I am growing geraniums from seed for my second year

Asked January 30, 2014, 1:35 PM EST

Last year some of them looked like they got a fungus. I tried to cut off the leaves that were affected and throw them, most of them survived, but did not bloom until July. Do I need to use a fungicide and fertilizer for them, and if so what do you recommend? Thanks for your help!

Fillmore County Minnesota

1 Response

Growing from seed is great fun but there are firm, fast rules. Your containers must be sterile so if you had fungi last year, those containers need to be sterilized with a bleach/water solution. You soil needs to be sterile also so do not use soil from outside or reuse soil from other plants. Seed starting soil is sold in bags. Seedlings need 12-14 hours of light a day (hang a shop light on chains a couple inches higher than the plants and move it up as the plants grow); a breeze will help stop fungi and 'damping off' from happening. Plug an osculating fan into the same timer you use for your lights and keep it on low during the same time to provide a mild breeze. Heat should be constant. We have a wonderful publication on seed starting at http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/flowers/starting-seeds-indoors/