Mold on soil

Discussion in 'Organic Growing' started by iLLeST, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. I have about 30 gallons of mixed soil together in rubbermaids. They have been sitting outside for about 2 months and mold has started growing all on the top layer of the soil. Also there are hundreds of small flies covering the top too. Is there anyway that this soil can be usable again or what?
     
  2. I would dump it!!
     
  3. The "mold" could be a fungus that could be beneficial, and it sounds like the "flies" are probably fungus gnats.

    While the soil could be usable again, the gnats would have to be dealt with. Can you post a pic of the mold/fungus? Meanwhile, search this site for fungus gnats and how to deal with them.

    HTH

    chunk
     
  4. here are some pictures. sorry for the shitty quality. but some parts look like spider web fungus and othere parts look like discoloration of the dirt.
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    Attached Files:

  5. So is it reusable or do i have to dump it. it would be a shame if i had to remake the mix again, but if it could harm my plants, it will be worth it. any input appreciated. thanks
     
  6. I'm not sure if this will help you but I know last year I mixed up a brand new batch of peat-based organic mix and after a few days, mold began to grow on it much like what I see in your picture. In my case, the mold disappeared as soon as I got the mix out of my garage and into direct sunlight.
     
  7. #7 Sam87, Apr 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2010
    It's probably just fine. Like Chunk said, you'll have to deal with the gnats before you bring it inside. Look around, there's plenty of resources on how to do it. But remember that if you use chemicals, peroxide, or anything like that to do it, then you'll be wreaking havoc on your micro herd.

    The best equipment free way to tell if something is anerobic (bad) or aerobic (good), is to smell it. If something smells rotten and nasty, toss it. If it smells like rich soil, possibly a briney, fresh fish smell, or an earthworm farm, you'll be good. Basically, you shouldn't gag when you go down and get a big whiff.

    Also, chunk or LD could probably shed more insight, and this is essentially out of my ass, but I think that white mold, in general, is good, and blue or green tends to be more anerobic? But get confirmation on that.

    And I would check that shit for mites too. Bringing shit in from outside is a good way to start a war in your growroom, and mites are not something you want to be battling come late flower.
     
  8. ...if you don't have any holes at the bottom of the rubbermaids,it will mold.
     
  9. what is your soil mix? I know some companies include "probotics" in their amendments (Dr. Earth), Also for the fungus gnats you could try some beneficial nematodes.
     
  10. My soil mix is 2 parts mg organic choice soil, 1 part cow manure, a bag of perlite, 1.5 cup bone meal, 1 cup blood meal, and another part of worm castings.

    I dont think there is any place around me that sells beneficial nematodes, do you have any other suggestions for getting rid of the vermits. thanks
     

  11. You could order them online, I know eBay has them also. You could also try putting a layer of sand on the top of your soil. You could also make a spray with 6-8 % garlic extract to water.
     
  12. Just put some sand on the top 2 weeks before you use it about an inch or 2 thick​
     
  13. I get that white fungus stuff on the surface of reused soil occasionally in some containers too. It doesn't seem to do any harm to the plants. I figure it is probably helping break stuff down. Of course it is always a good idea to dry the soil out a bit between waterings as good practice.
     
  14. I usually only causes problems with weak seedlings. Drying out the mix and heating it up some will kill most of it, though. You can leave it in the sun for a day or two, and it'll be gone. You can reuse, but make sure to not over-water, and keep the grow room on the warm side.
     
  15. Good point about seedlings. I have learned the hard way to germ in sterile potting mix or rockwool, then transplant into the reused soil. Same with clones of course.
     

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