Feb 5, 2014

Defeating Mold on Fodder

Mold growth showing up 4 days after putting in tray.
Darn it! Four days after dumping the seeds into the trays, I've spotted mold! It appears that there are at least two varieties: a fuzzy white kind and a blue kind. I've heard some debate about the white kind actually being a normal growth of the roots, but it's not appearing on all of the roots, which makes me suspect that it's a contaminant.
Fuzzy white mold.

Blue mold.
Tweezing out mold growth.
The last time I saw this, I just chucked the whole lot right away and counted it a loss.  This time, I'm not giving up.  The mold was visible, and in only a few places, so I should be able to cull out the infected areas. I got out a pair of clean tweezers and thoroughly scanned the entire tray for any signs of mold.  Any time I saw something growing that shouldn't be, I pulled it out.

Jar of sprouts culled for mold.
It may be weird, but I put all the culled sprouts into a container and doused them with a strong solution of distilled white vinegar and water.  The intention was that I would be able to see if the vinegar had any effect on the mold.

The next day, I was still culling sprouts for mold growth.  In fact, I was culling more! I decided to try adding vinegar directly to the tray.  I would have bleached, knowing that it kills mold well (in theory), but being so close to feeding (6 days since first starting the seeds), I didn't feel that bleach was safe. I filled a spray bottle with white vinegar, and my watering routine became: cull, flood, drain, spritz.

I had much less culling to do on the day after that.  I'm not sure if it was the vinegar or the near-OCD culling that did it, but we'll see how things go with the next batch.
Day 8 culls were much less than Day 7.