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Discuss water requirements, "soil" (growing media) and suitable planting containers

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By evenwind
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Posts:  1079
Joined:  Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:16 pm
#367160
I've been starting a lot of seeds lately. I've been using pots of 50/50 peat/perlite with a 1/4" of pure peat at the top. Usually it works well but in some cases, I get a growth of powdery mildew (or something similar) on the surface even before the seeds germinate. Since I can't see the ungerminated seeds, I don't want to do anything that disturbs the surface. And yet I want to check the mold. I know cinnamon is a good antifungal so I did some reading and armed myself with a formula for cinnamon "tea" and a spray bottle. These are the results:
The offending pot before spraying
capillaris-oct08 before wide view sm.JPG
capillaris-oct08 before wide view sm.JPG (180.67 KiB) Viewed 2910 times
"Before" closeup
capillaris-oct08 before sm.JPG
capillaris-oct08 before sm.JPG (159.79 KiB) Viewed 2910 times
After spraying, when the surface dried off a bit
capillaris-oct09 after spray sm.JPG
capillaris-oct09 after spray sm.JPG (183.63 KiB) Viewed 2910 times
Two days later (the greener color is basically due to a different lighting setup)
capillaris-oct-11sm.JPG
capillaris-oct-11sm.JPG (193.27 KiB) Viewed 2910 times
I think you'll agree that the mold is pretty much gone. My remaining questions are "Will the cinnamon adversely affect seedlings?" and "Will it hurt germination in any way?" I going to have to wait on the germination question but I took before and after shots of a pot of spatulata seedlings and I'm not seeing any damage:
spatulata-oct09 before sm.JPG
spatulata-oct09 before sm.JPG (177.15 KiB) Viewed 2910 times
Two days later:
spatulata-oct-11sm.JPG
spatulata-oct-11sm.JPG (198.74 KiB) Viewed 2910 times
All in all, I think that I'm going to be using the cinnamon spray. If there's any adverse effect on germination, I'll update this entry.

(And I don't know why there's another copy of this pic attached:)
Attachments:
spatulata-oct09 before sm.JPG
spatulata-oct09 before sm.JPG (177.15 KiB) Viewed 2910 times
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By bridex
Posts:  3
Joined:  Mon Dec 28, 2020 12:25 am
#371844
Any updates on whether the cinnamon affected the germination/health of the seeds?
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By evenwind
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Posts:  1079
Joined:  Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:16 pm
#371851
I wish I could give a definitive answer but I can't. The pot slimed over with algae and any possible germination was smothered. I still regularly use cinnamon for any mold/fungus on plant media but I simply don't know about germinating seeds. To avoid this problem, I've switched over to water germination and a much drier medium during the initial rooting stages - which seems to be working, so far.
By twitcher
Posts:  620
Joined:  Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:56 am
#371864
Do you sterilize the media before planting the seeds?
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By evenwind
Location: 
Posts:  1079
Joined:  Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:16 pm
#371865
Not particularly well, apparently.
By twitcher
Posts:  620
Joined:  Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:56 am
#371867
I rinse and boil, multiple times for seeds. Also keep media covered between cycles. Loosely covered after planting. It helps, but not perfect.
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