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Yossu

How do I stop my seeds from going mouldy?

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Hello,

 

I bought some Sarracenia seeds a couple of months ago, and according to instructions, I placed them on top of some damp peat moss, and put them in the cold. They went into an unheated room we have at the back of the house, where they are basically at outside temperatures, but protected from the wind and rain.

 

I had a look at them yesterday, and quite a few are going mouldy! How can I stop this? It's too warm in the house, as I understand they need to be kept cold for a while, but with all the rain, it's quite damp outside, plus sitting on top of damp peat means they are in a very damp environment.

 

Anyone able to advise? Thanks

Edited by Yossu

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they need fresh air and ventilation as i have said before,ventilation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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they need fresh air and ventilation as i have said before,ventilation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yup, they've got that too! Due to a loose-fitting roof, they get plenty of fresh air and ventilation!

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they need fresh air and ventilation as i have said before,ventilation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, prevention is better than cure.

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i have also said before,use some old compost but as you said you didn't have any.

What's wrong with just leaving some outside to mature and get the right balance of natural bugs and mould for these months you said.

 

I have only just sown my sarra seeds,last week,they will still germinate when ready,sowing early wont gain you anything unless under lights as i said too.

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i have also said before,use some old compost but as you said you didn't have any.

No, I still don't have any! Remember, I'm pretty new at this, so don't have much in the way of experience or old compost  :laugh2:

 

What's wrong with just leaving some outside to mature and get the right balance of natural bugs and mould for these months you said.

Hmm, leaving them outside. Well, here are a few things I can see that could be a problem...
  • Birds eating the seeds. Bear in mind, I was told (correct me if I'm wrong) to sit them on top of the peat, making them easy pickings for hungry birds
  • Frost could damage them. I know, we've had a mild winter, but I didn't know that when I sowed them
  • They would be open to the wind, of which we've had quite a lot, which would probably result in them being blown away
  • They could easily get washed away by the fairly excessive rain we've had recently
  • Assuming the wind and rain wet up, they would be open to be bashed, run over, hammered, etc by children playing

Based on the above, I put them in an unheated room at the back of our house, which seemed to avoid all of the problems.

 

I have only just sown my sarra seeds,last week,they will still germinate when ready,sowing early wont gain you anything unless under lights as i said too.

Again, I was just doing what I was advised. I bought the seeds from someone on this forum, and he advised me to sow them right away, as they would need a few months of the cold before they germinated.

 

So what do I do? I can move them outside, but how do I protect them from the birds, frost, wind, rain and children?

 

Thanks for the reply. I am listening, and do appreciate the advice, I just find it a bit confusing when I hear different things.

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Sow on surface of compost. Sprinkle very fine peat powder layer on top if you like to hide them. Wet compost from bottom of pot/tray. Put outside under shelter but with plenty of air movement and light. Shelter is just to keep rain off. Well ventilated part of a greenhouse is another good solution. If wet, wind will not blow them away. With overhead shelter rain should not splash them out. Cannot advise re children other than to put them high up, maybe (seed tray, not the children).

 

Frost rarely does damage and can actually promote germination.

 

If you keep them somewhere with no air movement and little natural light, botrytis mould is encouraged.

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i know you are new to this,but i have advised in an earlier thread.

My point was you didn't need to sow the seed! you could have just left the soil out in the cold,wet and rain without any cover until you were ready to sow the seed,   not too hard,eh?

 

sarracenia seed as well as temperate drosera and temperate pinguicula are not affected by frost! at any degree in the U.K

 

Try to keep things as simple as possible and you wont go far wrong.

They don't need any extra heating at all either,they will be fine!

 

Occasionally you will get one or two seeds that aren't fertile,these might go mouldy,just pick them off.

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i know you are new to this,but i have advised in an earlier thread.

My point was you didn't need to sow the seed! you could have just left the soil out in the cold,wet and rain without any cover until you were ready to sow the seed,   not too hard,eh?

Not hard at all, but with due respect, I didn't see that in the other thread. Apologies if I misunderstood you, but it looked to me like you sowed them in/on peat, rather than leaving the seeds out on their own.
 

sarracenia seed as well as temperate drosera and temperate pinguicula are not affected by frost! at any degree in the U.K

 

Try to keep things as simple as possible and you wont go far wrong.

