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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Using Cinnamon on Seedlings: Stop 'Damping Off' Diseases!

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Using Cinnamon to Prevent and Stop 'Damping Off' Diseases on Seedlings

Cinnamon has some anti-fungal qualities and it smells great as a bonus.

'Damping Off' diseases are the bane of seedlings. It is the gray white furry fungus that forms on the stems of your seedling right where they meet the starting mix. It happens because the conditions are right. I recommend against using clear plastic domes because it creates a perfect humid disease environment. Most fungi and related need moisture to spread. However, even without the dome... some seedling cells get the disease. Notice the dead thin stems at the base of my flower seedlings.

"Damping Off' Diseases - The Rusted Garden Blog

I have about 8 flats going without the dome. You want the top soil/starting mix to be dry as so it doesn't promote disease. Bottom watering keeps the cells moist.  I practice 2 principles to reduce 'damping off' diseases and I want to introduce a third that I think makes great sense and it is logical.
  1. Water from the bottom
  2. Don't use the plastic dome
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon on your seed cells
Why add a third? Some of my cells still got fungi. Not many - but enough. The reason the diseases didn't spread like wild-fire was because I practice the first 2 principles. I added a sprinkle of cinnamon on the cells that got the disease. Out of 8 flats which is about 250+ cells, only 5 got the disease. It killed the seedlings. 

Cinnamon to Treat & Prevent 'Damping Off' Diseases - The Rusted Garden Blog

I sprinkled cinnamon on the infected seedlings as a way to kill off the fungi or 'damping off' disease and stop its potential spread. You could also lightly sprinkle your starting mix with cinnamon right after the seeds are planted. I have not  done this yet but will be doing it. You can, in addition, also use the cinnamon at first signs of the disease and sprinkle the infected cell and surrounding cells. That is your choice. I think cinnamon makes a great third defense against diseases that may attack your seedlings.

Seedling Fungi - The Rusted Garden Blog
'Damping Off' Diseases on Seedlings - The Rusted Garden Blog

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