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Thread: Tips - Preventing Damping Off in Seedlings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast

    Tips - Preventing Damping Off in Seedlings

    Hi, Everyone!

    Several people have written to me about how to prevent Damping Off fungal disease in seedlings, so I decided to post what I have learned here.

    1) Use treated seeds or treat seeds with a solution of Hydrogen Peroxide. Here is a link to help you understand this one:


    2) Keep seedlings warm (according to seed package directions). If the seed package says 70-75 degrees, try to keep the seedlings in this temperature range until they are well established.

    3) Provide good drainage and aeration. You can do this by adding perlite, vermiculite or sterile sand to peat moss, depending on the type seed that you are germinating. Do not overly pack the soiless mixture. Do not overwater.

    4) ALWAYS use STERILE Potting Mixes. These are usually soiless mixes. If you add sand, make sure that it is sterilized. Avoid using top soil as this industry is not regulated.

    5) ALWAYS plant in STERILE containers.

    Hope that helps!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Blog Entries

    Damping Off Disease Re-visited (& Peat Pellets)

    I love to use the Search function on Landspro !
    I have revived Ann's pointers on preventing Damping Off Disease-my personal arch enemy ! I went so far last year as to sprinkle cinnamon on the seedlings and spray with camomille after the disease presented--and got dying seedlings that smelled good. I can almost guarantee that I was done in by the potting soil that I used and the prolonged use of plastic wrap over the plastic cells.

    My question is this--I'm thinking of Jiffy peat pellets or Oasis cubes this year--are they 'sterile' ?

    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"

  3. #3
    I've found that simply blowing air across your seedlings with a small fan greatly reduces damp-off. It also promotes water loss from the soil more rapidly, so you have to water more often.

    Another trick I use is to buy potting mix made for succulents and cacti to increase the aeration of the soil. They are made up of more sand and perlite, and less peat or other organic materials. I usually mix in a little bit more peatmoss to increase moisture retention, but the high amount of sand and perlite in the cacti mix allows for fast drainage.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    northern virginia
    If I spray my seedlings with a mix of water and medicinal hydrogen peroxide will I kill them?? I have a bit of moss starting here and there in the cells, and as I started things way too early this year, I only think the problems will get worse. I have been watering by misting the soil on those cells that seem dry, but I bottom watered the other day and things got too wet. With this slow-to-dry out situation, I think I will get some fungus, moss or trouble. I am chicken to try the mix of peroxide and water on the growing seedlings, but it did work on killing the moss on cells without any germination!!

    What do you think?

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