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SFG : Starting the Seeds Indoors

The day finally arrived to plant some of the square foot gardening seeds indoors and my (almost) three year old and I were excited to begin. I am using a 6×6 peat pod ‘greenhouse’, so I drew up a planting plan accordingly…

Square Foot Garden Indoor Seed Layout

Following the instructions that came with the peat pods, I pre-soaked them and watched the pods expand upwards…in much the same way that I hope my seeds will too 🙂 .

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A minimum of three seeds were sown in each pod and then very gently covered over with a little peat, being careful not to compact it too much. The finished greenhouse was then placed on a bright and sunny window-sill. This is probably sufficient on it’s own, but I have placed a CFL fixture above to provide additional heat and light as needed.
 

Three days into the germination process and I noticed that the sunflower seeds are already germinating… 

 

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So I moved them out of the greenhouse into an open egg box. I also observed a white, cotton-like growth on the top of the peat pods which caused a little concern. Researching online confirms that this is Sclerotinia, a pathogenic fungus which causes white rot. Treatment options include physical removal, allowing the pods to dry out a little, or chemical treatment. My plan of attack will be all of the above ! Firstly, I have scraped the visible fungus off the pods. Secondly, I have left the top off the greenhouse for a while to encourage the pods to dry out slightly. Finally, I added a little (approx 5%) hydrogen peroxide (bleach) to my spray bottle and will use this in future mistings. Obviously, handle bleach with the utmost care and ensure that there are no additives that could contaminate your plants (and your harvest).

 

 

 

 

 

To be continued…

 

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