Table of contents:
Video: Root Rot Or "black Leg"
Read part 1. Growing healthy seedlings of peppers and tomatoes
About the "black leg"
From the very first appearance of seedlings into the world, i.e. above the surface of the soil, they are trapped by the first childhood disease with a terrible name - "black leg". It affects seedlings and young seedlings of almost all garden plants - vegetables and flowers, berry crops, shrub sprouts and even trees.
Already from the moment the seedlings appear, symptoms of the disease can be observed: the tissues of the root collar and hypocotyl knee soften, thin, as it were, wither, later turn black and, finally, rot.
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Usually these symptoms become visible at the very surface of the soil. The diseased plant lies on its side and dies. It can be easily pulled out of the soil, because the roots of such plants are underdeveloped and even completely die off. If the disease affects older plants, then such plants develop poorly, lagging behind in growth.
The causative agents of the "black leg" are various types of pathogenic fungi that persist in the soil and on plant debris. These pathogens are especially violent with high soil moisture and its high acidity. First of all, densely planted plants suffer from this. From tightness they stretch out, become weak. In this case, it is clearly seen that the disease affects groups of plants, i.e. develops in foci.
It is possible to fight this disease only with a set of measures. First of all, you need to work on the soil. It must not contain the spores of the fungi that cause the disease. Therefore, in no case should not rotted organic residues, often rich in all kinds of pathogenic flora, be used as soil as soil, for example, soil from an unripe compost heap. It is necessary to try to destroy the source of the disease, i.e. disputes, "on the vine." Usually gardeners steamed the soil for this purpose when they prepare it for seedlings, for example, put a pot of soil in another pot filled with water, bring it to a boil, and keep it covered for an hour or an hour and a half.
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Often, steaming does not help, because the spores of mushrooms are very tenacious, it is not so easy to squeeze them from light, even if after steaming the soil is watered with a solution of potassium permanganate. In addition, during these procedures, all beneficial microorganisms die in the soil. Therefore, lately I have given up steaming. Now I use the biological preparation Fitosporin M. I water the soil with it when I prepare it for crops, everything is according to the instructions - one and a half milliliters of working solution per 1 liter of water. But even in this case, we are unlikely to destroy all harmful spores.
Therefore, one should try not to create conditions for the growth of these fungi, i.e. first of all, do everything possible so that the soil in crops is not waterlogged, namely:
- Water the seedlings only as needed, being careful not to get on the plant stems. I generally water the tiny plants with a pipette between the rows.
- Keep seedlings under cover as little as possible and ventilate them more often so that the soil surface near the stems is not damp, and so that there is no stagnation of air near them. I just blow on the shoots. In my opinion, they like it, but the "black leg" does not, because she does not like any movements at all. For her, any stagnation is a blessing.
- Do not grow seedlings on cold windowsills. Cold soil dries out very slowly, or even never dries out at all, and disputes need this in the first place.
- Do not make dense crops. The forest of elongated skinny stalks, in which damp air stagnates, is a paradise for the "black leg". Especially if the plants are overfed with nitrogen and the stems are so tender. It is better not to feed very young seedlings with anything at all.
- Avoid sudden changes in temperature, from which the immunity of plants decreases.
And one more very important measure to protect against the "black leg" is plant picking. Usually, the picking of most seedlings is done at the stage of the first true leaf. During this period, the plants easily tolerate transplanting, because they are already strong enough and at the same time their root system is not yet highly developed, therefore it is not damaged much during transplantation. However, it is often before this period that plants can get sick with the "black leg".
Therefore, the crops most prone to disease, such as asters, levkoi, cabbage and others, in case a disease appears, they have to dive earlier - this is in order to save the remains of plants from death. When diving, the leg must be deepened by 2/3 of its height, leaving a small piece of it under the cotyledons - for photosynthesis. After a pick, plants almost never get sick with a "black leg".
When growing any seedlings, I try to follow all these rules. And for many years now, all my seedlings have not been sick with a "black leg".