Wednesday, February 5, 2014

On Mold

So I sowed those little lettuce and spinach seeds and I dutifully went out and watered everything every day and the day came and went where I was supposed to see seedlings, and I kept on watering and hoping and what have you.*  And then I gave up and decided to start a little INDOOR bed of lettuces and spinaches. 

I accomplished this feat by reusing one of those large containers that spinach comes in at the store.  I slashed a few holes in the bottom, I put a layer of coarse sand, and then in went the dirt, then some worm castings and finally some seed starter mix.  I watered the dirt and then pressed some seeds into the seed starter mix.  I then covered the bin by putting the lid on it and set it on my kitchen table.

I then promptly forgot about the damn thing.

A few days later I was like "oh yeah, I should probably see if it needs more water."  More water it did not need.  When I pulled the lid off, I was dismayed to see that while I had a bunch of sprouts, I also had a bunch of mold. 

After a quick Google Search, I figured it was probably damping off (or was going to be turning into that very quickly), and the recommended solutions are to set up a fan to allow airflow around the seedlings (I didn't really want to go looking for one of our fans), poking some holes/messing with the dirt to get more air into the soil (yeah, that sounds like a brilliant idea with seedlings that are really just sproutlings), or spraying everything with hydrogen peroxide (huh, well, I guess that could work).

Choosing the easiest option at the time, I went with the hydrogen peroxide.  If you remember high school chemistry, hydrogen peroxide is 2 hydrogens and 2 oxygens.  It breaks down pretty quickly into water and oxygen.  So I sprayed everything with the H2O2, left the lid off and went to bed for the night.

I'll be damned if that didn't clear up everything by the next morning.  The next day I thought I had dreamed the mold since everything looked good and dandy.  I continued to spray everything with the peroxide for the next couple of days, but now I'm just back to spraying with regular water (and obviously leaving the lid off since most of the seeds sprouted).

* Now, of course, the outside seeds have finally decided to sprout - though only in the actual garden bed, I think the ones in by the artichoke gave up because the squirrels kept digging in the soil.

1 comment:

R N said...

Well, you and your fancy science! Congrats on eliminating the mold and saving the sprouts. I'll have to remember this tip.