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First time using newspaper pots, mold on them!!

Posted by gardenmama613 4a (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 15, 12 at 11:45

Hi, I decided to try out making newspaper pots to start seeds this year. I purchased plastic flats and dome lids at fleet farm to put them all in. A week ago I started Petunias in them, and last night I discovered that I have what appears to be white mold growing on the outsides of the newspaper pots. I have been careful not to water too much, as this was something that caused me to lose a lot of seedlings last year(which was my first year starting seeds). But my newspaper pots have remained very damp even though my soil is not over wet nor over watered. I realized by doing some searching through the forums a bit ago that I should have poked holes in my lid or left it off all together... Lesson learned for the next batch that gets planted I guess. But now I am wondering can I save what I have? Should I re-pot them now? CAN I re-pot them? Most have barely sprouted out of the seed starting mix. I do not see any of the mold or fungus or whatever it is on the soil, but a lot of the pots have it on the sides. Please tell me they're not doomed :(


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: First time using newspaper pots, mold on them!!

They aren't doomed they just need to dry out some and get better air circulation around them. It is common with newspaper pots. Fungus, molds, and algae won't grow in plastic nearly as well as they do with paper and peat pots.

It is a fungus that requires moisture and heat to grow and something organic to feed off.

So cover off, off the heat mat if you are using one, use a small fan to increase air circulation, reduce the water even more (most way over-water anyway even when they think they don't), and reduce the ambient air temps in the area.

Dave


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RE: First time using newspaper pots, mold on them!!

Thank you!!! I already took the lid off, I have them inside an indoor greenhouse stand but have had it open the entire time since the domes were on them, so I will just see if the entire plastic piece will come off for now. I have only watered them a couple times with using a squirt bottle to mist them when the soil felt too dry, but I noticed the pots were never drying out. for my next pots should I just NOT water if the pots are wet?? Always something new to learn I guess. But I refuse to give up on the newspaper pots..it's nice to have free pots of any size I want. :)

Aime


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RE: First time using newspaper pots, mold on them!!

No misting. Bottom watering only. And you need to get the air moving around the plants.

Put a thermometer inside that tent and note the temp. You'll be surprised how high it is. 60-65 degrees is considered the ideal once germinated so do what you can to get it down into that range.

Dave


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RE: First time using newspaper pots, mold on them!!

once a few years ago i saved up all my paper towel tubes till i had over 50. I stacked them in a plastic milk crate,filled them with fresh potting soil and planted a seed of pepper or tomato in each. They started to grow but it became quickly apparent that they were not keeping up with seeds planted in the conventional ways. When they started turning yellow I began fertilizing them which would perk them up for a few days but they never really grew till I transplanted them into the ground. I believe I created an environment for denitrifying bacteria and when I took it apart the tubes had lots of white mold on them. I wonder if newspaper pots will work in the same way


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RE: First time using newspaper pots, mold on them!!

ricjo22: I will have to open up a pot when I go to transplant to see if that's the case. If so I may not use this method next year. Thanks for the tip.

Dave: My plants are doing well, they have grown quite a bit and appear to be happy. Mold has greatly reduced, I can see a few spots here and there where the pots are touching, but otherwise looking good. Thanks a million for the advice! One question, the flats I have are 11"x22"- how much water would you generally start with when you bottom water? I have never used this method, and don't want to end up over watering again. Thanks :)

Aime


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RE: First time using newspaper pots, mold on them!!

Scratch that question, found my answer. Thanks again for the help :)

Aime


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