Should I sterilize the pots

foolishpleasureApril 12, 2011

From almost 100 plants I have two died. The way thay died it looks like a fungus because the stem was eaten away at the soil level. I stopped watering and has an electric fan blowing air. Looks like the fan is doing good job because things are drying up. I will make some transplanting to save the situation. I sterilized the potting soil I am going to use in the microwave for about 25 minutes. I have old beaten up Polypropylene pots I use from year to year. Should I sterilize these pots too. I saw two weird looking pugs on the squash they are gone in the flush. Is some fungicide or insecticide advisable. The area is completely controlled environment with enough lights.


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rince pots then soak in chlorox it helps. fungicide firs (including heat &/or chlorox) the prime insect that will eat stem at soil level would fungal knats. if found then use soil drinch insecticide.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 7:14PM
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I am using now captan to drench teh soil and it seems it is working.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 12:30AM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

It sounds like damping off to me. I do use a sterilzed germinating mix for starting seeds, and there is never any harms in sterilizing pots and equipment. As long as any chemicals you use (bleach, etc.) are completely washed off.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 12:44PM
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I gave up the sterilization routine after the first couple of years. If I have a problem with damping off it is my fault for not watching the growing conditions close enough. Too warm and/or too moist, with too little air flow promotes damping off. Fungus is everywhere, learn to live with it, by NOT providing the conditions it needs to flourish. Al

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 10:08AM
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Al - I am relieved to hear some of the experienced gardeners dont bother to sterilize. I didnt even wash mine. They were in the garage all winter so at least -20 degrees. I was hoping that that would kill anything. I just shook out any older soil that was still inside and planted them up. I did use fresh mix. And while I got a tiny bit of damp-off on a couple of things, I dont think it came from the un-sterilized pots.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 11:31AM
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