Friday, February 26, 2010

Quit Damping Off!!

As Gardeners, it is our job to nurture our seedlings and make sure they grow nice and stout. Tending to their every need in hope that if you do a great job, the once seed, turned seedling, then plant will eventually produce for you. Whether it be sustenance (such as vegetables, herbs, or fruits) or Aesthetically ( being flowers, shrubs, and so forth).

Before you get to this point though you need to make sure that the seedlings grow strong, and don't fall victim to Damping off. Which is when a seed or newly emerged seeding is attacked by a fungus in the soil. Causing the seed to either rot and become mush, or a seedling to become weak and fall over.

some ways to prevent this are:
  • to use seed starting, either homemade, or store bought, as opposed to  reused soil, because there can be left over fungi in them. Some people sterilize the soil. 
  • Same goes for pots/growing containers, make sure they have been cleaned properly.
  • have good air circulation
  • watering just enough, and never overwatering
  • not crowding space between seedlings..less space equals less air flow
just recently Lisa, of Getinthegarden mentioned that Chamomile tea around the base of a plant will help to take care of Damping off ( trick she learned from an Herb farmer she use to work with), I tried it this evening, and well so far so good.. thanks for the tip!!


    Gatsbys Gardens said...

    I can feel for anyone who has gone through damping off and the loss of all of their plants.

    Once I began using synthetic soil (used to be called Redi-Earth, developed by University of Illinois,)I never had the problem again.

    That brand seems to have disappeared, but the "seed starting" formulas I have seen look vvery similar.

    I would not use potting soil, look for these specialized seed starting formulas.

    garden girl said...

    I'll definitely give the tea a try. Something that seems to help with my seedlings is avoiding 'greenhouse' covers. Seeds take longer to sprout, but in the long run the seedlings seem healthier, stockier, and less susceptible to damping off. In the absence of covers, misting the soil once or twice a day seems to help the germination rate and speed.

    Warmer temperatures also help prevent damping off. I start my seedlings in the basement, and just elevating the trays off the cool floor and onto shelves (I use an old coffee table and a couple of old chairs,) helps. Those warming mats for seed starting are another good way to make sure the seeds have optimal germination temperature and less likelihood of developing damping off.

    Anonymous said...

    Thanks darlin for all your helpful tips, I am trying to impress my boyfriend. Hopefully with all these great tips I'll be growing beautiful flowers and veggies for him and I. Thanks a bunch!