spgrewal
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Need advice :Stems of newly planted vegetable seedlings die

I have been planting various types of summer vegetable (squash, eggplants, bitter melon etc) seedlings from the greenhouse in my vegi garden. Nearly all 30 different plants have died. It all starts from the stem. It seems at first the stem shrinks n turns into brownish colour and then even thought the plant from the top seems ok but ultimately they all die. Please refer the attached pic.
I have added yates blood n bone as well as chicken manure along with water soluble fertilizer spray. Please advise
Image

This is my first post n I am already asking for advice /...sorry////n thanks in advace

billw
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Re: Need advice :Stems of newly planted vegetable seedlings

That's a classic symptom of damping off or pythium rot.

Soil might be too damp, not enough airflow, conditions too crowded, etc. You can find lots of information in a web search.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Need advice :Stems of newly planted vegetable seedlings

I don't know what happened, but your picture is too tiny to see and won't enlarge for me.

But I agree that just from what you said, it does sound like damping off. Damping off is a fungal disease, that leads to the base of the stem just above the soil level getting brownish and a bit constricted and eventually rotting so that the rest of the seedling gets cut off from the roots and so flops over and dies.

There is no cure for it, only prevention. Are these seedlings outdoors? For me, the only time I have ever seen damping off is my indoor seedlings and then only when they are pretty small. Once they get a reasonable size/ stem thickness, they aren't usually vulnerable to it. So if outdoors, are you putting very small seedlings out? You said they were from a greenhouse, so maybe they are starting to get damped off while in the greenhouse.

Greenhouse might be perfect conditions for it -- damping off usually only happens in conditions of too much moisture and humidity and not enough air circulation, as bill w suggested. Do you have a fan in your greenhouse to circulate air? What are conditions like in there?

PS after I posted this, I went back and now the picture is there and enlarges... I guess it just took awhile to load up. So now that I can see the picture, it doesn't look quite so much like damping off. Stem is brownish but seems pretty firm and not constricted. Is this just the beginning of the process? What do they look like before they die?

Anyway... whether or not, I am still thinking it is fungal and probably relating to too much moisture, whether from humiditiy, over watering, soil not draining well enough, watering the leaves instead of the soil, etc.

It helps if you tell us where you are. I presume in the Southern Hemisphere somewhere, where you are going in to summer now? You mentioned chicken manure. Is that well aged? Fresh chicken manure is too rich and can burn your plants.
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spgrewal
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Re: Need advice :Stems of newly planted vegetable seedlings

Bill and Rainboy, thank you so much for your quick and well detailed replies. You guys are awesome n I am sure you nailed it right. I am from Melbourne -Australia and I am sure there must be lot of wise gardeners here but I had a hard time finding them in person as well as on internet. I even went on to ask a gardening expert at Yates.com.au...supposedly big company but nothing.
Anyways I am happy that at least my search is over. I am a novice when it comes to gardening and I am sure I didn't do few things right.

1) I think the problem started right from the greenhouse---- no fan...I was thinking it is already too bloody cold.
2)I think I got over excited and planted the seedlings too early as well.

Do you think H2O2 Hydrogen peroxide will help? I have already destroyed my first lot of seedlings. I want to be careful with the next.

P.S Yes Rainbow the picture I have uploaded shows the plant at the secondary stage...one prior to stem or root get constrained...and as you suspected..next....it soon engulfs the whole bottom root/stem n eventually the plants die

billw
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Re: Need advice :Stems of newly planted vegetable seedlings

I don't think chemical treatments are usually effective at treating damping off. You can prevent it with fungicides, but since you can also prevent it with airflow, spacing, and going easy on the watering, I'd try that first.

imafan26
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Re: Need advice :Stems of newly planted vegetable seedlings

Did you harden the plants off before taking them out of the greenhouse?
Did you plant them at the same level as they were in the pots?
Is your garden bed well drained? Fungal diseases are usually caused by wet weather and too much water.
What kind of media do you have? I find that if there is more than 20% compost or if you use the polymers, it just holds too much water. Water only when needed.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.



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