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Is this damping off?

Posted by delonwheels 6a (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 7, 13 at 19:06

I noticed the first leaf of of my onion seedlings drooping yesterday. Today, it has wilted completely. I know that once the cotelydon eventually withers and dies, but I thought that happened after the third true leaf appeared.

Yesterday I was transplanting some shallots from an APS tray and noticed a tiny bit of white mold near the capillary mat. Now I'm nervous about some kind of terrible disease (although the shallots seem to be OK so far).

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Is this damping off?

Looks like perfectly normal growth to me. As new leaves emerge as you have there it is normal for the lower one to be pushed/lay over. I usually snip some of the length of it off just to lessen the weight pulling against the stem.

You can read the FAQ here on Damp-off for more details but it attacks the stem at the soil line.

Over on the Growing from Seed forum there is also a FAQ on the white "mold" (actually a fungus you are seeing and what to do about it.


RE: Is this damping off?

Onion seedlings let go of that first seedling leaf at about the time the second and third true leaves appear. When the seedling leaf starts looking funky I snip it off and remove it. Like Dave, once or twice a week I trim tops and withering leaves, which increases light penetration and keeps the seedlings upright while limiting possible diseases from rotting tissues. I also sprinkle a little dry seed-starting mix around the base of the plants once they are up and growing.

This all gets easier in a few weeks, when you can expose your onion seedlings to natural light in a cold frame. That's when they stiffen up and stop looking so wimpy.

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