I put my zinnia seeds in a winter sow container and put them on my heat mat. This is the first year I have had a heat mat. My salvia seeds all have mold on them.
1. Anything I can do to salvage them?
2. Should I have done something different?
I have some salvia seeds that I WS outside and they have sprouted. But, since it was so late, I wanted to get a jump start and put them on my heat mat.
These were my 4 or 5 Yvonne Salvia seeds I received in a trade. :( So, please save some Y. Salvia seeds for next year.
birder --- I will spritz my seeds with a peroxide and water mixture and lightly 'stir' the surrounding soil to get more air in there... not sure if that helps or if just the peroxide helps... but I do those two things.
First you said "I put my ZINNIA seeds in a winter sow container and put them on my heat mat"
Then you asked about SALVIA seeds with mold on them. Are/were the salvia seeds on a heat mat? You said you have salvia sprouts. Are the sprouts moldy, or unsprouted seeds?
Karen, I put some salvia seeds in a 1/2 gallon milk container, hence, a Winter Sow container. I put this milk jug container on the heat mat because I "thought" it would speed up the salvia seeds to sprout etc. Instead these became moldy.
Earlier, like in February, I had Winter Sown some Salvia farinacea "Victoria Blue", and they have sprouted.
I hope this make things clearer.
I assume you put them on the heat mat inside the house. Did you sterilize everything first as recommended for indoor seed starting (sterilize potting mix, container, any tools)? If not, that might have caused your problems.
Now that they're outside, maybe the sunshine will kill the mold (?) or maybe Terese's peroxide solution will help. I don't know.
The only wintersown seeds I've had get moldy were large seeds (like nasties , 4:00, or castor bean, much bigger than salvia), and only in extremely wet, cold weather.
birder... if i had to think about my lil spritz bottle... it's about 4oz and i use about a halfa teaspoon of peroxide. [i dont measure, just pour] does the trick for me. If you do not have problems with cats [who like to eat or play with seedlings] take the cover off too so it can air out. I've hear some use fans.. but with a cat, i can't do that... just keep my spritzers handy.
tcs: I'll try the peroxide and take the tops off.
Karen" No, I didn't sterilize anything and won't. It's too much work. I have really good succes with most seeds. The other seeds I planted, Nemesia sprouted just fine. Same conditions.
I sterilize everything (or sanitize container with bleach, cook the potting mix) for anything I start inside. Works well for me- no bugs, no weed sprouts, no disease. Inside conditions otherwise foster these things.
I don't do anything like that for wintersown stuff. But those I sow inside and put outside immediately.
Well, I guess it's the fact that I planted the seeds inside. I use Pro-MIx soil and wash the containers, I can't think of a flower that I would want bad enough to sterilize my soil in the oven.
I'd just buy the plant instead.
To each his own.
birder... i've never sterilized before either... i may get a lil bit of mold, but the h2o2 takes care of it... usually all the seed types germinate for me... this year though... the lambs tail and BES vine have not germinated... but my Yvonne have.
Sterilizing the soil is to prevent damp-off indoors. I will also kills bugs, larvae, eggs. If you're trying to raise seeds, or propagate cuttings, it can help prevent some disasters. I always do it, have never lost anything to damp-off, or fungus gnats. So, for me, it's one of those if-it-ain't- broke-don't-fix-it things. I sterilize the soil in the microwave.
Yvonne Salvia, Salvia splendens, and Salvia farinacea "Victoria Blue" are what molded. I have lots of seeds of the latter. Some Salvia f. "Victora Blue" I sprouted outside earlier. SInce I just received my heat mat, I was kind of wondering if I needed to do something different with the heat mat. Plus, I had heard about the peroxide spray and wasn't quite sure how it was to be used and what the ratio was for water and peroxide.
tcs: Yes, to my surprise some of them did sprout. None of the Yvonne's seed however. :( I am saving the ones you sent me to plant next year. I did not want to risk losing them and thought it was a little too late to start them.
Birder, could the mold you saw actually be the slime coat that Salvias get? It is kinda opaque and whitish, and does kind of look like mold. It is a normal thing Salvia seeds do before germination. When I read that some where germinating, a light bulb went on. I have trouble with Yvonne's too, they just don't germinate as well. I have 1 or 2 seedlings in a jug.
Gemini: Maybe so! I've never done Salvia seeds inside. I watched them very closely whereas outside I look occasionally and the Salvia seeds probably did their slime thing and I had never noticed! I did not know they did the slime thing until this spring reading on DG. Well, that makes me more encouraged to try my heat mat again! Thanks for the insight!
Birder... last year, i wanted some Yvonnes that had a jump on others, so i started them in a south window. they grew quickly.. and were much larger than the WS'ed ones... but - I think you have enough seeds to try various ways to see which works best.
you are quite a bit warmer than me, zone-wise ... so your ws'ed ones may have enough time to get big and produce a bunch of seeds... mine did not.
Do you think it would be wise to put a light sprinkling of vermiculite on top of the Salvia seeds? I wonder if the vermiculite would keep down the mold effect. I think they're suppose to be "surface sown". It seems like I have sown them with a little soil on top of them, but I don't think I had good germination. Thompson & Morgan says "fine sprinkling of soil or vermiculite". They also say 7 to 21 days to germinate.