that for spore sowing I don't have to worry too much about the pH, even with lime loving ferns like Argyrochosma jonsii and A. limitanea. In fact, I had very poor luck when trying to incorporated ground limestone into the sowing media for A. jonesii the first couple of times I tried to sow it. The first time I used my standard mix, I had great germination so I stopped worrying about it. Regardless, I've included a link to 'Forestry Suppliers, Inc' http://www.forestry-suppliers.com/?that has a wide range of pH testers (and a wide range of prices that match). They also have some sieves. 

Good luck,

David Schwartz
Bakersfield, CA

-----Original Message-----
From: Darren Lloyd <Darren@ferntastic.com>
To: ferns@hort.net
Sent: Thu, 28 Aug 2008 7:43 pm
Subject: [ferns] Spore sieve(s) / spore refrigerator / digital pH meter.



I have a few fern related question please:


1) I'm planning to purchase a sieve/sieves for processing my spore. Does
anyone have any recommendations as to the mesh size(s) best suited for the


2) I'm also thinking of purchasing a small spore refrigerator. Does anyone
have any recommendations in this regard?


3) I'm also looking for an inexpensive digital pH meter with a soil probe,
but haven't managed to find one yet.


Thanks in advance!



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