Q: We planted some little peat seed starters – little plug veggies. The bush beans have white mold all over the top of them. How can we get rid of that or how an we prevent that?
A: Knowing how to handle mold on peat seed starters is something most seed growers learn over time.
Anytime I hear “mold”, I immediately think moisture and air circulation. Have you been over-watering? Is the cover off the plugs?
Sometimes the little peat seed starters are tricky because you want to get the seed to germinate, yet it is easy to over-saturate them. It takes a lot of water to get the compressed plug to swell and peat loves to hold on to that moisture. As a result, mold is a common issue with the pellets. After the seedlings appear, it’s good to uncover them so they can dry a little. And, yes, you can try to pick the mold off. Mold will not kill your seedlings, but dampening off is a real threat.
Generally, better air circulation makes the mold go away. Consider setting up a small fan nearby and scale back on watering.
I have a few garden friends who recommend watering plants with chamomile tea to help with mold issues. They swear by it. I’ve never tried it, but the next time I get a little mold, I will give it a go.