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

 Measruement of pH in soils is difficult with really good instruements.
Hydrogen ions (protons) are in equilibrium with hydroxyl ions in water and
the concnetration of water in soils affects this, as the protons are
interacting with other salts as soils are wetted and dried.  So under the
best circumstances (read top dollar lab equipment) error of .5 of a pH unit
is to be expected. With inexpensive probes or uncalibrated field equipment I
would expect much greater errors.  In the end, you may be best off making a
quick saturation paste and using pH papers.


Dr. Jim Downer
University of California Cooperative Extension
669 County Square Drive, Suite 100
Ventura CA, 93003

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-ferns@hort.net [mailto:owner-ferns@hort.net] On Behalf Of Darren
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:27 AM
To: ferns@hort.net
Subject: RE: [ferns] Spore sieve(s) / spore refrigerator / digital pH meter.

Hello Sue,

Thank you for your reply!

My spore technique so far has been "panning" for spore using a clean white
sheet of paper with a crease down the length of it, and then trying to keep
the spore in the crease and tap the unwanted material off of the edges of
the paper. This works well for small species, and in most cases it has been
fairly easy to separate the spore if there is not a substantial amount of
chaff. I haven't tried using camera lens cleaning tissue yet, but I most
certainly will!

However, last year someone was kind enough to give me three large fronds
from their Cyathea cooperi, as I wanted the spore to donate to fern
societies, etc. Anyway, it took me the best part of a day to try separating
the spore from the chaff, and after a lot of work I certainly ended up with
a large amount of spore but it was not as clean as I would have liked. So
next time around I will try using a sieve for tree fern spore first.

Everyone seems to be using their regular home refrigerator for storing their

My question would be how do you deal with the humidity? Is it sufficient to
seal the spore in say zip-lock bag placed in an air tight container?

There is also the danger that my 'Cyathea rather-rareii' will be thrown out
with last week's cilantro :-)

My wife is not particularly happy with the beneficial nematodes which have
taken up residence in the fridge....

I'm still looking into the digital pH meter. Affordable ones certainly
exist, but so far none with a soil probe as far as I can tell.




-----Original Message-----
From: owner-ferns@hort.net [mailto:owner-ferns@hort.net] On Behalf Of Sue
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 8:10 PM
To: ferns@hort.net
Subject: Re: [ferns] Spore sieve(s) / spore refrigerator / digital pH meter.

Hi Darren,
I don't think you need a sieve for your spores. If you put your spore
collection on a piece of white paper and carefully tip it and tap it so that
the chaff falls off and spores remain you should have a good indication of
whether or not you have spores and if you do they should be ready to put
into culture. I do know that some propagators have used camera lens cleaning
paper successfully, but I don't find it necessary. I will add that a
microscope helps in that I have received packets of "spores" that are
nothing but chaff. A glance under the scope will determine whether or not
spores are present and ready for sowing. 
As for a special refrigerator.....any fridge will do. I've stored spores
successfully on the door shelf of our refrigerator for years. (Once upon a
time we also stored lady bugs in the refrigerator but that "bugged" our baby
sitters!) Obviously if you are dealing with green spores they won't last
long in any refrigerator, although they will survive in a frozen state.
Don't have info on a digital pH meter. It sounds like a much better option
than the tests I've used so I hope there will be some suggestions from
others on the list.
Hope this helps.
Sue Olsen
Bellevue, WA

On Thu, 28 Aug 2008 19:43:20 -0700 "Darren Lloyd" <Darren@ferntastic.com>
> Hello,
> 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 task?
> 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!
> Darren
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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