Friday, January 11, 2013

Sprouting fodder for our livestock Part 6 - mold

I didn't take any pictures of the mold, its ugly, think fuzzy white thick growth the size of marbles, some almost the size of grapes!  I went in to water yesterday and there were mold blotches everywhere, in every single bin.  It was a huge bummer.  I dumped all the bins into a big black contractors garbage bag & took it to the big trash can.  I rinsed all the bins and let them dry, but didn't start over.  Yet.

I went to the feed mill to talk with the guy we order our field seed from about getting our order in for March. We started talking about the winter wheat that we'd planted in our fields this fall, which led me to tell him about my journey in sprouting.  He listened and then asked a couple of questions and then said "Honey, you know that winter wheat grows when its COLD" ... Yeah, it was a DUH moment for me.

This is what I think I did wrong -
1.  Obviously didn't acknowledge/pay attention that it was winter wheat I was growing as well as the fall pasture mix, so keeping the room at 60-65 degrees may have been to warm for cold weather seeds.

2.  Only drilling 12 drain holes.  Even though it was draining well, I don't know if it was draining enough.  I was flooding/rinsing each bin three times a day, about 8 hours apart.  But if too much moisture was staying in the seeds, along with a to warm room, I created the perfect growing ground for mold.

3.  I also think I may have made a mistake mixing the seeds together, I'm not 100% sure on this yet though and I'm going to try that again in only one bin this time.

What I'm going to do different this round -
1.  Not add heat to the room.  This won't be hard since we are using portable oil heaters and not our furnace.  I'll move the heater and keep it on low, which is what I was doing before I started this.  I've also got a small desktop fan that I can set up on the sink so that it can create air movement without disturbing the seeds or temp.

2.  Drill double the amount of holes on the bottom and add 2 rows of holes on the sides of the bins, about 1/2 inch up from the bottom & 2 inches up.  This, I'm hoping, will also help with air flow.

3.  I think I may have soaked them to long.  I went by what I'd read on others trials and didn't follow what I have on the charts.  I'm going to follow the suggested times on the charts, I really want this to be a success.

4.  Each time I rinsed, I flooded the bins.  That may have been to much water, which combined with not enough drainage and warmth, hello mold.

So ... I'll start over tomorrow and post as I go.  I'll also post the other items I mentioned in Part 5.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Sorry about your mold problems! A couple things that might help.

    1. Don't mix your different types of sees. They each have different humidity, temperature and water needs.

    2. Try to put less seed in your trays. I only have a quarter to half inch layer of seeds in my trays.

    3. I have hear there are issues with using clear trays. I don't know if it is valid but might be an issue.

    4. Get some air moving. In bathrooms the humidity is high and could cause a mold issue.

    5. Drainage is important. I think you are on the right track to add more holes to the trays. You can use as much water as you want as long as it drains pretty quickly.

    6. I soak my seeds for 24 hours. I have noticed any longer than that they tend to ferment.

    I hope this helps. If you have any more questions you can always e-mail me