Tuesday, April 20, 2010
We were wondering what the heck was effecting some of our seedlings just as they started to grow. It was the same story every time, things would be going great then poof the effected seedlings would just topple over looking like something possibly delicately nibbled around the stem like an insect version of a beaver.
Josh found the answer quite by accident while perusing one of the many books covering the house. This wasn't a new breed of insect but the very well known phenomenon called "damping off". Different fungi cause this and there is no cure but it's entirely preventable. Jerry Baker suggests 6 easy steps to make sure this doesn't happen to you.
1. Clean your seedling containers thoroughly with warm soapy water.
2. Use soilless seed starting medium
3. Plant your seeds in small containers and gradually transfer them as they grow
4. Water your seedlings from the bottom
5. Give your seedlings intense light and a little air movement, which will help strengthen the stems
6. Mist the seedlings with Jerry Baker's Damping-Off prevention tonic (4tsp. chamomile tea, 1tsp liquid dish soap. Mix in 1qt boiling water, let steep at least 1hr, strain and cool. Mist the seedlings as soon as heads appear).