White fuzz

StrongGooseOctober 28, 2012

I recently started an indoor vegetable garden in my apartment. I'm about two months in, and for the last month or so I've noticed a white substance on the surface of my soil. At first I wasn't concerned, but after a while it turned fuzzy. I thought it was because of over watering or bad irrigation, so I tossed one of my buckets, scrubbed it and started over. The white substance appeared again within a few weeks.

I've been removing the affected portions of soil and thought I had things under control, until I had brought home a spider plant from work, which has been growing fine for the last year. In a week and a half, having watered it twice, it's developed the same white fuzz.

I never really paid much attention to the rest of my plants around my house until I started the vegetables going, but now after checking them they all have a white dusting on top, no fuzz though.

I'm concerned that the water that I'm using is causing this.. As its effected all my plants. Does anyone have any suggestions, or ideas what could cause this? If it is mold, is there a cost-effective way of eliminating it without having to purchase a fungicide from my local nursary?

Thanks in advance!

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Pictures are needed to offer the most accurate response.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 12:40AM
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That might be minerals from your tap water. Generally not a problem.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 6:34AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

put some water in a clear glass.. and let it evaporate.. and see if you have the same residuals ...

it is very common for potting media to retain tap water salts ... and i dont mean NaCl ...

and it could also indicate over-fertilization ... which are also salts ...

check out the link for sterilizing your media.. and clean EVERYTHING with 10% bleach.. scrubbing is not good enough .... unless it is with bleach ... and i do NOT mean for you to start over.. at this point.. you have a curiosity.. you have provided no indication as to a problem... just an observation ... but next time.. start operating room clean.. and you MIGHT avoid this ...

thats all i can guess ... w/o a picture. ..


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 11:42AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Welcome to Gardenweb. Could this be limescale deposits?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 12:03PM
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Thanks everyone for the responses! Sorry I could get photos yesterday, but here are some http://s602.photobucket.com/albums/tt110/jezeus/, the photos are of my spider plant, my red peppers and another plant..

I use fertilizer maybe one a month and I haven't used it on the spider plant yet, so it don't think it's over fertilization..

I boiled some water last night and put it into my cleaned watering pot (scrubbed in hot water and dish soap, didn't see about the bleach until now!) , and when I got ome from work there's a film on the top of it which hasn't happened when I just left the water out previously.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 8:36PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Your pics:

That looks like a really dense soil comprised of mostly peat, with no tiny air pockets throughout. The spider plant does look like there's something weird going on. Moisture crystals? In the other pots, I just saw perlite and salt/lime deposits. A more chunky soil would be better but in the meantime, I would let these pots dry much longer before adding water.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 9:07AM
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