The Q&A Archives: Causes

Question: I planted a tray of Astilbe seeds and covered them with a clear plastic cover as per instruction. But in a couple of days a green algae or mold formed on the surface of the seed start mix. Is there a way to get rid of the algae? Geoff Carroll Toronto, Canada

Answer: When starting seeds, it's important to use sterile media. I've had good success with Peter's potting soil. The presence of green algae or mold suggests a non-sterile potting media and maybe too much water. You can try opening the lid for a short time each day to increase ventilation. I would wait and see if the presence of this algae affects the germinating seedling. It may not!

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