I totally realize this is the third post in a row about gardening–can you tell what’s on my mind lately? I promise my next post will be on another topic for a change, but I really wanted to share this, and I haven’t been able to find photos of this anywhere else on the internet.
As you know, I started a bunch of seeds inside a few weeks ago. I have them set up in the basement with some UV lights on them for about 13 hours a day. When I set up the trays, I used the clear plastic covers to keep the moisture in. However, after about three days, I noticed that there was a fuzzy white something growing on top of the soil:
Here’s another spot, where it was just starting to grow:
It was actually much worse when I first saw it, and covered nearly every little square section in every tray. This also happened last year (but that was before I had grow lights, and was trying to start seeds on the porch. With partial sunlight, and trays balanced precariously on ledges and tables, and two cats who didn’t seem to mind tipping them over.) Last year, I pretty much gave up on the trays after the moldy white stuff showed up. This year, I was not about to give in.
So I did a quick search to figure out how to fix it. From my brief research, it sounds like one of the ingredients in my seed starting mix had bacteria in it (I’m guessing it’s the peat moss, but who knows.) Luckily, the fix is simple–I took off the clear tray covers and put a fan in the room, and the white mold was completely cleared out in a matter of hours.
My little sprouts now have the soil to themselves again. Happy sprouts, happy Shell.
The most helpful resource I found was this gardening forum post. One of the people recommended sanitizing the seed starting mix in the microwave before planting to prevent the bacteria in the first place. I’ll be totally honest–I was going to do this, and got so far as pouring the mix into a huge gallon jar….only to find that the jar didn’t fit in my microwave. Since I don’t have many huge microwave-safe containers that would fit (and I’m too lazy to do several batches), I just gave up there and planted my second set of trays with my infected soil. Hopefully the sprouts will forgive me if I keep the fan going…