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What Causes Carrot Damping Off: Reasons For Carrot Seedlings Failing

What Causes Carrot Damping Off: Reasons For Carrot Seedlings Failing


By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

There are many soil-borne pathogens that can cause damping off in carrot seedlings. This most often occurs in periods of cool, wet weather. The most common culprits are fungi, which live in soil and are active when conditions favor them. If you see carrot seedlings failing, the culprit is likely one of these fungi. If you have recently planted and are asking, “Why are my carrot seedlings dying?”, read on for some answers.

Why are My Carrot Seedlings Dying?

Newly emerged seedlings are prey to many problems, from cutworms to disease. Damping off in carrots is a prevalent condition and one that can ruin your crop. Carrots with damping off fungus die as the fungus attacks stems and roots. The good news is you can minimize the chances of getting a fungal disease with good hygiene and cultural practices. Learning what causes carrot damping off and how to prevent the disease is the first step.

While damping off is a common problem in many types of seedlings, identification can help you correct the problem in the future. Carrot seedlings failing from this problem often exhibit limp stems, wilting, browning, and falling over.

The responsible party for damping off lives in the soil and can often persist for years, so crop rotation does little to help unless you choose a variety that is not susceptible. Several fungi can cause damping off such as Alternaria, Pythium, Fusarium, and Rhizoctonia. During periods of wet, cloudy weather, the fungi bloom and produce spores that spread easily in newly planted areas.

Treating Damping Off in Carrots

Carrots with damping off fungus should immediately stop being watered for a while. Allow the soil to dry a little around the little plants. This may stop the fungus in its tracks.

Watering with a chemical that treats fungal diseases may halt the progression. Copper drenches are especially useful on crops like carrots. After mixing the copper dust with water, drench the soil around the roots as well as the plants. There is some information that a drench of potassium permanganate at a rate of 1 ounce (29.5 mL.) to 4 gallons of water (15 L.) is also useful and can be used on a variety of plants.

Indoor plants in flats or pots should receive better air circulation and bright light. Outdoor plants should be thinned.

Preventing Damping Off Fungus

Stopping the fungus before it attacks the seedlings is the best option. Plant in a raised bed that drains well and avoid overwatering.

Sterilizing or using sanitized soil in the greenhouse can also prevent the fungus. To sterilize soil, place in a non-metal pan and place in the microwave. Cook the soil for 2 ½ minutes. Let the soil cool thoroughly before using it to plant.

If you can get a hold of Formalin, it is also useful to disinfect the soil. Additionally, disinfect any containers used for planting.

Use practices such as long crop rotation of up to 4 years, pathogen-free seed, and remove and destroy any leftover plant material that may harbor the disease.

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My seedlings keep dying!!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006

I don't get it. My seedlings start fine and then die in a couple of weeks. I am mostly trying to start peppers but have a bunch of other stuff too.
I have a cabinet that I made into a seed starting area. I have two cool florescent lights about 3-6 inches above them that are on for about 15 hrs a day. I have a heater in the bottom to bring the soil up to about 80-85 degrees on top and 70-75 on the bottom. I water with rain water and a 10-52-10 mix to help them start and I use Supersoil for soil. I usually wait to water them till the top gets a little hard but is still wet on the bottom. I have them in the seed starter trays so I just add the water to the bottom and it soaks up.

More on the problem. Lets say my tomatoes, they came up and were doing just fine. I then go in one day and one of 4 is limp and starting to fall over. Then a few days later another. then another. The last one is going limp right now. I also had a pepper that I finally got to grow, and it just died. All about 2-3 weeks from popping up. I have some new peppers that I just started and I don't want it to happen to them, please help.

Does it look like the stems are rotting at the base? If so, it is caused by the "damping off" fungus. Try watering young seedlings with chamomile tea till they become well established. I mix up 4 cups at a time pouring 4 cups boiling water over 4 tea bags and let it cool to room temperature before watering.

May the force be with you

Hi! Im no expert but just heard about this on the radio. One thing that comes to mind is turning off the heat as soon as the first seedling emerges. The other tip which it sounds like you already follow, is to water when they get a little dry.

I was surprised to hear the advice to turn off the bottom heat as soon as you get a sprout. But it's worth a try!

You're not fertilizing two week old seedlings are you? Otherwise it sounds like damping off. Were you using clean trays and fresh mix? Did you have the trays covered?

brian
i would say its damping off also.
the only time i had that problem was when i used rain water!
now i always use tap water for my seedlings, i hold back with the rain water until they get bigger.
also i never feed my seedlings till a week or so after ive transplanted them.
Mark.

