Propagator Help

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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FredulaFredula Forumite
568 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
My propagating isn't going well. The only thing that's growing is mould! Surely that's not right?

I planted 28 seeds (14 chilli, 14 peppers) in loo rolls cut in half). This was sat 16th. Watered a little, put the lid on and put on my kitchen windowsill. Moved it along the windowsill a couple of days later as I wasn't sure it was getting enough sun. Meanwhile, after buying some daffs in pots and putting it in my living room window, they started to flower, so I decided to move my propagator into the living room. Gave them a little sprinkle of water and they've sat there doing nothing on the living room windowsill. Today, I noticed fluffly growth around the toilet roll tubes! Is this normal? Why aren't my seeds sprouting yet? It said on the packet it would take 7 days for one and 14 days for the other :( I've never grown anything in a propagator before. I don't know whether it's healthy to leave the mould growing (we've all got asthma, including baby of 1yr).

Any advice very much appreciated :)


  • smallblueplanetsmallblueplanet Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Why grow in toilet roll tubes? If the prop isn't ventilated then I'm not surprised they've gone mouldy.

    How warm day & night is the propagator? For chillies and peppers it should really be mid-20C+ most of the time - they grow in fairly warm places afterall and lots of seeds need heat to germinate.

    It could be that the prop gets warm during the day when the sun is on it, but then quite cold at other times? They need a constant warm temp and if too much condensation, some ventilation.
  • marybakersmarybakers Forumite
    36 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    hi,you shouldve waited till the young seedlings appeared before watering,thats what i do as i have some growing in my polytunnel me your address and i will send some seeds off to you if you wish.:)
  • tim_ntim_n Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I used both loo rolls and newspaper - yes they've gone mouldy before (I also have asthma, hasn't affected me, but it depends on the mold)

    At this time of year the lower temperatures can retard the growth a little - my chillies took a little longer (some up to 21 days).

    Don't water any more - it only needs to be mildly moist and if the seeds aren't up yet, stick it back in the airing cupboard - they won't need light until they've germinated and are starting to peep through the soil.

    It's still quite early for chillies - I'm going to be planting mine tonight/tomorrow and I'd expect them to start sprouting in a couple of weeks.

    Remember when watering, it's only needed if the top of the compost is dry, if it feels damp, it's wet enough. If there's water pooling at the base 20 minutes after watering, it's too much water! :)
  • forgotmynameforgotmyname Forumite
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    I use loo rolls, Too wet and they do grow something on the outside, But wear gloves if your not sure.

    Just dont handle them and eat at the same time. Wash your hands.

    When you plant them properly the tubes breaks down to nothing anyway.

    I sit them in a tray and fill it with water so the compost /tube soak it up. Keep topping the water up until it stops. Then Drain the water off and leave them like that.

    If it starts to dry off i fill the tray with water again. I dont water from the top afterwards.

    Seen a lot of people starting the seeds off on kitchen roll or other tissue types.
    When it sprouts they move it into compost.
    Censorship Reigns Supreme in Troll City...

  • Thanks. I went to my Dad's today and he gave me some sand to put in the bottom of my propagator and some pots so I've started off with 8 pots, 4 chilli's 4 peppers. I couldn't remember whether he said to water just the sand or the sand and the pots but I did both. Now I'm going to leave them and wait. He said I must remember to not water them until they start sprouting, and then I need to open the air hole. I'm so forgetful though. But now that I've written it down here I can come back and check!
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