One of the joys of gardening is the ability to grow your own plants from seed. It’s also an economical way to grow your own flowers and vegetables. Too much moisture and humidity, however, can cause algae to grow in soil and affect the health of your seedlings. Here are some tips to help prevent algae in soil.
Algae in soil appears as pink, green or somethings brownish material that spreads across the surface. Although it won’t kill seedlings instantly, it will rob them of essential nutrients and water needed for sufficient growth. The presence of algae on seed soil surfaces indicates overwatering. It also indicates that constant moisture is not being maintained in the environment.
To eliminate algae on seedling soil, practice preventative measures. First off, use starter soil, not garden soil, which may contain undesirable spores and disease. Avoid peat pots and mixes with peat as these tend to have problems with algae. Water only when the surface is almost dry. If you use a humidity dome, remove it daily for at least an hour to condensation can evaporate. Make sure the seedlings get enough light by placing them in bright sun or under plant lights.
If algae appears on your seed soil, don’t panic. You have several options. If the seedlings are large enough, you can repot them, being careful not to damage the tender roots. Another solution is to scrape off the affected surface or lightly cultivate the soil with a small tool such as a stick or pencil to prevent it from staying too soggy and forming algae blooms. Antifungal home remedies may also be useful. Try sprinkling pinches of cinnamon on the soil surface to get rid of algae.
Once you rid your seed soil, pay more attention to the preventative steps and follow them carefully. Increasing air circulation where your seedings are located can also discourage algae growth. Keep in mind that keeping soil algae-free will result in healthier plants.
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