Most of the seedlings are growing well; I am no longer worried about them surviving. Only one seedling is still fighting for life; with only a single tiny miniature leaf.
I have 10 seeds that are still alive; one seedling died and four seeds never sprouted.
The algae was still rampant, and in many cases had started to develop a slime. It had to be dealt with.
To combat the algae I have
Added diluted hydrogren peroxide H202 on the Rockwool and in the tank. Interestingly it fizzed and bubbled slightly on the Rockwool.
Sprinkled food grade diatomaceous earth powder on the Rockwool, as it discourages gnat flies and algae growth.
The steps I have taken seem to have had an effect overnight; the next morning the gnats seemed to have disappeared from the grow room.
The Marbles variety seedling has grown a number of their first true leaves. Since it has several full grown leaves I am able to “top” the pepper. That’s when you cut off the top of the main stem to encourage the pepper plant to grow alternative branching and leaves.
Topping also encourages the trunk to thicken (and we want thick trunks with bonsai).
The Bolivian Rainbow pepper also surprised me this week with it’s leaves starting to turn purple!
I’m excited to see this variety grow larger. Many of my peppers are similar looking when not fruiting, and the Bolivian Rainbow variety will give a nice variation to my collection.
Finally this week I replanted the pepper seeds that did not germinate initially:
At the end of last week’s post I mentioned how I had noticed some algae growing on my rock wool. This week saw the growth of algae, and mold, go rampant.
Whilst I have dealt with algae before, never have I had it this bad! Something has changed within my growing environment; I suspect that as the weather outside turns warmer, the plant room now reaches an overall warmer temperature. This could be a contributing factor.
Unfortunately it seems that some of my seeds did not germinate, and most likely will not. Chances are I will discard the algae infected rock wool cubes and do a big clean.
Another means of combatting mold and algae is to increase airflow. Currently I have clear caps on the cups to increase moisture levels (seeds germinate better in high humidity). I may begin to remove the caps overnight so that they have time to dry out and get airflow, and return the caps during the day when the lights are lit so not to dry out the seedlings too much.
So far only one of my seedlings seem to be loosing the battle of life. It’s not too uncommon for seedlings to not survive, so I can’t be certain whether this is the cause of algae or not (it most likely is however). Initially the cotyledon leaves started to wilt, but it started to grow its first true leaves. However you can see that even those have begun to wilt as well.
It’s not all bad news. Some of the seedlings are growing quite well despite the algae. The Marbles variety seedling has grown its first true leaves.
I have a total of 9 seedlings growing their first set of leaves. There are 3 seedlings that appear sick (like above). And finally there are 3 seeds that never sprouted.
Honestly if 9 of the seedlings survive and grow into trees, I will be happy.