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You have proudly sowed your seeds for the vegetable or ornamental garden. Having watered them regularly, the first small shoots appeared. However, your young seedlings do not look very healthy: they are puny and soggy ... It is probably damping-off!
Explanations and means of struggle.
What is damping-off?
It's about a fungal disease from various fungi: Fusarium, Rhizoctonia, Pythium, Botytris orPhytophthora. They penetrate into the interior of the plant and weaken it. This quickly leads to the dieback of the seedling, too young to fight against this disease. In no time at all, all your seedlings are affected so you have to react quickly! Fungi survive in soil, potting soil, or even seeds
How to recognize it?
- The plant is softened, it goes until go to bed against the ground
- The base of the stem turns brown or red and becomes thinner
- The seedling becomes necrotic
- Sometimes certain plants do not even come out of the ground.
Which plants are affected?
All plants can be affected by this disease, whether it is aromatics, flowers or vegetable seeds.
Like many fungi, those responsible for damping off seedlings occur in humid environments. If you sow in a greenhouse, remember to air it regularly, especially in the event of a rainy spring.
Dense and too deep sowing should also be avoided. Sow in loose soil that you have worked beforehand, with a grelinette if it is in the ground or with seedling soil drained with sand. Also avoid excessively rich substrates.
Natural preventive treatments
There is no no natural curative treatment to date, only prevention solutions. The disease spreads so quickly that, if you watch it, it is better to get rid of the affected seedlings.
- Use a special seed soil that will be perfectly balanced, well drained and not too rich.
- Don't sow too tight
- Disinfect your equipment before use, this applies to all gardening actions
- Refer to the label to know the sowing depth
- Regularly ventilate the rooms in which your seedlings are located
- Water regularly but in fine rain, the substrate should never be soaked, only damp
- Install your seedlings at a temperature between 15 ° C and 20 ° C ideally.
Horsetail manure is an effective antifungal that is used as a spray. This is a concentrate that must be diluted: 1L of liquid manure for 9L of water. Then just spray it on the seedlings at the time of watering. You can use a spray bottle to water the seedlings in fine rain with your liquid manure. Do not use it for each watering, only once a week, while it is emerging. For the rest of the year, one monthly spray is sufficient for all of your plants.
When preparing your substrate, add powdered charcoal to glass potting soil special sowing. It limits humidity and thus the appearance of certain fungi. Count 1.5 kg of charcoal powder per square meter of soil. Get horticultural charcoal and not the one sold in supermarkets for barbecue. You can also use your own charcoal if you have a fireplace.
Antibacterial and antifungal, garlic is another natural ally against damping-off. It is used like horsetail manure, as a spray. To make this infusion, just put 500g of garlic in small pieces in 5L of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Then turn off the heat, cover the container and set aside for half a day. All that remains is to filter and pour this solution into cans and bottles.