How to Handle Mold on Peat Seed Starters

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.


Still growing...

Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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