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dampening off

Posted by hsernulka 7 (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 5, 10 at 11:14

How do you know if your seedlings have dampening off disease or are just too leggy and wilted or fell over?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: dampening off

With damp-off there will be a darkening, browning of the stem near the soil line, it will then wither and develop a "pinched in" look. The stem will look more like the stem broke than just laying over and the plant dies.

Dave


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RE: dampening off

Thanks digdirt. that is what happened to my morning glories. I think I am going to sow them straight into soil in a pot instead of doing the peat pellet thing with the few reamiing seeds I have.

I see your responses to alot of questions, and you give great advice. Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience!


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RE: dampening off

Daves advice is always great. Many of us have saved many seedlings with Daves e-help : )

I would add that I would soak your morning glory seeds over night and plant them in the spot/container in which you intend to grow them all season.

They grow so fast that you will not lose any time by starting them directly outdoors (apposed to getting a head start indoors).

Make sure you toss your peat moss that has dampening off on it and wash all your containers that came into contact with it. you wouldnt want to spread it : )

Happy Gardening.

Keriann~


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RE: dampening off

Thank you for the thanks! :) All of us who try to help here don't hear it too often so I know I speak for all when I say Thank YOU!!

Dave

PS: for future reference damp-off is a common problem with the peat pellets but if you do use them be sure to strip off the netting before planting.


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RE: dampening off

That was the problem I think. Not stripping off the netting. Some of them were so damp they had fuzzy mold on them.

But thanks all for the help!

HAPPY SEEDING!


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RE: dampening off

Another thing that I found helps with Ipomoea get near 100% germination is to scarify or sand the seeds. I planted 20 unsanded seeds and in 5 days only one has germinated. I planted 10 sanded seeds and all germinated in 3 days.

Photobucket

Mind you these are Red Cypress but they are the same family and type of seed, just a little smaller. I will try the same technique with my Grandpa Ott, Heavenly Blue and Milky way.


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RE: dampening off

Give your next batch a drink of Chamomile tea too. It helps with damping off. Definately make sure you don't keep them too wet though! And if possible, set up a fan near them if they are not outside to keep up good air circulation.

I used to have huge problems with damp off!! The only thing that could save my seedlings was a product called No Damp. As soon as I opened the bottle, I would get a headache the smell was that strong. This year it is no longer available, and either my plant husbandry practices have improved, or the tea really works!! Possibly a bit of both? I have over 500 seeds at the second set of true leaves stage, no damp off at all!!


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RE: dampening off

Does anyone have any experience with hydrogen peroxide? Do you think it will really help @10%?


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RE: dampening off

The problem with all the other so-called "damp-off fixes" is that by the time one sees the need for them the damage is already done. You don't really want to try to save a damp-off infected plant even if you could as the entire system of the plant is already infected.

So no, once the grower allows the growing conditions for damp-off to exist nothing, not chamomile tea or No-Damp, or peroxide, or vermiculite, or aspirin, or sand, or fungicides, or etc. is going to make much difference and they all have their own set of side effects.

Once you understand what causes damp-off, the conditions that allow it to develop, then it is a simple matter to avoid creating those conditions and so preventing the damp-off.

Damp-off is caused by 3 things - not counting the fungi since they are in the air all around us - too wet, too warm, and too little air circulation. 75% of it by the "too wet".

No one thinks they are over-watering their seedlings but 99% of us are 99% of the time. The easy way to prove to yourself that you are over-watering is to cut your watering in half for one week and then note how much healthier your plants are.

Dave


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RE: dampening off

Dave, I have a question.

Because I am on a weak watering schedule, am I conditioning my plants to 'need' less water?

For instance (everything else the same), if I watered my plants daily, would they look droopy in a day becuase they are conditioned to drink everyday apposed to..... if I watered weekly, they would start showing signs of needing water much later then in a day?

Just wondering and pondering....

Keriann~


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RE: dampening off

kerrianne
I can answer that.
In a way you are right.

If you water daily and just get the top of the soil wet you encourage the roots to grow near the surface because that's where the moisture is.

On the other hand if you water weekly and let the soil dry halfway or more before watering you are encouraging the roots to go deeper in search of water.

So in a round about way your weak watering is conditioning them to need less water because they are making more roots and sending them deeper in search of water.


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RE: dampening off

Yeah what oilpainter said. ;)

But the hazards of over-watering are two-fold (or three fold if you include damp-off). One is the effect on the root development - shallow roots vs. deep roots and less roots vs. more roots. And two, the oxygen deprivation that results from soil that is too wet. Water fills the air pockets between the soil molecules and forces out the air (O2). That oxygen is just as vital to plant survival, growth, and health as is water, even more so in some ways.

So cutting back on the water has several benefits. ;)

Dave


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RE: dampening off

I thought so, just could not quantify it.

Great, I am on the road to long term success ; )

Always a plus.

Thanks Oilpainter and Dave : )

Always appreciated!

Cheers

Keriann~


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RE:Help me find NO Damp!!

Help! I have grown many trays of various seeds for several years. This year, I can't even get my morning glories to stay alive. It looks like damping off. I use jump start grow lights, peat pots, ect, and all my seedlings (the ones that do come up are dying off of (I think) damping off. I am losing tray after tray of plants. Castor beans, sunflowers, morning gloris, climbing spinach, viga vine, ect. I've heard of a product called NO Damp, but can't find it on line anywhere. Where can I get it, and, do I have to start all over again with my plants? I live in Vermont and it's really already late may temps here. What can I use to stop this??


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RE: dampening off

Do you keep using the same soil and containers?


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RE: dampening off

I concur with Keriann; that kind of problem among multiple flats has got to mean that either you had a fungus in your flats or starting mix to begin with OR that you've somehow gone from sucessful seed-starter to causing damping off conditions since last year. Since you said you'd started seeds successfully before, it seems unlikely that you'd suddenly start over-watering or using techniques likely to cause damping off, unless you've changed your setup or location somehow. So if everything else is the same as years past, you gotta have had unsterile mix or containers. And sorry to say, no amount of No Damp or anything else is going to fix a systemic problem like that. I'm afraid your only alternative (as I see it) is dumping everything, sterilizing everything and starting again. Might get fresh mix too, just to be safe.


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RE: dampening off

PS I would start your sunflowers, morning glories and castor beans outside when the last frost has past.

Keriann~

Keep your head up, this is half the fun of gardening.. learning and growing.. no pun intended : )


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