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Can seedling soil mold?

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Can seedling soil mold?

Post  NHGardener on 4/25/2011, 2:36 pm

I'm getting the feeling my seedling soil might be molding. I have it under heat lamps and keep the soil moist. I see grayish patches scattered here & there and it's making me think maybe my seedlings aren't going to be able to overcome a moldy homelife.

Is it possible the soil could be molding? It's just starter soil, some peat moss, and some compost mixed together.
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Re: Can seedling soil mold?

Post  martha on 4/25/2011, 2:41 pm

Hello, NHGardener. Yes, it can mold, and what I do is to mix a little hydrogen peroxide with water and spray it. Sometimes the sides of my peat pots get moldy and sometimes the soil. I read about this somewhere, but not this year. I don't remember a specific ratio, but I go pretty light on the HP. Basically, you will see the mold disappear right away. Don't soak, just a little mist and all should be good!
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Re: Can seedling soil mold?

Post  NHGardener on 4/25/2011, 2:52 pm

Ooh! Thank you! I just happened to have a spray bottle hanging around w/peroxide & H20, so I gave it a few sprays and we'll see what happens. I hope it doesn't kill my baby plants...

I am so bad at chemistry it's ridiculous. I'd much rather talk the plants into growing than fool around with soil chemistry. Ha.
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Re: Can seedling soil mold?

Post  camprn on 4/25/2011, 4:05 pm

if you still have your covers over the plants you want to remove those. You may need to lighten up on the watering for a few days. Wink
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Re: Can seedling soil mold?

Post  NHGardener on 4/25/2011, 4:22 pm

No covers, the seedlings are too tall for that. But jeesh - how did the soil get moldy to begin with? Makes me wonder about our indoor air quality... Or the quality of the potting soil, which after all did originate at the Christmas Tree Shop. (I added amendments tho)

Is it at all possible to sow pepper and tomato seeds straight into the garden mid-May? I may end up having to do that if these things don't start thriving. I know I can buy plants, but I'm stubborn.

(the peroxide does seem to have helped to eliminate the gray patches tho - as long as I didn't kill the plants with it)
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Mold on your seedlings

Post  newSFGinNorthDakota on 4/28/2011, 2:45 am

This is my first year planting seedlings, mine are under grow lights indoors in a south facing window of a spare room. I too had mold growing on my seedlings about 10 days after planting. I did a search on Google and found out this is called dampening off. The reply to your post above is right. Spray them once or twice a day with a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide. I also read you can sprinkle cornstarch and or cinnamon on top of the seedlings and that will get rid of the mold as well. I tried that first and when it wasn't 100% successful, I resorted to the peroxide solution (which I read can be mixed at 9 parts water to 1 part hydrogen peroxide). It seemed to stop the growth of mold, then I just took a pair of tweezers and carefully picked the mold off the tops of the seedling soil. It was time consuming, but now they are replanted in bigger Jiffy pots and doing amazing!

I read this happens because the soil can be too moist, the room may be too warm, or there may not be good air circulation. You can fix the air circulation with a fan, I didn't have one, just opened the door wide and hoped my kitty didn't mess with them. Hope this information comes in helpful as well!

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Re: Can seedling soil mold?

Post  NHGardener on 4/28/2011, 3:56 am

New - Thanks so much! That was really helpful. I probably have all 3 of those issues going. Glad to know I can keep re-spraying daily - wasn't sure whether that was too often.
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