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Losing all my plants to damping off

Posted by jerem 5b (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 29, 10 at 19:11

I had about 15-20 diffrent seedlings from flowers to pepper plants and they all seemed to be doing ok and now they all seem to be dying from damping off, despite doing everything i can to prevent it. I only bottom water, only when the top of the soil is dry, i water with 1 tbsp peroxide in 1 cup of water. But despite all of this they are all dead now. Im not sure what else i can do this is the second time it has happened and i thought i was doing everything right this time. Now its too late to start more plants. I tried looking around stores for fungicide for damping off but none mention damping off. So any helpful hints on what else i can do? If i decide to start over how should i sterilize my containers/trays the best way possible?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Losing all my plants to damping off

That is a lot of peroxide for 1 cup of water. The top of the soil can be dry with plenty of moisture below. Damping off is always caused by too much watering. Try this experiment Use one of your pots that are wet. Now put some soil in the same size pot. Feel the difference in weight.

Maybe your soil holds too much water. Does it have a lot of vermiculite in it. Vermiculite separates the particles of soil so it doesn't retain moisture as much.

RE: Losing all my plants to damping off

If you bottom watered with peroxide, it never reached the top. The top is where you need the peroxide. Spray it on the surface with a spray bottle or pump sprayer. Once it's added to the soil it doesn't take long to turn right back into water. 10% is best but I've used up to 20% for stubborn cases of mold.

RE: Losing all my plants to damping off

Also, are you using seed starting mix or something sterile like vermiculite, peat, or perlite? Don't use soil. Next time you can try using a small fan too.

Now it might be a little late for seed starting indoor, but it doesn't mean it is late for having flowers this year. There are plenty of quick annuals that you can still do. Two years ago I started as late as July 4th weekend but still got tons of zinnias.

I am in zone 6a, and I noticed that you are in zone 5b; but it is still not too late. You will get flowers later than you would if you started indoor, but you will get them nevertheless.




RE: Losing all my plants to damping off

Im using a potting soil with peat moss, humus, compost, perlite and vermiculite in the 9 cell packs. Here is the stuff i use: I started the seedlings in peat pellets. Now i have to clean and sterilize my seed starting tray and dome and heating mat and containers, would you recommend washing them with 1/4 cup bleach per gallon of water as i have read? Or something different. Also to be safe i want to sterilize my seeds just incase they may have something on them, i read that a short soak in peroxide will clean the seeds of any fungi before planting would you recommend this? Also good point about the bottom watering with peroxide solution. This time ill spray on the top. I also heard chamomile tea works well but have yet to try it.


RE: Losing all my plants to damping off

You can rinse them with bleach, but use clean water (I use tap water as final rinse).

I wouldn't use the potting mix that you showed above. Well, if you do, cover the seeds with a light dust of vermiculite (like 1/8 to 1/4 inch). I myself use vermiculite alone.

And remember not to overwater.

RE: Losing all my plants to damping off

It is not your seed and rinsing them in anything is not necessary. As I said before--damp off is ALWAYS caused by over watering. It is not caused by something on your seeds or in your soil or pots

I realize you probably want to go green and organic but just because it is labelled that way doesn't mean it's better. What you are using for soil is not good for seed starting. It is good for potting up growing plants but not for starting seeds.

If you want the absolute best seed starting mix then it's promix HP. It is hands down the best for all planting. Just try that little experiment I mentioned. One pot wet and one pot dry. Now see how long it takes for the wet pot to dry out completely and be the same weight as the dry one.

PEAT PELLETS-- are absolutely useless. You wouldn't catch me within a hundred yards of them.

RE: Losing all my plants to damping off

I've found that covering the seeds with bird gravel (or chicken grit if you can get it) rather than the starting mix helps prevent damping off. Also, I know folks recommend bottom watering, but I have found that watering carefully from the top, works best for me. I also "weigh" the containers in my hand to judge if they really need water or not. Just my experience.

RE: Losing all my plants to damping off

Hi there.

I'm just new at this, but unless I was just lucky, cinnamon and garlic water worked for me.

I sprinkled the soil right from the beginning with cinnamon. When I discovered a tiny bit of fungus, I took several cloves of garlic, simmered in about a cup of water, cooled, and watered the plants with it. It smelled to high heaven but I think it worked. I also got myself a small fan.

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