With damping off, the plants tend to rot off at ground level and fall over. It seems like these are actually wilting while they are still standing. Can you clarify this please Brian.
If it is damping off, it's a fungal problem and can be overcome by adding some condies crystals to water until the water is just slightly pink, then spray the surface with a misting spray.
I only ever feed seedlings with a half strength mix of fish emulsion fertiliser and i start them in a sand/coir/worm casting mix.

The light is also too high. The florescents should be kept no more than 2 inches above the seedlings. Otherwise they are going to stretch and get thin stems that can cause them to fall over also.

and maybe this will help a lil.

I've just started some tomato seeds thats sprouted over the last few days.They sit in my kitchen window(east lighting)Humidity is always high in the kitchen.I doubt my soil temp was very high.being its been in the 80s out I'd guess my soils in the 70s.As to pepper seeds.I've always sown direct into a pot and keept in sunny spot in yard till sprouted then moved to bright shade.I've never been able to get um started indoors so am no help there.I know they never took me 100 days to sprout.I'd guess more 2-3 weeks.(and being I soweed them friday. I'll count this time)

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I will age ungracefully until I become an old woman in a small garden..doing whatever the Hell I want!

OK, so the stems are strong, this rules out damping off. There's nothing wrong with rainwater, unless you are in a high air pollution area or an acid rain area. I'm thinking fertilizer burn or soil temperature. The wilting is what happens to plants that are getting way too much N. Though the fert you're using is extremely high in P, so that's not necessarily the problem. The symptoms would be different. (Thinking out loud here)
My other suggestion is the temperature of the soil and i just did a conversion to celsius (which i use) and it's pretty damn hot. Like, it's the temperature of the air at midday in summer. Way too hot for the root system i reckon. Yeah, i'm sold on it. Turn off or turn down the heat and i'm certain your problems will end. BTW, a temp of 15 deg Celsius (60 F)is plenty to germinate the most warmth loving of seeds, like corn and pumpkin, so i don't reckon you need to have the temp set so high to get that germination rate. Maybe get it down to about max 70 deg F.

My peppers were slower to germinate because my apartment is around 70*F so the soil temp is lower than that but they do germinate and grow to adulthood. I just put them in regular potting soil in a planter and keep the soil moist. Nothing fancy at all and they do fine. It seems like the more care I lavish on a seedling the less chance it has of surviving lol.

What kind of pepper takes 100 days to germinate? I think you've been sold a bill of goods. I'd go with a standard potting mix or a custom one like Longy's, homemade. And get the heat way down, and don't worry about fertilizing seedlings. And rig a way to move your lights. flourescents won't burn even if they're touching, get them as close as possible.

* * * *

Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!

I did peppers too and mine are finely peeking thro' after 9 days, I was prepared for this, my instructions said at least 7 - 14 days.

I also used flor. lights but keep the seeds cover with newspaper until they sprout thro'. Using the lights more for heat the first few days.

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For this "New Year" help me to be kinder and more loving to all around me, I pray.

I couldn't agree more! Seeds only need that heat to germinate. once they've sprouted, they prefer cooler temps.
I am one that does not save any money with heating bills in the winter. I'm always freezing so that heat is cranked! But the room where I keep my seedlings, I have the vents closed, the window cracked and a fan circulating air at all times.


Why didn't my seeds germinate?

These tiny seeds require just a thin dust of soil to cover as they need light to germinate
Image: Shutterstock

There are many reasons why seeds fail to germinate, and not all of them are your fault! In order to germinate successfully, seeds require several needs to be met. These include water, oxygen, temperature and correct levels of light. Once you know the things that can go wrong, these setbacks are easy to avoid.

The seed was old:

Check the ‘sow by’ date on the packet. Seed that’s beyond this date will often still germinate but the success rate is reduced. Some seeds, such as parsnip, lose their viability rapidly so it’s worth buying a new packet each year.

It was too hot or too cold:

Always check the recommended germination temperature on the seed packet. Extremes of heat or cold may prevent seeds from germinating so it’s well worth monitoring the soil temperature with a soil thermometer. Most species can be sown successfully indoors at temperatures between 13C - 21C – easily achieved in a heated propagator or on a bright windowsill. Once germinated, you can move your seed trays to a slightly cooler position.

Outdoors: Keep an eye on the weather and avoid sowing if the soil is cold and wet, as this will cause the seed to rot. Seed packets usually advise when to sow direct outside but this will vary between warm southern gardens and cold northern locations. In the north it may be necessary to sow a month later than the seed packet suggests if the soil remains cold. Help early sowings along by using cloches to warm the soil.

The soil was too wet or too dry:

Too dry, and your seeds won’t germinate. Too wet, and they’re liable to rot. Ensure that seeds are kept evenly moist by thoroughly wetting and draining the compost before you begin. After sowing you can cover the seed tray with a sheet of glass or clear plastic to retain moisture - the compost should remain damp for several days or more.

