Thinking next spring- seed starting


Every year my pepper starters get powdery mildew at the age of 2-3 pairs of true leaves and we fighting it until they get outside where it just magically disappears. I really want to break the pattern next spring. First of all, I am going to set up my grow room before I even started seeds, spray whole room and equipment with water and use my ozone generator to kill possible spores left from last year( this is a proven method to kill fungus spores, I used it few years ago to stop ringworm from spreading when my dog got it from my daughter’s cat. ) Second, I need to rethink my growing medium. Though I am a true believer of live compost, I think this is probably my source of infection every year. I usually make 2+2+1+1 mix of compost, coir fiber(or peat moss), vermiculite and perlite. So one thing I am debating is if I should sterilize my compost or just replace it with something else.I usually make about 45 gallons of mix for all my starters and pots and to sterilize about 15 gallons of soil is not an easy task. What I do not know is, if sterilized compost has any benefits left in it or not. And if compost doesn’t make sense - what does? I tried pine bark and didn’t like it, the plants dried out super fast. Any suggestions?


A small fan for air circulation will help with the powdery mildew. I would try a different mix too and see if it is worth it to you, Promix BX works well for small containers and seed flats.


I have fan already as part of set up. Promix BX - how different it is form promix that is sold in home depot, do you know? In Home depot it is $14 for 2 cu ft, Promix BX I only saw online and just delivery will be twice than that…


I forgot they sell different brand names of Promix at retail stores, for small containers and cell flats something with vermiculite helps hold water, that is about the only thing special about BX I know of. You can read about them here, I’ve never used most of them so can’t be much more help.