Black Feet In Seedlings: What To Do, What To Treat, Prevention

Gardeners start the season in February or March, when they start sowing vegetable plants for seedlings. This period is very important because it is the time when the future harvest of peppers, cabbage, eggplant, tomatoes and cucumbers is laid. If guided by years of experience in the cultivation of seedlings and the use of high-quality seeds for sowing, then it would seem that with the young plants just nothing will happen. But experienced gardeners know that as long as the seedlings are not planted in the open ground they have to be watched carefully, because at any moment they can be attacked by black stem, which can kill the plants.

Special features of the disease

Black feet in seedlings: what to do, what to treat, prevention

Many beginning gardeners do not know what black stem disease is and what consequences does it have on seedlings? Black stem is a fungal disease, a type of rot.

You can find the causative agents of this disease on any seed material and in any soil. Seedlings of cabbage are most often affected by black leg, seedlings of peppers and tomatoes are also often affected.

The name "black leg" is related to the symptoms of this disease: after pathogenic bacteria are activated in conditions of high humidity, first the plants show darkening of the subcotyledon knee, then softening of stem tissues near the root neck. As a result, seedlings lodge. To ensure that the disease does not destroy all the plants, you need to carry out a thorough inspection every day.

As soon as the first signs of black stem on the seedlings are noticed, you should start fighting it as soon as possible.

Fighting black stem

Black feet in seedlings: what to do, what to treat, prevention

Most experienced gardeners know that it is better to prevent black stem from affecting seedlings than to try to save them later. Although the preventive measures against this dangerous disease are very simple, they are very effective:

  1. We recommend the use of thoroughly disinfected earth mixture or garden soil for sowing the seeds. All soil should be thoroughly frosted during the winter and immediately before sowing the seeds it should be baked in an oven or sprinkled with a pinkish solution of potassium manganese. If you decide to use a ready-made soil mixture purchased in the store for sowing seeds, it still needs to be disinfected.

    The acidity of the soil mixture is also very important for growing seedlings and it is better if it is neutral. Most vegetable crops react very negatively to acidic substrate and therefore often suffer from various diseases. To neutralize the acidity, add wood ash or dolomite flour to the soil mixture, and to prevent black leg, it is added Trichodermin. Seed material is necessarily subjected to pre-sowing preparation, for this purpose it is treated with a solution of such means as: Planriz, TMTD, Bactofit, Phytoflavin-300 or Phytosporin.

  2. Try to avoid overly dense seeding.

    It's better to take your time and accurately spread the seeds, keeping the right distance, but then you won't have to worry whether the seedlings will die of blackstain or not.

  3. Substrate in a container should always be slightly moist, so water rarely, but they must be quite abundant. In this way the potting soil will be permanently damp inside and the surface will be able to dry out before the next watering.
  4. Regularly loosen the surface of the potting soil near the plantsto prevent it from drying out. If the substrate dries out, the plants' root system cannot breathe properly.

    To prevent the top layer of substrate from drying out, fill its surface with sand; this also helps to prevent moisture retention near the seedlings' root neck.

  5. Active development of pathogenic microorganisms is promoted both by too high humidity and stagnant air. The room where the seedlings are located should therefore be systematically aired. Protect the bushes from draughts.
  6. For preventive care, sprinkle the plants once a week with a solution of soda (1 tsp.

    water per 200 ml.), Fitosporin or manganese potassium (the color should be pinkish).

What is the black leg? Diseases of seedlings.

Preparations against blackleg

Black feet in seedlings: what to do, what to treat, prevention

A variety of chemicals are used to control blackleg that show quite high effectiveness. To treat the seed material before sowing, products such as:

  1. Planriz are used.

    This agent is notable for its high efficiency and ecological safety, and it is used against the whole complex of vegetable crops diseases. It is made on the basis of soil bacteria, once they get into the ground, they populate the roots of bushes and begin to produce enzymes and antibiotics that inhibit the development of root rot. The remedy is also considered an effective crop growth stimulator.

  2. Baktofit. This biological preparation distinguished by its effectiveness is used to protect grain, vegetable, and also fruit and berry crops from bacterial and fungal diseases.

    It also has an anti-stress effect and helps increase yields.

  3. TMTD (tetramethylthiuramdisulfide). A contact fungicide and pesticide agent that is a grayish-yellow powder, it is used for dry seed dressing.
  4. Phytoflavin-300. This product has an antibiotic as its active ingredient and is considered both a fungicide and a bactericide.

    The drug also helps to stimulate the development and growth of crops.

Substrate for such a disease is treated with Trichodermin. This product contains spores and mycelium of antagonist fungus. During plant growth they produce bioactive substances that help inhibit pathogenic bacteria and fungi.

Black foot - enemy number 1 for plants!

People's remedies

Also in the battle against black leg it is often used:

  1. Substrate surface and seedlings are treated with an alcohol solution (1 part vodka to 10 parts water).

  2. Wet the plants and soil mixture twice or three times with onion husk infusion from a sprayer. Leave 6 days between treatments.
  3. Cut watering and pollinate the surface of the soil mixture with wood ash.

How to save affected seedlings?

Black feet in seedlings: what to do, what to treat, prevention

How soon the first symptoms of black feet are found on seedlings, an active fight must be started immediately, otherwise all the plants may die. Many inexperienced gardeners do not know what to do in this case, what preparations are better to use? The first thing to understand is that whatever culture has not been affected by this dangerous fungal disease, fight it with the same methods and means.

After detecting the first signs of the disease, immediately pour the soil mixture in the container with a weak solution of manganese potassium. Very carefully loosen the surface of the soil mixture near the plants, while dipping the root neck. Fill the substrate with a layer of sand, wood ash or eggshells (it is ground into dust). Then the room well ventilated, and containers with seedlings placed at the greatest possible distance from each other. If the disease has not yet gained strength and has just begun to develop, these measures are quite sufficient in the fight against it.

But if the disease is already advanced, then the affected plants are likely to die.

Sprouts that are still healthy are transplanted as soon as possible into a new disinfected soil mixture (how to treat the substrate is described above). But if you cannot transplant now, then remove any diseased shrubs, and cover the soil mixture with a protective layer (described above). Then healthy plants are best sprayed with chemicals, for example, substrate and seedlings can be treated with a solution of Fundazole (1-2 grams per 1 liter of water) or Previcura (2 milligrams per 1 liter of water). If you do not want to use chemicals for treatment, then take a biological remedy, for example: Phytosporin, Bactofit, Planriz or Phytoflavin.

You can also use folk remedies. Once the treatment is complete, watering frequency should be drastically reduced and the soil should only be moistened with a pinkish solution of manganese potassium or onion peel infusion.

If you are growing a rare variety, you can try to save the affected seedling. To do this, pluck off the healthy top part, which should not be flaccid, and root it in water or substrate. Tomatoes are highly resilient, so they tend to root very quickly.

Blackfeet on sprouts. One pill and there will be no black foot


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