If the soil surface begins to dry out, simply stand the seed tray in water until the surface becomes moist - but be sure to let it drain again. Remove the glass or plastic as soon as the seeds begin to germinate to prevent the seedlings from rotting.

Outdoors:Wet, poorly drained soils or dry, sandy soils can be difficult environments for seed germination. Both can be improved by adding plenty of organic matter such as well rotted manure or homemade compost. On wet soils this will improve drainage and air circulation, while on dry soils organic matter acts as a sponge, holding water in the soil for longer.

The seeds were sown at the wrong depth:

Some seeds need light to germinate, and some don’t. The amount of light that the seed receives is determined by how deeply it’s sown. Check the seed packet before you bury your seeds beneath the soil – if they need plenty of light to germinate they’ll only require a thin dusting of compost or vermiculite to get them underway.

If no instructions are provided, the size of the seed gives a good indicator of how deep to sow it. Very small seeds such as begonia and lettuce only need a light covering of sieved compost or vermiculite. Larger seeds like sunflowers and beans need to be sown several centimetres beneath the surface. As a general rule of thumb, most seeds should be planted at a depth of 3 to 4 times their own width.

The seed needed special treatment:

Did the seed packet mention pre-chilling, chipping, scarifying or soaking? Some treatments may sound a bit strange but they’re essential to help the seed germinate. You can find a full description of different techniques in our specialised sowing information article.

The seeds were eaten:

Outdoor sowings of beans, peas, sunflowers and other large seeds are often at risk from attack from the moment they’re sown. Mice and birds love to dig them up for an easy snack. Protect your seeds with cloches, chicken wire or netting to give them time to germinate safely. If you use netting, secure it carefully to avoid entangling birds.

For a quick recap on how to sow seeds correctly, read our seed sowing guide.


New seedlings dying after sprout, what am I doing wrong?

CYPH00

Member

Hi - I am pretty new to growing in general so I'm sure I'm doing something wrong.

I planted 3 Nirvana NLs, all 3 germinated and sprouted. I have a Kessil 350 deep purple and a 32w daylight CFL running. These bad boys are only about 5 days old.

One seedling died. The other two are alive but a second seems to be dying the same way the first one did. It looks like the stock right before going in to the dirt is constricting.

I have made several mistakes thus far, I did let the temp on my grow dome reach 99F, I think I over watered a bit (I stopped watering for now. ) I also added 1 drop of Superthrive to each seedling when they were sprouting. and last but not least I think I have the CFL too far away making them stretch.
Ya, I know . what have I not done wrong.

1. One of the choking plant, can someone tell me what they think the issue is with this plant? Is it over watering, heat, too much stretch for the light on a weak stalk?

2. Second pic is of the healthier of the 2 plants. But it has what looks liek aburn on the tip of a leaf. Is this from the superthrive, or heat? This is where the seed shell was stuck but fell off.

Any advice on what is causing the issues above , and any suggestions on how to salvage ..please?

Halfaweek

Active Member

Cheechako

Well-Known Member

Keep it real.

Active Member

Dr Kynes

Well-Known Member

you are losing your seedlings to a disease called "Damping Off"

sanitize your entire operation with bleach, and i mean everything. tools, pots, humidity domes, trays, everything.

get fresh media, preferably something sterile. coco coir is great for starting seeds and so are peat pots, and rockwool cubes. at the sprouting stage seeedlings do not require any nutrients at all. thats all in the seed.

i use a variety of media to start seeds depending on their type. for dope intended for hydroponics setups, rockwool cubes are best.

for plants intended to go in soil, you can start them in a 50/50 mix of miracle grow or other potting soil and coco, never use straight potting soil, they are over-fertilized for baby plants. you have to thin potting mix out with something else or your plants will burn.

once you decide on your new media keep your area clean, and sanitize everything between grows in your nursery. do NOT reuse media,

Damping Off thrives in wet conditions. dont overwater, most seedlings dont need a humidity dome.

Cheechako

Well-Known Member

AegisVeritas

Member

Dr Kynes

Well-Known Member

the water and humidity result in the various fungi killing your seedlings. thats why it's called Damping Off instead of Moulding Off.

reducing the wetness retards the various fungi, preventing Damping Off.

ProfessorPotSnob

New Member

CYPH00

Member

Thanks guys. As much as I hope you are wrong I think your correct about the damping-off, I read the conditions and my dead plant did exactly what was shown in some pics I saw, it keeled over and died. This is a new setup so I'm wondering how this happened, too much moisture it sound like?

Does this mean one of the medium I used had the fungi /pathogen present in it and it got activated with all the moisture?

