Are you wondering how to prevent mould with seedlings in small polytunnel? You will confront many considerations in the United Kingdom, including the temperature, airflow, and light that enters the greenhouse. Also, you have to consider the spacing of the seedlings inside their tray and the amount of water you give to your plants.
Moulds that grow on your seedlings do not harm the plant. Its growth is more of an indication that your soil is too wet. Overly moist soil can quickly rot the fragile roots of the seedlings. If the roots are dead, eventually, the rest of the plant will follow.
This article will present to you seven ways on how to prevent mould with seedlings in a small greenhouse.
Steps To Prevent Moulds On Seedlings
Now, it’s time for you to learn how to prevent mould with seedlings in a small greenhouse. In this section, we have compiled the necessary steps so that everything will be more accessible for you in the UK. Just read on!
#1 Temperature management
There is a range in temperature in which your plants can best photosynthesise. Keep the temperature inside your British polytunnel between 77 to 82F. Anything above this can overheat your plants, especially if a heating mat is present under the seedlings.
So, the first thing you need to do on how to prevent mould with seedlings in small polytunnel is to manage the temperature.
#2 Water management
The most common reason why moulds grow on seedlings is overwatering. Since watering is an essential task to help seedlings sprout, people tend to forget that giving plants too much water can harm them.
To solve this problem, use your finger and determine if the soil is dry. If it is, then that is the time you should water your seedlings. Simple and easy, but often neglected.
Another way to prevent overwatering is by applying the water from the bottom system. This watering system ensures that the top part of the soil remains dry while the roots get to soak in the water from the bottom.
Do not leave the water under the tray for too long, though. Make sure after 30 minutes, you throw out the remaining water inside. Keeping stagnant water will damage your plant more than benefiting from it.
If you already understand how to manage water for your plants, you can deal with how to prevent mould with seedlings in small greenhouse.
#3 Provide better air circulation
The best way to prevent mould growth is by improving the air circulation inside your greenhouse. Install an oscillating fan in the polytunnel and let the air blow directly on the seedlings. If you have a cover laid over your seedling trays, don’t forget to open them up to increase airflow.
Having good air circulation has more benefits than just keeping your soil dry and preventing mould and fungal growth. It also helps the plants get stronger. That is why we highly recommend this advice because you get more benefits than one.
When you do follow this recommendation, pay close attention to the moisture level of your soil. The soil dries up quickly when there is a fan present. Yes, you need the soil to be dry, but not to the extent that there is no moisture left.
#4 Provide better lighting
The basic needs of a plant are water and sunlight. However, in this case, avoid letting your seedlings be under direct sunlight, especially when you have covers over the trays. Covered seedling trays trap the heat inside, making the environment too hot, damaging the seedlings.
On average, per day, most seedlings need a few good hours of robust and indirect light. Research more on how much indirect light your seedlings need to be confident about how long you will let it be under the light.
#5 Thinning out the seedlings
Overcrowding of seedlings can lead to less air circulation within your plants. And as we have stated above, one great way to prevent the growth of moulds is with proper air circulation.
A way to solve this problem is by thinning out your seedlings. This method means pulling out a few seedlings from their trays. It gives more space for your seedlings to grow and avoids the crowding situation.
Here are the ways on how you can thin out the seedlings:
1. Repot your seedlings
Thinning out is more of removing seedlings and throwing them away, while repotting is about transferring them to a different pot. Once you’ve correctly extracted the seedlings from the main tray, you can replant them in a reusable plastic pot and let them grown in there.
Other than plastic pots, there are many other sustainable options you can choose from, depending on your preference. In times today, people have been innovating plantable pots for convenience and sustainable purposes. There is even a pot made from cow manure.
2. Disinfecting seed flats
Other than paying attention to the seedlings and their soil, inspect your seed trays for mould growing on it. There are mould spores that become dormant in the seed flats and then regrow after a while.
To avoid such complications from happening, always disinfect your seed trays after every use. Do not just keep on replanting on your trays without ensuring that no mould spores are growing in them.
We have listed here seven excellent ways on how to prevent mould with seedlings in small greenhouse. It tackles the different problems and gives proper solutions to each one of them. With this knowledge for the UK garden, you won’t be able to see moulds on your seedlings any time soon.