Identify the problem
Damping off is a disease of seedlings caused by a variety of organisms including Pythium, Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia and Fusarium. Seedlings may fail to emerge (pre-emergence damping off) or seedlings collapse, often submerged in a mass of whitish fungal growth (post-emergence damping off).
- Raise seedlings in clean growing compost, which is free of damping off organisms.
- Use new pots and trays whenever raising seedlings or if pots and trays are being re-used, brush off soil, wash and preferably also treat them with a disinfectant such as SORTED Moss & Mould. Dry before storage. Never reuse pots and trays in which damping off has been a problem.
- Sow seedlings thinly to avoid crowding.
- Use mains water if possible when irrigating seedlings grown in pots and trays. If using rainwater, prevent contamination from leaves and other organic debris that could harbour some of the damping off pathogens.
- Do not overwater. Use Gro-Sure Watering Indicators to monitior when to water.
- Keep seedlings well ventilated to reduce humidity.