Everything was new, but I did not sterilize it. I will clean it with bleach. I also have some peppers growing in close proximity, they are also seedling and seem unaffected. The only new thing introduced was peat pellets which I used for the NL but not for the peppers (and peppers are OK). Wondering if I should dump them. I may experiment and plant some more peppers in the peat pellets, see if they get the same illness.

It sound like I need anti-fungal plant spray to try treating these plants, luckily I have more seeds and I'm guessing these seedlings will die since I'm not planning to treat them (seems like I wold kill them trying to do so anyways)

Funny thing is, well not really funny, but I was handling the seedlings the other day and must have scratched my eye (stoned gardening) and I noticed my eye seems infected. yuck. looks like pink eye. Hope its not fungal spreading. time to go see the Dr. for some drops. Should be interesting explaining how I got that in my eye

Dr Kynes

Well-Known Member

Thanks guys. As much as I hope you are wrong I think your correct about the damping-off, I read the conditions and my dead plant did exactly what was shown in some pics I saw, it keeled over and died. This is a new setup so I'm wondering how this happened, too much moisture it sound like?

Does this mean one of the medium I used had the fungi /pathogen present in it and it got activated with all the moisture?

Everything was new, but I did not sterilize it. I will clean it with bleach. I also have some peppers growing in close proximity, they are also seedling and seem unaffected. The only new thing introduced was peat pellets which I used for the NL but not for the peppers (and peppers are OK). Wondering if I should dump them. I may experiment and plant some more peppers in the peat pellets, see if they get the same illness.

It sound like I need anti-fungal plant spray to try treating these plants, luckily I have more seeds and I'm guessing these seedlings will die since I'm not planning to treat them (seems like I wold kill them trying to do so anyways)

Funny thing is, well not really funny, but I was handling the seedlings the other day and must have scratched my eye (stoned gardening) and I noticed my eye seems infected. yuck. looks like pink eye. Hope its not fungal spreading. time to go see the Dr. for some drops. Should be interesting explaining how I got that in my eye

ok, heres the deal, Damping Off is a shitload of different fungi what do the same thing if they fourish on seedlings: they make it keel over at the soil line. telltale markings are black or darm brown staining right at the soil line on the seedling, and a constriction at the soil line.

these many fungi are dead common, they are EVERYWHERE in small ammounts. once they get cracking and start killing plants they multiply.

a few spores + healthy conditions = no problem
a few spores + unhealthy conditions = Damping Off problems and shitloads of spores in your workspace.
a shitload of spores + healthy conditions = irritating continued Damping off and general lack of vitality in your workspace
a shitload of spores + unhealthy conditions = your nursery is now a Deathcamp for seedlings.

clean your area to rediuce the spore load, and maintian healthy conditions for your plants and the problem will vanish.

dont keep adult plants near seedlings in an enclosed area, even healthy adult plants can carry pathogens which are lethal to baby plants.

thats why professional horticulturists keep cuttings and baby seedlings in their own special nursery areas


the infection in your eye is probably a fecal bacteria infection. see a physician.

the latest rage, Organic Gardening, comes with a lot of Bull Shit. and by Bull Shit i mean actual Cow crap. cow crap can infect your eye with various strains of e. coli and other bacteria, resulting in the dreaded Pinkeye!! but it can also infect you with some serious shit.

years of handling what ammounts to sterile laboratory grade garden supplies and living in a world of hand sanitizers, antibacterial wipes and disinfectant sprays has seriously reduced the average urbanite's ability to handle the hazards of the Pre-Modern world, like Organic Fertilizer (which is mainly made up of animal crap). most people have lost the ingrained habits for handling such things built into our society by centuries of Pre-Urban living, and lack of exposure to these hazards has not prepared your immune system for their return you your life through Organic Vegetables, organic garden supplies, and having what ammounts to a bucket of cow shit in your closet with a dope plant sticking out of it.

get your hand washing routine down, and when in your indoor garden, remember, youre touching manure.
just because your growroom looks like a science lab, that doesnt mean your shit is clinically sterile
indoor gardening brings the OUTSIDE IN, and this means your house now contains a colony of all the shit that lives outdoors, and youre touching it.


Final Thoughts

Growing chives can be extremely rewarding. They provide you with a harvest every so often in the summer months and even through winter in milder climates. The chive plant that’s experiencing problems growing is most likely:

  • Over or under watered
  • Deprived of nutrients
  • Receiving inadequate light
  • Choked by weeds competing for nutrients in the same soil
  • Plagued by disease or pest

Gardeners need to regularly check on their chives to catch these problems early on. The good news is that your chive plants will give you a sign that something is amiss by discoloration, falling over, necrosis, or not growing straight.

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Watch the video: EASIEST WAY to germinate any seeds! Fast and guarantied! Harley Seeds. Organic Freak