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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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  1. Where did you learn about the cinammon tip? I wonder what's in it that actually kills the fungus? This is an awesome tip! Thanks. I hope you don't mind if I share these tips on my blog!

    1. Reading on the internet. People use it for their on medicinal needs. The qualities in that fight fungus translated over to gardening. I figured I would try it. It actually killed out some fungus on my seedlings and it didn't spread to the cells around it. But a lot of write up on cinnamon and gardening is on the net.

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  4. I recently bought miracle gro organic choice and it has fungas gnats. I have already opened the bags and in my raised bed. It wasn't till the next morning I saw the fungas gnats flying on top of soil. Have you had experience with getting rid of gnats. I'm so disappointed my bed filled with gnats. I plan to wait on planting since it's not warm enough yet. So far I have put down potato slices on soil and a bowl of apple cider vinegar. I'm sure deep in the soil are more gnats. My bed is 12 deep. If you have any knowledge on dealing with gnats I'd appreciate feedback. And what soil/compost/brand do you recommend for future raised bed use? Thanks

    1. If you can let it dry out and get a few days of sun and wind. That usually removes a lot of them. If you arent planting now let it dry out. Turn in and let Nature just dry them away. You should be fine.

  5. Thanks for this. Now I know what's wrong with a few of my tomatoes and how to keep it away from my other plants. Bummer. Back to the planting bench for me :-)

    1. It is pretty effective for treatment. The fuzz shows up on everyone's seedlings at some point.

  6. Chamomile tea works for this same problem, I've used it for years but will try the cinnamon as well

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