An effective, simple and nontoxic way to keep seedlings free of damping-off disease is to use chamomile tea. I place one chamomile tea bag in 4 cups of boiling water and allow it to sit for 24 hours or more to ensure that I have a strong brew at room temperature. I pour the tea into a plant mister and spray the seedlings as soon as they sprout and each time I water them. I continue this application until the seedlings have developed their second set of leaves. You can also pour chamomile tea into the liner you set the seedling tray into so you can water seedlings from below.
If you were too late to start misting your seedlings in this way, and you see mildew forming at the base of your seedlings, all is not lost. The chamomile tea melts the fungus away before your eyes!
Jesse Vernon Trail
Vernon, British Columbia
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