So I have a little problem with mold in my seed starting flats. Perhaps you gathered that from the title of this post? I have the seeds in my office/craftroom and the door is closed so the cats can’t get them. And I’m pretty sure this is the issue–the air isn’t circulating. It probably doesn’t help that with the self-watering system I’m using, the soil is constantly damp, making it the perfect environment for this white, cottony mold to proliferate.
I did a little searching and found some remedies for killing mold in plant pots. Being an organic gardener, I didn’t want to use anything too harsh. And since I’m dealing with delicate seedlings, I worried about killing them if I tried anything like that. (Some people suggested using bleach–yeah, no thanks.) So here are the steps I took to reign in this mold (at least a little bit):
- I started by putting a fan in the room to help the air circulate.
- I gently scraped the moldy soil from the flat and threw it out.
- I sprinkled the whole flat with cinnamon, per a few suggestions I saw on gardening forums.
The cinnamon seemed to work for a few days and then one morning I went to check on the seeds and the mold was back. Some seeds weren’t sprouting either, so I’m pretty sure the mold was impacting them. Out of desperation, I tried using Earth Friendly Products Cinnamon Air Freshener, since that also had cinnamon in it. And guess what? It worked!
Well, it kind of worked. The nice thing about it is that it killed the mold after I sprayed it and the seedlings didn’t appear to be harmed. (I’ve sprayed them about 5 times now and the seedlings are fine–I’m hoping this means I can continue to use it without any issues.) The bad thing is that a day or two later, the mold would start coming back. But at least I can keep it in check for now.
This isn’t the best solution, of course, and I do worry that eventually the plants will be effected by the air freshener. So I think I’m going to have to move the seed starting trays outside or at the very least, take the more established plants out of the flat and move those. I always get excited about gardening and then I remember all the problems I have growing things. Sigh.
I know a lot of you have been starting your spring seeds too. How are they doing? Have you had any issues with mold? Do you have them indoors or outside?