Mint/Oregano and Mold

Hi there!
[1] I'm having some trouble with starting up some mint and oregano. The first being that these seeds are so small, but patience takes care of that. The second being that these plants are taking a very long time to get going. The first round of seedlings didn't even sprout after three weeks, so I did another round two weeks ago. The oregano is still no where to be found, but at least I have one tiny mint sprout among the dozen or so seeds I started. I'm treating these the same as any other seedling (in plastic cells, starter soil, fluorescent lamp, etc). Can anyone offer any wisdom as it pertains to these two troublesome plants? It's two weeks from the last frost date around here so I may just end up sowing these directly in the garden.
[2] Some of my seedling cells have what appears to be mold growing on the top of the soil. The seedlings don't appear to be affected by this yet, but I'm wondering if this could be a potential problem and if so, any hints as to how to get rid of it. I read some tidbits about using a baking soda/water solution as a spray but I'm thinking that might affect the soil pH too much.
Thanks.
--
The Good Friar


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Just my opinion but I'd either sterilize that soil before using it for starting seeds or buy another brand. I once bought a seed starter soil that not only grew an ugly gray mold, but weeds started to sprout! I had to bake every batch in the oven to sterilize it (200 F for 25 mins).

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You can get soil surface mold if you've used mushroom compost, manure, etc. I'd just scratch the surface and break it up. As far as a home-recipe for mildew: you might like to try a spray of full-cream milk + water. Try 1:3 for a ballpark ratio. I've seen milk+water spray recommended for mildew on roses, so may well work for edible plants. One theory is that it's the oil (fat globules) in the milk that is the "active ingredient". Powdered full-cream milk is said to be equally effective, and cheaper.
--
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)

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