We have been vegetable gardening for a few years now and there is one issue that has come up on occasion when starting our seeds inside – it is called “damping off.” This is basically mold or fungus that develops in the soil or at the base of your seedlings. You do want to get rid of this as it can cause disease and damage to your seeds, plants and crops.
It is usually caused from overwatering and/or too much humidity. When we plant our seedlings, we mist to water with a spray bottle and cover with plastic wrap. Once they have sprouted, we then water with a little bit of water and keep uncovered. If you overwater, you can use a fan to help dry out the excess water.
If damping off does occur, here’s some natural ways to take care of it! Do this at the first signs of damping off or mold!
- Start with clean or new seed starting pots. If you are reusing any pots, be sure to wash in hot soapy water rinsed well to kill and get rid of old bacteria from previous plantings.
- If damping off occurs, try one or more of these methods to “nip it in the bud!” (Pun intended!)
- In a 32 oz spray bottle, mix 1 TBSP (or 1/2 ounce) of 3% hydrogen peroxide with water. Mist your seedlings with this mixture to cure damping off.
- In a 32 oz spray bottle, mix 2-4 TBSPs of strong brewed chamomile tea and mist seedlings to cure damping off.
- Sprinkle your seedlings with ground cinnamon.
- Spring your seedlings with ground activated charcoal.
Any of these methods to help prevent and cure the damping off. The best one we have found has been cinnamon – it is also the easiest as you can pull it out of your spice cabinet and sprinkle it on! You may need to repeat any of the above until the problem is resolved!
How have you cured damping off on your seedlings?
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