Tecophilaea questions & soil comment (coir and coffee chaff)

Laura & Dave toadlily@olywa.net
Mon, 24 Nov 2008 12:18:04 PST
  Just a quick question or two regarding Tecophilaea timing; sowing, 
sprouting and re-emergence of young bulbs.  From the posts, I'm guessing 
that seed should be sown immediately?  Would delaying until there is 
more light available (say, a month or two after the winter solstice) be 
of benefit, if the seeds will remain viable that long?  Here, at 47ยบ  N. 
latitude, the sun is low on the horizon, and seldom seen due to clouds.  
I've just watered a pot of three year old seedlings, but seem to 
remember that they took their own sweet time showing up last year.  
Should I be waiting longer to water them; more like the timing of a snow 
melt species?
  I've been using coir in place of peat moss in my soil mixes, and have 
liked the results.  I don't think it retains quite as much water, but it 
is easier to rewet, doesn't shrink/expand as much, and doesn't need a pH 
  I've also gotten a large supply of coffee chaff (not grounds, but the 
seed coat that comes loose during roasting ... a byproduct, often 
available for the asking), but haven't used any yet.  It's supposed to 
be an excellent soil amendment, slow to break down and with a good 
balance of nutrients.  I have been wanting to try this in a seed mix, 
but need a large batch of seed that I'm willing to have not germinate.  
And I'm still trying to catch up on planting more valuable seed ...

  Thanks in advance!
Dave Brastow

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