The only problem is the dirt floor. When snow melts in the spring, the floor becomes wet. The room has been dark, cold and damp for a while. It is probably infected with molds and fungus. Do you have any suggestions as to how I might go about sanitizing the room so that my future plants don’t become infected with mold or fungus?
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Place a bright light in the space and dry it out using a dehumidifier. The dehumidifier will draw moisture from the air and will dry out the walls and floor. After the space has lost its mustiness, it is time to sanitize it. Spray the space with hydrogen peroxide, which is a sterilizing agent, and potassium bicarbonate, an anti-fungal that is available under several brand names.
Dealing with the flooding floor takes some ingenuity. Try placing plastic shipping pallets on the floor to create an air space, and then cover them with a plastic tarp. Then make a flooring of 1/4-inch outdoor grade plywood.
To keep the earth dry during wet periods you could set up four-inch ventilation ducting with an inline pump. The tubing could ventilate out the window, removing moist air.
Use air-cooled lights to prevent the room from heating up too much, and fans in the windows for cooling. If the room gets too humid from the garden, use the room dehumidifier to dry it out.
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