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Why are there so many gnats on my seeds?
Posted: Wed May 18, 2011 9:07 pm
I started some seeds last weekend and theyve just sprouted! Theyre so cute! I just noticed today all these little gnats or fruit flies all around my little seedlings.....whats up with that? How do I get rid of them bad boys? Are my seedlings okay? Its only been 4 days. thanks!
Re: Why are there so many gnats on my seeds?
Posted: Wed May 18, 2011 9:29 pm
domesticdiva wrote:I started some seeds last weekend and theyve just sprouted! Theyre so cute! I just noticed today all these little gnats or fruit flies all around my little seedlings.....whats up with that? How do I get rid of them bad boys? Are my seedlings okay? Its only been 4 days. thanks!
are they inside, or outside? What did you start them in/what do you have them planted in?
Posted: Thu May 19, 2011 7:44 am
If you are growing indoors, it is very likely fungus gnats. You can type fungus gnats into the Keyword Box that comes up when you click on Search the Forum above and get 271 hits about them.
But the short version is that too much moisture and not enough air circulation is very conducive to soil fungus and the gnats that feed on it. And they are bad, because they lay eggs in the soil which become larvae which eat the roots of your little seedlings. So you don't want them
What you need is to get rid of the fungus (which you can't see) and then ghe gnats go away. Are you growing in peat pots? They are notorious seedling killers that hold too much moisture. Plastic is much better, even things like yoghurt cups with drainage holes added. Don't over water. A little personal fan on an hour or so a day will help. Cinnamon and chamomile are natural anti-fungals. A LITTLE bit (go easy on the cinnamon) in the water you water with will help keep the fungus/ gnats down.
Posted: Fri May 20, 2011 12:25 am
Thanks ya'll! I have them in little plastic cups in front of a window in my sunroom.
I really don't feel that Im over watering. Ive just kinda been spritzing them with a spray bottle. The soil isnt soaked.
I used some potting soil I found in our storage room that may be from last summer. Is that weird? Does it expire? Must not be too bad if theyve already sprouted, right? Could the gnats have already been in the soil?
So how much cinnamon is too much? Can I only use cinnamon or do I have to use chamomile too?
Sometimes I forget to search the forum....
Posted: Fri May 20, 2011 12:48 am
Do the plastic cups have drainage holes in their bottoms? If not, the growing medium is staying damp enough for the gnats to breed.
If there *are* holes, maybe a few more are needed.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9
Posted: Fri May 20, 2011 6:52 am
I use the cinnamon and chamomile both because I have both around. Haven't tried them separately but you probably could. Using cinnamon powder, I just put a pinch in a pitcher of water. Too much can burn your plants if it gets on the leaves. I don't mist seedlings, which are prone to fungal diseases ("damping off"), just water the soil.
I forgot Applestar's tip: If you put a shallow dish of soapy water (I think she usually suggests water with a little shampoo in it) next to your plants, the fungus gnats (for some reason known only in their little gnat brains) will come and drown themselves in it.