This is my very first time attempting to garden and I now have the feeling I'm not going to do well. I'm going to give it one more try though and if anyone can offer any advise to me I would be so happy.
I started with a Jiffy Professional Greenhouse and followed the instructions to the "T" with beautiful resulst in just a few days. But then after about 2 weeks I started to see small white fuzzy weblike groths. I removed the lid because the seedlings were starting to push it up and with in a week everything was DEAD (see picutre).
If there is anyone who can help me understand what I did wrong and what I can do to avoide this happening again that would be great. I'm going to restart a new tray today so, please, bring on the suggestions!
I hate those Jiffy planters.
I also use the hydrogen peroxide, from the drug store, diluted about 1/2 cap full to a quart sprayer, you don't need much. I would also spray the cover with the diluted H2O2.
I run a fan ,from start to finish.ive heard people having trouble with those lil peat pots molding ??? Those jiffy houses are not cheap...I use cells an flats I bought at lowes,made seed starting mix with perlite and sphagnum peat,but i use lights,shop lights 1 warm bulb 1 cool .
I use the Jiffy with no problems since I started using the peroxide/water mix. I agree that the lid stayed on too long. If some have sprouted and others haven't, you can take the sprouted ones out, and put them on a different tray under lights while you wait for the others. I also use the peroxide in my misting bottle.
Some of those sprouts look "leggy", suggesting not enough light. It's hard to get enough light! Fast-growing, vigorous plants are probably more resistant to fugus.
I would try to pull anything that has sprouted out of the humid, domed tray and move it to a tray with lots of light and air movement. Some people sprinkle grit or very coarse sand on the surface after sprouting, so it will be drier. A small fan or drying drafts may help.
Maybe the 'system' could use a little venting. The only purpose of high humidity (I think) is to reduce or eliminate the need for frequent watering to keep the soil surface damp. Peat pots should assure that without much help!
I've heard of people dusting with cinnamon powder, or watering with strong chammomille tea, to fight damping off and fungus. And hydrogen peroxide is well spoken of.
But "dry" fights fungus and mold getter than chemicals!
I would urge a faster-draining seedling mix, so that the surface tends to dry out. You may need to mist it or sprinkle it to keep the seeds damp until they sprout, or leave them inside the Humid Dome, but you don't want it any watter than needced for the seeds to sprout.
Seeds right on the surface are tricky: you can't let them dry out even breifly once they start germinationg. But if they are under 1/8th" of soil, peat or vermiculite, they can be moist enough while the surface is drier.
Until they sprout, it is a balancing act, and humid air keeps germinating seeds from drying and dieing. As soon as the sprut emerges, give it dry air and light! Oly roots need moisture, not the above-ground seedlings.
I may be crazy, but once the sprouts are up, I think that frequent misting 'washes' mold and fungus away ... as long as the surface is dry or almost dry most of the time.
Peat holds a lot of water forever, but "fine" pine bark fibers drain well. "Fine" pine bark mulch is much more coarse than peat moss. I screen it with 1/2" hardware cloth, and add some medium pine bark mulch, also screened. Plus grit and coarse perlite. This year was the first year my seedling cells drained fast enough, and I'm all excited by that.
Besides a drier surface, fast-draining mix provides good aeration for roots, which encourages them to grow deep and fast. If your peat pots are soggy, roots are impeded and growth may slow down enough for mold to overcome the plants.
Fast drainage lets me water from the top until water comes out the bottom. Then I can suck the excess water out of the trays so salts don't accumulate.
They say that bottom-watering is good for starting seeds, I guess because it keeps the surface drier.
I personally have found that if the temp in the area i am starting seed is a little too cool i fight fungus,also giving them some air periodically is good too. i have had success with a mixture of cinnamon in a squirt bottle i put a teaspoon in a quart size spritzer and it did the trick.Hope things go well your next go round:)