Seedling stems shrink and collapse after rotting at ground level. The infection can spread rapidly causing patches of seedlings to die off. An entire tray of seedlings can easily be killed within afew days. Fluffy white growth can be seen on the surface of the dead or dying seedlings. If infections occur before germination is complete the seedlings will emerge patchily.
Damping off can be caused by soil and water-borne fungi . Infection is encouraged by over-wet compost, high humidity, densely sown seed, and poor plant hygiene. Pots, trays and implements must be properly cleaned, compost should be sterilised and seedlings should be watered with tap water and not from a water butt.
Cultural measures: Sow plants thinly and ensure good ventilation. Use clean, sterile compost and equipment. Never over water.
Product solution: Water compost with Fruit and Vegetable Disease Control protective fungicide.