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Mold growing on my Terracycle seed starting kit

Posted by tmgeorge87 IL (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 20, 10 at 11:56

My fiance and I bought 2 Terracycle biodegradable seed starter kits. They are the biodegradable cells. Anyway, when we opened them last night to use them and transfer our germinated seeds into them it looked like there was fuzzy green mold growing on top of the soil and on the inside and outside of the cells. We were thinking it was a moss or something else growing from the ingredients in the soil. I was wondering if this has happened to anyone else or if anyone knew or had an idea of what this was. We are starting them inside in our kitchen so we wanted to be safe.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Mold growing on my Terracycle seed starting kit

I have had mold growing on little peat pellets when I start seeds indoors. I take a Q-Tip & dip in peroxide &
dab away at the mold. I read this somewhere awhile ago in this forum probably. Hopefully someone else will respond to this question also.

RE: Mold growing on my Terracycle seed starting kit

If it came out of the packaging like that, I'd get my money back. Otherwise, I'd probably just replace them, or maybe try to sterilize the cells and fill with fresh seed starting mix.

RE: Mold growing on my Terracycle seed starting kit

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 21, 10 at 10:18

The few who have posted about buying these have shared your concerns, but I haven't found anyone who has given them enough of a trial to really have any experience to share, or pros or cons.

The recycled paper trays are filled with pure earthworm castings - which seems to me to be a very rich environment for newest seedlings, while the cells aren't large enough for seedlings of more mature size.

RE: Mold growing on my Terracycle seed starting kit

I think it is a moss rather than the usual mold we sometimes say as I have seen some of the same on similar plugs, newspaper pots, and biodegradable pots that had gotten too warm and damp during storage - in plastic no less. When I tested them it never seemed to bother the seedlings in any way and once they were dried out it quickly disappeared.

So for that reason I wouldn't hesitate to use them.

HOWEVER, please do note that there are other potential problems with these: (1) they wick water from the soil similar to the peat pots so watering must be carefully monitored, and (2) the plants will do better when transplanted if you first strip away the majority of the pot itself. In ground they tend to turn harder and root penetration is slowed substantially.

While their cost and advertising is appealing, if one plans to start seeds the following year it is cheaper to buy the plastic cell starter trays and then the following year re-use them and only have to buy a small bag of seed starting mix to fill them with.


RE: Mold growing on my Terracycle seed starting kit

I bought these mostly because they were on clearance for $2, to save for starting seedlings next year. When I opened the plastic wrap and took off the cardboard cover/label, I could see mold in some of the sections. The mold on the ones I bought was white. The trays come pre-moistened, which doesn't make sense to me. I have read that mold on peat pots is not really harmful to the plants, but I think if I tried to save these as is until next year, they would degrade to a pile of moldy mush. And these don't appear to be peat, but some type of cardboard similar to cardboard egg cartons. I opened one tray and used a few sections to start a few seedlings for a few places where previously-sown areas did not seem to be growing anything. Once removed from the packaging, the rest dried out, which gave me the idea to unwrap the rest and put them outside in the sun to dry out and then perhaps they can be salvaged for next year. Overall, however, I would recommend sticking to dry peat pots and a bag of potting soil.

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