Monday, May 7, 2012

Damn-ping Off

My second round of seedlings was just hit with damping off. I tried to salvage what I could with a frantic planting effort this evening, but without a hardening off period, survival doesn't look good. (What's with seedling activities being followed by the word "off"?) And that's assuming the seedlings I planted aren't carrying the fungus with them! Twelve baby cabbages are all lost, as were my basils and coleus. The only silver lining is that I have more seeds to direct sow. But after successfully avoiding damping off for the last two or three years (and in an earlier round of seedlings this year), it's disappointing to say the least. So if you're starting seeds, make sure they have good circulation! Next year, I'll need to look into getting a fan.


garden girl said...

Sorry to hear that, Rose. How frustrating.

I've found a fan does help, not only for damping off, but it also makes for stronger stems. The soil does dry out a lot quicker though.

Another thing that seems to help is watering with chamomile tea. There's something in the chamomile that helps prevent fungal problems. I tried it last year and it seemed to really help so I did it this year again, and haven't lost any seedlings to damping off in the last couple years, even without using the fan.

I skipped the fan and tried the tea because I had less germination with the fan a couple of years ago - I think because of the soil drying out on the surface. Once the seedlings were up, I started the fan to help keep them healthy and sturdy.

Rose said...

I had one tray that started to get the fungus, but then I turned on a fan, and that really seemed to help. Once again, I didn't have much luck with starting flower seeds, but the tomatoes and peppers are looking pretty good. I like Linda's idea of chamomile tea--I'll have to remember that.

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