Seedlings don't sprout or die shortly after stems are water soaked and
discolored. Base is soft and thin. fungus growth on soil
- Dead soil over fertilized,
chlorinated by city water. High Nitrogen, poor growing medium
(too rich, wrong ph, infected
soil) Poor light conditions , virus Is spread by wind, tools, pest vectors, over head
watering, high humid weather. over crowding plants , soil is too wet.
- A complete re potting of soil
using a mixture that did not come directly from the garden but was allowed to be
solarized for three days to remove any soil pathogens.
A Good soil starting mixture
- 1 part fine compost
- 2 parts aged wood
- 2 parts fine sand
- 2 parts perlite
- 2 part vermiculite (I no
longer can recommend peat moss).
- 2 parts Fine Mills sphagnum moss
Try Uncle Malcolm's Potting soil which has these.
- Controlling overhead watering see
- Controlling pest vectors such as
ants/aphids. pest helps spread diseases. Keep ants under control.
- A light garlic/seaweed spray will
help to control use 1 drop garlic /5 drops seaweed per quart filtered water.
- see also Controlling
Diseases in your Garden...Natural Sprays
Long term solutions
- use certified seeds preferable certified organic.
- plant resistant varieties.
- solarized growing medium
- debris removal and destroy
- zero use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides.
- use sphagnum moss see below
Steps to control
- Keep soil alive with natural bacteria keep supplied with compost, rock dust
- Control overhead watering by using drip or soaker systems use a garden filter when ever
- Provide a natural spraying of area with a bacterial source such as:
- Compost Tea,
- Rock Dust Tea
- see also Making Your Own Enzyme / Bacterial Spray
- make moss tea
- Allow the surface of the soil to dry between watering.
- Avoid using high nitrogen fertilizers, pesticides, etc.
- Promote earthworms.
- Use only healthy soil for your seeds to grow in.
- Thin seedlings to allow proper growth and light to reach them.
- Avoid using city water. Use only filtered or solarized water.
- Select proper timing for variety
- Select proper time of year to plant Vs. conditions available.
- Control ants as disease victors.
- A real good preventative of Damping Off is Milled Sphagnum Moss. Sphagnum Moss grows in
Bogs, dies, sinks into the water and decomposes slowly to become peat. The Famous Captain
Cook collected drinking water from peat bogs to use on sea voyages because he said the
water always stayed pure.
- During world war II, sphagnum moss was used as a dressing for wounds when cotton was
- Sphagnum holds over 20x's it's weight in water while still offering excellent aeration
for seedlings when used as a starting medium. The large cells of sphagnum moss contains a
special bacteria known to inhibit plant diseases. This bacteria survives in dried moss and
will revive when moistened again.
- A naturally occurring antibiotic (tropolone) produced by the bacteria is toxic to the
fungi which causes damping off-
- Sphagnum Moss has the unique ability to protect seedlings in three ways: 1...moist but
airy conditions 2...beneficial bacteria produces natural antibiotic tropolone
3...beneficial bacteria suppresses fungi by competing with them for nutrition.
- How to use
- Use milled light colored Sphagnum Moss not the brown sphagnum moss apply 1/2 inch layer
on top of soil you start seeds in. A good mail order source is Mellingers 2310 W. South
Range Rd N. Lima OH 54452
- moss tea
You can also make a tea by soaking a small amount of the moss in water for a few days ,
straining then spraying on seedlings, leaves etc..
- Some Resources
- SuperSeaweed and Superseaweed Bloom.™
An invention of mine, is a result of many years of
experimentation and assimilation of my mothers knowledge as well as from my
own experiences as a gardener. I like to call SuperSeaweed a
“micro-biological activator”. In simple terms, it is a special blend of five
different types of deep ocean seaweed, chosen for its purity and for its
special bacteria. Here is a list of the bacteria I add to make Superseaweed:
Endomycorrhiza: Glomus intradices, G. aggretaum, G. mosseae; Ectomycorrhizal
fungi: Pisolthus tinctorius,Rhizopogon villosulus, R. luteolus, R.
amylopogon,R. fulvigleba, Humic acid from leonerdite. Each seaweed, being
from a different part of the world, contains its own special bacteria and
its own special minerals as well. Blending these different liquid seaweed's
produces a complete bacterial and mineral ‘soup’. To this mixture I have
added rock dust, which increases mineral content such as calcium, iron, etc.
I also add activated Willard Water (TM), and Agri-Gro (TM). SuperSeaweed
Bloom is a special blend of liquids that encourages your plants to Bloom
Contains key amounts of iron, manganese, zinc and other micronutrients. Naturally chelated and complexed using citric acid. 2% Fe, 2% Mn, 3% Zn. Use for iron, manganese, and/or zinc deficiencies. Use 1 tbs per gallon of water, depending upon crop. Use 1 tbs per gallon of water, depending upon crop. Or use about 1 qt per acre.
Earth Juice Catalyst
A stimulant to plant growth. Use in conjunction with other organic fertilizers as a soil drench or foliar feed. Natural enzymes, hormones, vitamins, amino acids, nutrients, sugars, plant acids and surfactants encourage compact growth, nutrient uptake, increased yields, and enhanced flavors. Derived from oat bran, kelp, wheat malt, molasses and yeast. Use 1-4 tbs/gallon of water, depending upon need.
- Brix Mix Liquid
Created by Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply and continuously improved upon with over 16 years of research and grower trials. Formulated to increase Brix (or sugar content). Brix Mix contains carefully proportioned amounts of hydrolyzed fish powder, Omega 6-6-6, Maxicrop, Diamond K sulfate of potash, powdered sugar, Multi-Ke-Min trace minerals, Humax humic acids, sulfur, corn calcium and Therm X70 yucca extract. Raising Brix levels brings quick & dramatic production benefits. Insect and disease reduction for aphids, leafminers, flea beetles, whiteflies, spider mites, caterpillars, powdery mildew, botrytis, brown rot, anthracnose, shot hole and other fungi. High Brix also helps crops deal with climatic and other stress, and maintain its quality during post-harvest handling. Brix Mix includes a liquid and a powder component which must be used together. To increase effectiveness, add 35% food-grade hydrogen peroxide and ascorbic acid.
Green Glacial Rock Dust
Mined Trace Minerals
A natural mineral product produced by thousands of years of glacial
action. A wide variety of rocks containing a spectrum of trace minerals are
collected and pulverized by the expansion/contraction action of the glacier.
From Canadian moraines, this product replaces key soil elements, reversing
soil depletion. Excellent source of readily available calcium, iron,
magnesium and potassium pluce trace elements and micronutrients. Increases
phosphorous availability and improves CEC. Apply 10-20 lbs per 1000 sq ft or
500-900 lbs per acre annually or as desired.
Azomite (44 lb) Micronized
Trace Mineral Amendment This natural fertilizer (described in Secrets of the
Soil as "rock dust") is actually an ancient deposit of aluminum silicate
clay and marine minerals. In use for over 50 years as a source of available
potash (0.2%) and over 50 trace minerals, including calcium (1.8%), sodium
(0.1%), and magnesium (0.5%). Apply at .25-2 tons/acre, or .25-2 lb/10 sq
ft. Use as an annual top dressing on citrus trees, where soil pH is 6.5 or
lower, at 5 lb/tree, or 15 lb on blight-stricken trees. Azomite can also
used in animal feeds at a rate of 0.5% of feed mixture, as a trace mineral
supplement and a natural anti-caking agent.
The Invisible Gardener