Toxic Seed Starting Flats?

gleneco1 at gleneco1 at
Sun Mar 17 20:52:09 EST 2002

Dear Kathleen:
Thank you for your response to my inquiry concerning my problems with
Winstrip trays.  The information you supplied will be VERY helpful.  I
too find it very hard to believe that chlorine could have infiltrated the
trays to the extent that the effect would still be there a year later.  
As my problems now appear to be as bad or worse than they were last year
and evidence is growing that the problem is expressing itself also in
nonWinstrip containers, I have to conclude that a pathological condition
may be the source of the problem.  As I am a small producer and not
equipped to steam clean in the manner you described, I am considering
using a dishwasher set on a long cycle to sanitize the trays as I use
them.  It would easily have the capacity to clean the number of trays I
would need to plant at any one time.  I would need to set the water
heater thermostat up from the present setting of 140 degrees.
Would I have your permission to forward your response to my original
letter of inquiry and post it on the "market farming" list serve at
market-farming at
(end of forwarded messages)
Addendum to the preceding communications concerning seed starting
problems which I have been experiencing.
1)  I do not believe that the problems have anything to do with the fact
that I have been using Winstrip products.
2)  I am beginning to suspect that some of the problem could have it's
source in contamination from worm castings which I purchased last year
and again this year from a garden supply company which many of you on
this list may be familiar with.  In order to avoid falsely implicating
that this company may be putting out an inferior product,  I do not wish
to name the company from whom I purchased the worm castings.
3)  Have any of you on this list ever had problems with contamination
from purchased worm castings, other seed starting mediums, or amendments
which affected your seed starting efforts or believe that this sort of
thing could happen?
Marlin L. Burkholder APS
Glen Eco Farm

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