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I was wondering how others prevent damping off of seedlings? I started another thread a little while ago about my meconopsis sheldonii seedlings damping off in the problemsolving forum. I sowed more seeds and I'm very excited that they germinated, but I'm terrified that they'll damp off yet again. I've read about spraying with chamomile tea or hydrogen peroxicde, using charcoal or sand on the surface, watering from below but what have you done to prevent damping off? Also any advice as to how to ensure the survival of this batch of seedlings would be greatly appreciated!
I have not had a problem since I put a 50% mix of perlite or sand or grit with the compost.
When I started gardening I tried to germinate ordinary poppies indoors and 2 days later they all collapsed, so for some plants I do think you have to copy nature.
There used to be chesnut compound but that disappeared a while back
I think the only solution is to use clean trays/pots fresh compost and don't over water- give them plenty of light and air when germinated
I always water from below
After having problems with damping off when potting up germinated veg seedlings, toms, peppers etc.. I was advised to use vermiculite on the surface of the compost ensuring there is ample around the stems, and water the new plants from below. I seldom lose a plant to damping off now whether that be flowers or veg when potting up for the first time.
If a plant needs potting up a second time I add perlite to the compost mix, this helps retain moisture so the pot doesn't need to be watered as much.
I always bottom water seedlings & small plants. Adding good drainage and as said light & air
Damping off is caused by a fungus and good ventilation and hygiene are key to trying to prevent it. Also try to ensure that you are not sowing too thickly so that the seedlings are not overcrowded.
If you spot it again, remove the affected seedlings immediately to try and prevent it spreading.
Always wash your trays before re-using (whether you've had problems or not)
That is brilliant advice - thanks so much for your responses. I will definitely try the vermiculite on the surface (so far I've been using grit) and water from below. Also kate1123 you make a really interesting point about emulating nature with your poppy seeds. With the last attempt with the meconopsis sheldonii I brought them inside and put them on the windowsill once they had been repotted. Outside or in the greenhouse I didn't really have damping off with my other seedlings - so I wonder if it might have been that the circulation inside was poor? Makes me think I should keep them outside for the time being or put them in my coldframe.
Also, watering with tap water and not rain water helps