Prevent Damping Off: Interesting and great tip!

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Prevent Damping Off

By gardengus
February 14, 2012

Water seedlings with Chamomile tea to prevent damping off.

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Name: Marilyn
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Marilyn
Feb 13, 2012 6:12 PM CST
Will it work for the seedlings outside in the ground and in containers?
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fiwit
Feb 13, 2012 6:19 PM CST
what is "damping off" ?
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Name: Stephanie Gonzales
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StephGTx
Feb 13, 2012 6:20 PM CST
I have my seedlings in cups in a tote with water in the bottom of the tote. Will it work to place a tea bag in the bottom of the tote?
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Name: Hetty
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Dutchlady1
Feb 13, 2012 7:07 PM CST
Wow, who knew? A great tip!
Name: Cinda
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gardengus
Feb 13, 2012 9:37 PM CST
Most of the time damping off occurs when starting seedlings inside , so I have not tried it outside. You can water the seedlings or just spray them with the tea it seems to work both ways.

Damping off is a disease in seedlings , caused by a fungus that causes wilting and rotting and the seedling dies.

The tea only works as a preventive, if the seedling is wilted it is too late for that one , but it seems to spread and the others can be saved.
It spreads worse in wet soil so spraying is suggested if you have a problem.

Steph, for bottom watering I would make the tea and water in the tray with tea. Just placing a tea bag in cold water will not make tea.
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Name: Mary
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MaryE
Feb 14, 2012 10:55 AM CST
I've been successful with just putting a chamomile tea bag in a quart spray bottle and filling it with water. I use it after a couple of days. When planting seeds indoors, they get watered with the spray, and then after the plants are up, I spray them with it, making sure to get the stems wet.
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Name: Vador
Franklin, TN (Zone 7a)
Vador
Feb 14, 2012 12:28 PM CST
Awesome tips. Never knew and thanks for the definition on damping off
Respectfully,

Vador
Name: Raine Bradford
NW Arkansas (Zone 6b)
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RaineBradford
Feb 20, 2012 7:34 AM CST
Wonderful! Thank you! I like to use my own unsterilized homemade potting mix and damping off is a big problem for me. I will give this a try!
Name: Melanie
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TXMEL
Feb 20, 2012 8:49 AM CST
I've also had success using Hydrogen Peroxide in water to prevent damping off... 1-2 T in a qt is all that is needed. You can find recommended quantities by googling. I also now use the HP in all of my waterings of indoor plants..
Name: Stephanie Gonzales
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StephGTx
Feb 20, 2012 10:28 AM CST
I agree I use this also Thumbs up
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Name: Mary
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MaryE
Feb 20, 2012 1:57 PM CST
Here is a link to lots of information about uses for peroxide. Not just for plants, but for personal care, disinfecting, cleaning, and a multitude of other things! It's good for the earth!


http://www.using-hydrogen-peroxide.com/
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crittergarden
Feb 21, 2012 12:37 PM CST
I had no idea.
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Name: Michele Roth
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chelle
Mar 8, 2012 10:42 AM CST
I may have had the beginnings of damp-off in one of my indoor seed trays; I noticed that a few of my new seedlings were laying flat and looking weak. I used the saved liquid from fresh crushed, soaked and strained chamomile leaves as a spray and all of my seedlings perked right back up!

Great tip, Cinda!

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Name: Cinda
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gardengus
Mar 8, 2012 5:37 PM CST
I was just wondering if saving the tea leaves and mixing them in the soil or simply sprinkling them on top would provide any benefit?
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Oberon46
Mar 14, 2014 9:56 AM CST
Shoot I just pitched some chamomile tea -- loose stuff I had bought without the other stuff they add. Didn't care for it as I prefer the "Sleepy Time" mix. Would have been perfect to steep for this use.
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Name: Cinda
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gardengus
Mar 16, 2014 10:02 AM CST
I agree chamomile tea on its own leaves much to be desired as a drink , I normally mix it with a better tasting tea or add some mint , the benefits make it worth drinking.
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midnight21
Jul 9, 2014 3:49 AM CST
Have only just come across this article. So I hope the following item will be of interest which I found in a garden magazine I picked up some time ago.

Most gardeners have suffered at the hands of the dreaded damping off disease (Botrytis). It's a fungus that attacks seedlings, young plants, and even seeds before they germinate. The most obvious symptoms are when otherwise healthy¬ looking seedlings just collapse, for no apparent reason, but you can adopt a plan to reduce the risk of infection. Always use clean pots and trays, and a good quality compost. Sow seeds thinly. Remove glass or polythene coverings on pots and trays as soon as seedlings germinate or cuttings have taken. Avoid damaging the seedlings when pricking out. Don't overwater. Open vents and doors on greenhouses when ever possible. If necessary use a fungicide although there is becoming less and less choice on the shelves nowadays. Cheshunt Compound, a long established contact fungicide is about the best bet. Mix it with water to make a solution for watering onto the compost.
Name: Rick Corey
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RickCorey
Sep 9, 2014 11:25 AM CST
>> Remove glass or polythene coverings on pots and trays as soon as seedlings germinate or cuttings have taken.

>> Don't overwater.

I don't know why, but keeping the soil surface dry protects against damping off even if the deeper soil is moist or a little too wet. Relatively coarse bark chips on the surface dry out very quickly after top-watering and seem to give a lot of protection against damping off.

I went from "lots" of damping off to "none" by making my seeding mix drain much faster, and keeping a thin layer of coarse bark chips on the surface.

>> Don't overwater.

Of course, tiny seeds that need to be sown on the surface, and/or need light to germinate, can't be sprinkled over 1/4" to 1/2" bark chips and ever germinate! They need to germinate and emerge from some fine surface, like vermiculite. Then, however, you can add bark chips around the seedlings.

>> Don't overwater.

In addition to making the soil surface drain fast and retain almost no water, you can keep the surface dry by providing air movement with a small fan. Humid air strongly encourages damping off.

>> Don't overwater.

If you run out of Chamomile, watering or misting with very dilute hydrogen peroxide also deters damping off and perhaps root rot. Use 1-2 ounces of hydrogen peroxide per quart of water, or 1/2 to 1 cup per gallon of water.

But don't let your misting raise the humidity. And, most important:

>> Don't overwater.
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MaryE
Sep 10, 2014 6:07 PM CST
Great tips, thanks John and Rick.
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