|Posted by: shrum Jan 17 03, 06:19 PM GMT|
| OK, so, like probably just about everybody else here at the Nook, I want to try out some Pedro. Unfortunately, I don't have a good outdoor space for him (the yard is on the north side of the house, darn), but I've got what I would imagine is a great environment for him inside.
I'd be using General Hydroponics' 3-part Flora nutrients, which I have plenty of experience with, but - not with cacti
So - - what kind of needs does Pedro have? As compared to, say, ummmm, tomatoes?
I'm sure I could just experiment and figure something workable out, but I really don't want to torture some poor specimen in the name of science, when someone else here probably already has a good understanding of Pedro's nutritional needs.
PS, yes, I am sorting thru the archives looking for info, just thought I'd ask specifically about hydro cultivation.
|Posted by: Nanook Jan 17 03, 07:11 PM GMT|
| I have never tried it. I am sure it can be done. As for nutes... Treat it like a vegitable... But non-acid feed. You probably want chelated micro-nutes.
|Posted by: shrum Jan 17 03, 07:32 PM GMT|
| thanks Nan
well, maybe this is something *I* can pioneer here at the Nook
I intend to root them in rockwool, and use a 3-part nutrient mix that allows me to adjust the NPK ratio of the nutrient.
I suppose I'll start with something balanced (1/1/1), fairly weak, and then go from there. You said when they really get growing good in the summer, they'll want more N?
I'm sure it won't be that hard, it's cactus, after all
Just have to get some cuttings. Which brings me to another question - how do you find 'drug-quality' specimens? Just order from several sources and try the different plants out?
|Posted by: Nanook Jan 17 03, 07:39 PM GMT|
| The stuff Brad carries at http://www.bouncingb.com is known good. I have never had a complaint from http://www.stickysituation.com, what they sell is good. I got my original stocks from New Mexico Cactus Research, P.O. Box 787,
Belen, New Mexico 87002
Really most, if not all, of the Pedro I have seen on the market does just fine as a mescaline producer. Even the stuff I have seen at the hardware store.
|Posted by: shrum Jan 17 03, 08:08 PM GMT|
| cool! good to know i don't need an heirloom cutting.
as always, thanks Nan
|Posted by: Nanook Jan 17 03, 08:28 PM GMT|
|The commercial stuff is generally cloned because it is faster and cheaper to clone this plant rather than grow from seed. Most of the commerical stuff I see is very short spined, aggressive, and decently potent|
|Posted by: newman Jan 20 03, 07:29 AM GMT|
| Very Interesting, I wonder how the hydro will affect growth, and mesc content.
I assume they need oxigen to there roots ?
That may sound like a dumb question, but they are so different in other ways, like there photothinsythisis (spell check)
What about a bubbler ?
|Posted by: Nanook Jan 20 03, 12:45 PM GMT|
|The roots will certainly need oxygen. Most hydro setups I have seen cover this pretty well.|
|Posted by: shrum Jan 21 03, 01:29 PM GMT|
|yep, going with a bubbling bucket, probably a standard 5-gallon|
|Posted by: DirtyWOP Jan 21 03, 01:39 PM GMT|
| Has anyone ever pioneered certain growing conditions or feeds that increase mescaline production? Is there any good published material about cultivating hallucinagenic cacti? Maybe you should write a book nan? All it would take is a lot of work and a little research......
While reading up on growing poppies, I came across all kinds of tricks people have figured out to make for a plant that produces more morphine in it's opium.........could the same sort of thing be done for cacti I wonder?
Who knows.....maybe you will notice something in your hydroponic endeavors....
Good luck and happy experimenting!
|Posted by: Nanook Jan 21 03, 07:29 PM GMT|
Not to my knowledge.
I try to provide the best info I can here.
The girls keep telling me the same thing. I have stuff to relate. Kdog was just telling me this just the other day. I need some ground to grow, preferably in the south/south-west, with water.... Someplace out of the way where greenhouses can be errected and strain testing and propagation can be done. I simply do not have the facilities to winter more cacti than I currently maintain (and that's not much), and the pots have to be moved twice a year... which is backbreaking labor on established pots.
The harvest that past fall, and the subsequent extraction, really has me motivated to make a lifestyle change. My current location, while very comfortable, poorly supports my hobby requirements. I have space, but it is not suitable for my needs, and where I would like to focus.