They don't need any extra heating at all either,they will be fine!

Ah, I thought they would be damaged by the frost. They certainly aren't getting any extra heating, so that's not an issue!
 

Occasionally you will get one or two seeds that aren't fertile,these might go mouldy,just pick them off.

OK, so I'll have to work out how to get them outside without losing them. The reply from jimfoxy had some great ideas, so I'll try them and see how I get on.

 

Thanks again for the help.

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Sow on surface of compost. Sprinkle very fine peat powder layer on top if you like to hide them. Wet compost from bottom of pot/tray. Put outside under shelter but with plenty of air movement and light. Shelter is just to keep rain off. Well ventilated part of a greenhouse is another good solution. If wet, wind will not blow them away. With overhead shelter rain should not splash them out. 

Hmm, I wonder if I put a board over them, but slightly raised, so the air can move freely, but the birds, etc can't get at them. With the wet weather we've been having, I can't imagine them drying out, and I can always lift the board every week or so to check.
 
Would the lack of light be a problem? I don't want to use glass, as that would be too breakable. I could get some perspex if needed, but I have bis of board lying around, so can do that quickly and without cost.
 

Cannot advise re children other than to put them high up, maybe (seed tray, not the children).

Hmm, there's an idea! I wonder how long I could keep the children high up before they complained  :laugh2:
 

Frost rarely does damage and can actually promote germination.

As I said, in the my reply to ada, it looks like I was misinformed, or I misunderstood, as I thought frost was a problem.

 

Thanks for the help. Will have to try this out and see.

 

Thankfully there are only a small handful (out of about 200) that are going mouldy, so it looks like I caught them in time. Hopefully, with the great ideas here, I can save the rest.

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A fine plastic mesh would keep the birds off and let plenty of light and air through, we have it around to keep them off the black and the red current bushes, you can get it at the garden centre but if a small amount is needed I'm sure you can improvise

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A fine plastic mesh would keep the birds off and let plenty of light and air through, we have it around to keep them off the black and the red current bushes, you can get it at the garden centre but if a small amount is needed I'm sure you can improvise

Ooh, that's a good idea. I have some chicken wire around actually. I used it to keep the birds of the sphagnum moss I have in a bowl outside. That would probably do the job as well.

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Mesh is great but you still may need some high up shelter to prevent heavy rain driving the seeds out of the tray/pot. You could put some type of board over but leave at least about 20cm air gap; too close and air movement and light will be restricted. Both these restrictions will encourage mould.

Edited by jimfoxy
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Thanks Jim.

 

I was wondering about getting one of those plastic growhouses from B&Q. If I anchor it down to stop it blowing away, it should provide the right conditions. That should tide me through until nearer the spring, when I have to think about what I'm going to do. Would like a proper greenhouse, but am a bit stuck for the money, so I need to work out what's the next best option.

 

Thanks again.

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Yeah I use these for my plants, I put loads of bricks on the bottom shelf to stop it taking off in high winds, but I keep it open almost all the time unless high winds are expected because I find mold will happen quickly otherwise

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Just spotted the the next door neighbour has an empty one sitting out the back. Might see if I can borrow it and save myself the money!

 

Thanks for the reply.

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Hi

I use pure neem oil 100%

After cold stratification for six weeks

I use clover spagnum moss peat (fine) dampen peat not to wet. sprinkle seeds on top do not cover seeds need light

use a very fine spray bottle, pure neem oil sets in the bottle,when you recieve it

you have to place bottle in warm water till it liquidfys place about 6 drops in to a litre spray bottle ad a drop of soft soap spray seeds be careful not to wash seeds away

Need oil is also good for the control of aphid,green fly ..

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Thanks for the suggestion.

 

As mentioned, the neighbour had a plastic growhouse they weren't using, so I gave them £10 for it. This is less than half the price of buying a new one, and seems to have done the trick. I haven't seen any more mould.

 

I'll wait until the spring, and hopefully they'll start to germinate, at which point I'll probably need more space, but I'll worry about it then! I won't need to repot them until they start to get too squashed, so I've got some time. I'll see how many actually get that far first!

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