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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #289972

Research Project: Improved Strategies for Management of Soilborne Diseases of Horticultural Crops

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

Title: Dealing with damping-off

item Weiland, Jerry
item SANTAMARIA, L - Oregon State University

Submitted to: Digger
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2013
Publication Date: 4/1/2013
Citation: Weiland, G.E., Santamaria, L. 2013. Dealing with damping-off. Digger. April 2013: 41-45.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Damping-off is a common disease that rots and kills both seeds and recently germinated seedlings. The disease is caused by number of different soilborne pathogens, including true fungi (Botrytis, Fusarium, and Rhizoctonia species) and oomycetes (Phytophthora and Pythium species). The seedlings of most plant species are susceptible, including annuals and perennials, trees and shrubs, fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Although damping-off pathogens are common, they are relatively easy to control through proper sanitation practices. Always start with clean containers and soil. Use a clean water source and follow best practices to prevent contamination, particularly while the seedlings are young and susceptible. If damping-off pathogens are accidentally introduced, fungicides are available that will stop or slow the spread of disease. Environmental parameters should also be optimized to reduce the chances for disease development. With proper precautions, damping-off and resultant seedling losses can be prevented.