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QUESTION: What can I do for the mold growing on top of my starters?

comments (3) February 5th, 2011

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bumblebbambie bumblebbambie, member
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Click To Enlarge Photo: Susan Belsinger

I purchased one of those "mini greenhouses" with a watering tray below, a mat that soaks up water as they need it, and it had those little dirt growing capsules so all I did was add the seeds and water. It's still too cold to plant the starters outside. It's only been 2 weeks since we first planted them, and we had amazing results from various plants. Our lettuces, radishes, and peas are about 8" tall! But all the sudden last week we started getting mold on them. We have a plant light above them and it is only 71 degrees inside. Is it getting too much water? We've only watered them 2x in 2 weeks. I have started transplanting some of the tall plants that have grown into separate containers. I took the plants out of the dirt, washed them, and replanted them in separate areas.

We also purchased strawberries already started in a strawberry pot. But that is getting mold too. We have only watered the plants 2x... once when we planted them, and a week later. The dirt on them doesn't look dry but it doesn't look soaked either.

I took the plants in the greenhouse thing off the water tray for a day but now they look pitiful! Please help!!!


posted in: seeds

Comments (3)

EmeraldThumb writes: It sounds like you are describing the Gardener's Supply seed starting system. I have been using this system for 10+ years and experience the same thing that you are describing every year--- a thin coating of what appears to be mold on every planting cell. I have never attempted to do anything to remedy the situation. It doesn't appear to compromise the health of the plants or the transplant success. So I have adopted the attitude of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Bubblebambie, in your situation it could be that manipulating the young and fragile seedlings is what caused their condition to deteriorate.

Who knows, if I did try one of Jonathan's solutions, maybe I would have even healthier plants.

It would be good to know if anyone has noticed improved results by getting rid of the mold.

Regards
Posted: 8:33 am on April 24th
gardentotable writes: I'd just like to second Jonathan's suggestions. I, too, love Neem oil - it cures almost everything. I also use chammomile tea, as a drench and a spray.
Posted: 3:39 pm on March 2nd
Fagusabello writes: Sounds like you're experiencing Damp-off. There are store bought mold killer/fungicide (like No-Damp from Home Depot Lowes, or even in that "place we shall not speak it's name" - W@lm@rt, a "chemical treatment"). There are alternatives, I LOVE *Neem Oil* which is all organic & all-natural (follow instructions). Spraying with Neem saved my squashes/melons/tomatoes last wet-wet year.

Here are some other home-remedies:
- Sprinkle ground cinnamon over the surface of the soil & seedlings
- Spray a weak solution of chamomile tea on the seedlings
- Watering or misting with strong chamomile tea
- spray with Compost Tea
- Garlic fungicide: several garlic cloves (mash, pan simmered, cooled & spray)
- Horseradish Tea: 1/2 cup grated horseradish, soaked 24 hours in 8 ounces of water, strained and use this diluted.
- Apple Cider Vinegar fungicide: 3 Tbs to 1 gallon water
- Baking Soda spray: 1 Tbs Baking Soda, 2.5 Tb oil, liquid soap (NOT anti-bacterial), 1 gallon water
- A weak solution of Milk (2 ounces) to Water (18 ounces) which changes the pH and kills mildew/mold
- Spray a dilute mix of water and hydrogen peroxide 10:1

No matter what remember: don't over water (leave sitting saturated), thin out the seedlings, keep them warm (65°+F),AND make sure that there's air-circulation (a small fan works).

It is lack of air movement and too much moisture that supports the mold growth.

Cheers,
Jonathan
Posted: 2:35 pm on February 8th
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