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Homemade medium?

This is a discussion on Homemade medium? within the Flasking Equipment & Technique forums, part of the Orchid Propagation category; Hi there! First of all - I'm an orchid newbie (and new to the forum ...

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  1. #1
    Korxi is offline Orchidiot
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    Post Homemade medium?

    Hi there!

    First of all - I'm an orchid newbie (and new to the forum).

    I have pollinated some of my orchids (last week) and I'm now waiting for the pods to mature. In the mean time I was thinking about experimenting a bit with medium and sterilization.
    I have been googling medium recipes searching for a "make it yourself" solution, since I think it would be even more fun this way compared to buying some mixed chemicals.

    Anyways, I found an old recipe in Danish (I'm from Denmark) this is how it goes:

    300 grams of finely grated potato (with peal)
    25 grams of honey
    5 grams of Agar
    1000 mL of distilled water

    Boil the potato in half of the water for 5 mins. Dissolve the honey in the rest of the water, and pour it in to the boiling potato goo. Stir in the Agar and take it of the heat when reaching boiling point again. After this it is sterilized and treated like any other medium.

    I'm wondering if this medium will have enough nutrients? And if I could ad e.g. banana or a tiny bit of orchid fertilizer to improve?

    Am I insane or is there a slim chance?? I pretty much don't care if I end up with 1 or 100 plants.. For now I'm just trying it out

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    I say give it a shot. What does it hurt to try. I would also consider other options and not put "all your seeds in one flask" hehehe.

    Glad to have you join us!

    Cheers,
    BD

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    I have heard of agar solutions with bananas instead of honey... i would have thought they would do a similar job anyways... I wonder what the potato is for though...

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    I was thinking of mixing in a bit of banana to, but im worried about the the amount of sugar in the medium..
    Well i guess I have about 5-8 months to think about it

    In the mean time if anybody should have suggestions to changes in the recipe I would very much like to hear them! - As I said - 'm a newbie..

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    Quote Originally Posted by bench72 View Post
    I have heard of agar solutions with bananas instead of honey... i would have thought they would do a similar job anyways... I wonder what the potato is for though...
    quite a few recipes call for potatoe,it something to do with the cooking where the starch converts to sugars,just like the malting of grains.

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    Dumb question, but, do you boil the potato before or after grating? Sorry
    Or could you use dry mashed potato granules?
    Oh, and if you were to use banana, how much?
    And finaly, how big a pot would you need?
    Last edited by Tindomul1of9; October 12th, 2006 at 07:05 PM.

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    Well to answer your second question: I think it is essential to use fresh potatoes with peal since (i guess) this is where most of the goodies are stored. Hence granules will not supply the hormones, vitamines or whatever might be in that peal!

    And now from the top: You grate the potatoe before you boil. The idea here is the larger surface area you get from grating and thereby easier flow of starch (which is converted to essential sugars as Murray wrote). If you grate after boiling you will just end up with mashed potatoes = starch only = bad (i guess - but you could try )

    On the banana part: I guess I would use around 50-100 grams (sorry about the metric system here, hope you have a convertion table). The idea is just to provide additional vitamins etc.

    And the pot: Well the entire mix is about 1,5 liter (sorry metric again.. All I can say is it's 3 pounds of water ) maybe a bit less, and it doesn't explode when you boil it - so just find a pot that will contain that amout of water.

    Aaaand in addition I'm considering adding a tiny little bit of 20-20-20 orchid fertilizer just to get things going..

    If you are going to try this stuff out in the near future please post here how it goes! I just pollinated this week so it will be a while before I get to it

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    Ooooh and by the way after putting in the Agar and bringing it to a boil again you should let it cool a bit - 10 mins or so - and then ajust the pH level in the solution to 5,5-5,6 with citric acid.. (some species need higher)
    I don't have a pH-meter so I'm think of buying some of those pH sticks you can get for the aquarium to measure - don't know if they're precise enough - but they will have to do..

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    THanks Korxi.
    I have additional questions. As you must have surmised by now, I am no cook. What exactly does grate the potato mean? Does it mean grate it till you end up with a million little flakes of potato? Like when you grate cheese?
    And please, for me, continue using metric system as I never was able to learn the english system, to the frustration of my second grade teacher. Then she taught the Metric System and I was hooked for life. Besides, I work in a lab where everything is metric.

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    AH well thats great to have a fellow-metric'er

    Yes grate the potato is exactly like grating cheese so you'll end up with tiny little flakes or strips of potato.
    As I wrote I've been experimenting a bit with this recipe (just cooking the stuff and trying to sterilize the flasks - what a pain by the way!). I find that the peal kan be a bit hard to grate, so I was thinking that it might be possible just to put the raw potatoes (300 grams) in a blender, and make raw mashed potatoes since the peal will get dispersed better in this way.

    Furthermore when you put the medium in your flasks/jars you should put in even amounts of the grated potato. This will not be a problem if you use the blender since everything will be one big mash anyways

    If you need further explaination I could make a photo-guide

    Oh and as a last remark. Before you start you should wash the potatoes to rinse of any dirt etc. but ofcourse without taking of the peal..

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