Are spinach babies damping off?

naturehobbyistApril 22, 2014

Are spinach babies damping off?

Exactly two & half weeks ago started next horticulture with Indian Spinach- Palak(Spinacia Oleracea).
I opted for Furrowing then sowed around 12 seeds, 6 in series & parallel to each other. As per instruction on seed packet I kept soil moist & exactly in 4 days seeds germinated. All was going right till 1 & half week and then I found few seedlings fall over like its got tiny cut on middle part of stem & above part bend due to it. I gave support & made it erect by gathering soil together & even tying up carefully to toothpick but efforts went in vein & all died.

During these 1 & half week I opted for semi-shade sunlight against the seed packet instruction- "Expose to sunlight after one week". So I felt lack of sunlight may causing issue & kept it outdoor & put Mosquito nets to protect from birds & excessive sunlight.

But result was even worse & that now almost all seedling are falling over. A quick Google search caused fear in mind, Are my spinach seedling become victim of "Damping off" ??

If yes is there any way to save them? What must have gone wrong?? I opted for regular soil+compost mixture readily available in market.

I'm thinking of Following implementations before sowing next time please advise & correct me
1. Prepare soil by mixing with NPK Fertilizer.(spinach's Nitrogen requirement)
2. Add bio ingredients like neem cake & after market products to enrich soil ability to battle predators.
3. Wet seeds in humic acid & then sow or spray humic acid on soil before sowing to stimulate root growth.
4. Use Plant/seed starter solution as per instructions.

But is it overdoing infact overthinking after all its hobby not Pro agriculturing? Anyways I get my involved so much into this & i love doing R&D

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Yes, overthinking.

Seedlings need sunlight, or an equivalent artificial light, not shade. When you cover the container, you not only shade the seedlings but keep air from circulating, thus encouraging the fungal organisms that cause damping-off.

Fortunately, spinach is quick to germinate and grow, so you can start over. You might want to sterilize that soil before you re-use it. Putting it in the sunlight would do that.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 8:59AM
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What ltilton said, and I also wager that it's too hot there for spinach. Do you have a cooler time of year that you can grow it in?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 11:34AM
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I agree with the other posters. You might be overthinking things a bit. Based in what you've shared, it doesn't seem like it's a damping off issue. IMHO, it's best to make your own potting mix to ensure it doesn't have any if the microbes that cause damping off.

Just keep in mind that plants need air, moisture, and the proper temperature to germinate. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: How to make potting mix and how to sterilize your soil

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 10:07AM
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gardener_mary(6 MA)

I think that your little seedlings just need more light. They are a bit leggy, they have weak stems because they are stretching to find more sunlight. Spinach is a cool weather crop and do not grow well once it gets hot and go to seed when they get 14 hours of day light.

Good Gardening, Mary

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 5:11AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

There is simply no point in starting spinach inside. Sow it outside as soon as you can work the soil--me, I sow it in mid February. Getting leaves to add to salads now.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 7:09AM
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Ok, All of you predicted right...Yes I was OVERTHINKING :(
I couldn't update in between as I was extensively trying hard to save my Tomatoes. These tomatoes are damn sensitive, aren't they?? Anyways none survived.

About Spinach, only two seedlings survived & growing well. I dosed an Organic Liquid NPK(8-8-8) & seems to be response is too Good. I saw boost in Leaves' size. Meanwhile also sow some seeds two days ago & yipeee...Germinated today & I'm blessed with another pairs of Babies...Love them :)

As ltilton rightly said they are quick to germinate & grow.

Mary & laceyvail, thanks for your advise. Now I'm exposing seedlings to sunlight from day one & also keeping soil moist enough.

@Slimy_Okra- Seed instructions packet mentioned its best to sow in Summer. Unfortunately Like many other regions here the climate is also victim of Global Warming & temperature raised badly, its never been that hot till this year.
Initially I made mistake of not keeping less height of soil bed; I could have top it up bit more so that seedlings got enough sunlight without stretching.


This post was edited by naturehobbyist on Thu, May 8, 14 at 10:53

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 10:52AM
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