The Q&A Archives: Damp off in garden

Question: I have a 60x60 vegetable garden in sandy loam. I add lots of grass clippings and leaves in the fall. I use very little artificial fertilizer and the pH is correct. I use a soaker hose for irrigation. I have a problem with damp off. I loose up to 90% of my carrot, beet, and kohlrabi crop and 50% of my peas. I have tried many chemicals with little to no success. The only thing that works is to remove 3-4" of dirt before planting, but that is a real pain. Any suggestions?

Answer: Damping off is caused by a fungus that LOVES damp soil (hence it's name). Try growing in raised beds, which will drain better and warm up more quickly in spring. Raised beds also get better air circulation, which keeps the soil surface dryer to further challenge the disease. Don't irrigate the area until you really have to. That should do the trick!

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