I feel I could really do some damage in this field if given a few years to develop and test... Researching things like strains, genetics, and optimal growth environments. I am a firm believer that the best potency comes from the healthiest cactus, with the richest chloroplasts... Not because it makes the cactus that much more potent, but because it returns the largest possible gain in terms of growth.
|Posted by: ShroomVator Jan 21 03, 09:48 PM GMT|
| Sounds like a pretty good plan to me.
|Posted by: Samsara Jan 21 03, 09:53 PM GMT|
|Well isn't it true that alkaloids build alot when the cacti are starved of water for a season or two. In a hydro setup, water starvation would be impossible, so the potency might be reduced. Then again, if they get very big and you have alot I guess it won't matter. Also, it is hard to say how potency will be affected since potency has not been tested with hydro. But, best of luck and tell us how it goes.|
|Posted by: DirtyWOP Jan 21 03, 10:04 PM GMT|
|Posted by: ion Jan 22 03, 04:38 PM GMT|
| Sounds like one heck of an endeavor!
Might need to rig up some supports for those guys if the growth is anything like outdoors... They get so fat and heavy with water that they would be like giant watermelons sitting on top of little rockwool cubes... kinda precarious, ya know?
Good luck shrum!
|Posted by: shrum Jan 22 03, 05:04 PM GMT|
| yeah, with a 1000W lamp, even "tomato" plants have to be tied up to keep from toppling over
the kind of problems you want to have
bubbling buckets work real well at keeping even tall plants upright, if the bucket's big enough (5-gal+), due to the fact that the roots will form a huge mass in the bottom of the bucket, plus it's at least half-full of water. but I do expect Pedro to get tall if I let him - - - I'll probably top mine before they get past 24-30" tall, to practice rooting and get a few more plants for free, as well as avoiding high-rise disasters
thanks for all the interest and replies, especially yours Nan. I really hope you can bring your ideas to fruition - if you succeed in setting up shop on a larger scale, I work CHEAP
I still haven't ordered my cuttings (hopefully today or tomorrow), but I'll definitely keep the forum posted as to progress once they're installed.
|Posted by: Bob Roberts Jan 22 03, 06:41 PM GMT|
| I've kind of got some worries about trying a traditional "hydro" system for cactus. Most of it has to do with the CAM photosynthesis the cacti utilize. They close their stomata during the day and expell CO2 at night. Some kind of alteration in watering schedule would seem to be needed to reflect this need (different from herb) while still allowing the roots to dry out between waterings. In 1988, Nobel found T. pachanoi roots to respond to precipitation between 8 and 24 hours (Nobel, P.S.1988. Environmental Biology of Agaves and Cacti. New York: Cambridge University Press).
Another thing that crosses my mind is the length of roots that I've seen on the bigger plants. Not sure how well they respond to root crowding that will be common on a repeatedly-harvested plant. Some kind of root pruning/transplanting will have to occur to continue the mother plant. An interesting idea, no doubt.
|Posted by: Nanook Jan 22 03, 07:23 PM GMT|
| Allowing them to become rootbound in pots, while maintaining a flow of water and nutrients through the root/soil mass (it's like a colonized jar when you depot one) seems to work. It seems to force top growth and early maturity in some specimens.
Ack ack Here we go again...
You want roots to get air exchanges... Please don't allow them to dry between waterings during the growing season. They do not have to dry. If you keep the pH properly set, and make sure they get air exchanges (flood and ebb watering for instance), then they never need to dry out. You don't want them to dry out, not if you want them to grow.
These are water loving plants. You don't need to water starve them.
And let's put an end to another potency myth... Withholding water makes them more potent... This is only partly true.
Drying cactus out makes it more potent because you are concentrating the plant tissue down. It's called dehydration. The cactus shrinks, loses weight, shrivels inwards using the ribs like an accordian to reduce the physical stress. But you are not growing more drugs. When you cut back on water, you are cutting back on growth of new plant material = less drugs.
What gives you more drugs is more cactus. What gives you more cactus, is much like mushrooms... More water. Lots of water. Gradually delivered. pH never lower than 6.8, plenty of air exchange.
You could use a drip water/drain recovery system. If you could measure nutes through testing you could find what the cactus is taking out of the nute solution perhaps even.
|Posted by: Bob Roberts Jan 23 03, 01:04 AM GMT|
| Right on. My caution comes from helping people with plant problems for the past 7 or 8 years. Tell someone that a plant likes water and they usually let it sit in a tray of water for 5 days and call you up to let you know that you killed their plant 2 weeks later. Plus, it's just part of my routine. I water stress them in the mid-late summer. I water quite heavily in the summer heat and the soil isn't by any means dry. Call me old school, but I believe stress creates more alkaloids than large, water-filled vacuoles do.
Rootbound plants eventually do lead to problems, but you can always just add another block of rockwool. I've read of people growing them in cubes. I was thinking of an aeroponic system as the non-traditional way.