New! SeedShield™ seed covering for seeds from Seedman.com helps promote germination of seeds and them helps protect them from damping off and fungus gnats.
SeedShield™ is a mixture of Horticultural Grade Vermiculite infused with our own Dampaide.™ Instead of covering seeds with potting mix or soil, you cover them with SeedShield™ and install a layer of protection for the seeds and young seedlings until they are established.
With SeedShield™, gardeners can now easily germinate seeds that were difficult in the past, SeedShield ™ works especially well with tiny seeds and pelleted seeds.
Simple to use, if seed instructions call for seeds to be covered with ¼" soil, cover them with ¼" SeedShield™ instead. It can even be used for seeds that are normally sown on the surface because they need light for germination, such as petunia, tobacco, etc. A 1/16" cover of SeedShield™ will allow light to fully penetrate ( one of the benifits of vermiculite ) and also holds in moisture for the seeds, preventing you from having to constantly mist the surface. This will help hold moisture in, allows penetration of light and then protects new seedlings from attack from soil borne fungus disease and discourages fungus gnats.
Damping off describes the usually sudden destruction of newly germinated seeds or seedlings. Young plants can be attacked at all stages, before germination (pre-emergence damping off) and after seedlings grow from the soil (post-emergence damping off). All types of plants including turf, trees, vegetables, and flowering plant seedlings can be affected.
Several organisms can cause damping off. Pythium, Phytophthora, Fusarium, and Rhizoctonia are four common culprits. These fungi can be found in most soils. However, appropriate environmental conditions are essential for disease development.
Cool, wet soil conditions are favorable for infection by damping off fungi. Plants grow slowly at cool temperatures, making them vulnerable to fungal attack. Also, many fungi prefer moist environments.
Click on thumbnail image for larger picture.
management strategies can help:
Use planting media free of disease organisms, sterile media is best.
Avoid setting flats or pots on the ground.
Use good quality seed.
Plant seeds at densities that will allow air circulation and light penetration; and reduce competition for nutrients.
Keep the temperature at a level that will promote plant growth.
Avoid excess moisture.
Bottom water whenever possible.
Insure good air circulation, this is a must, even if you must use fans.
In addition to the above steps, we have been experimenting
with a natural aid to combat damping off in our greenhouses. It
has been known for sometime that some plants such as Neem,
Chamomile, Nettle, Clove, Cinnamon, Charcoal and others contain
anti-fungal properties or provide deterrents against
Our research has led us to develop Dampaide™, a natural aid in the fight against damping off. We originally developed this product for organic growers and gardeners who do not like using chemical fungicides, and have found it to be effective in controlling damping off when used with good growing practices like the ones listed above. It is best applied when seeds are planted in the form of SeedShield™ vermiculite infused with Dampaide™
Dampaide™ is a blend of pure
powdered herbs of :
Neem Leaf ( Azadirachta indica )
Cinnamon ( Cinnamomum cassia )
Clove ( Syzygium aramaticum )
Chamomile ( Matricaria chamomilla )
Nettle ( Urtica dioica )
Charcoal ( Salix alba )
Dampaide™ comes in an eight ounce bottle with a shaker top insert. Simply remove lid and sprinkle Dampaide™ onto the growing medium. Dampaide™ will not hurt young seedlings when applied directly on them. In time, Dampaide™ will break down naturally and become nutrients in the soil.
Dampaide™ can also be used to make a natural fungicidal tea, simply add 2 tablespoons to a gallon of water and allow to soak for 24 hours before using.
We recommend dusting seeds with Dampaide™ before sowing, this provides added protection.
Effective control for Fungus Gnats:
These tiny, black insects seem innocuous enough as they buzz over your plants. While the adults rarely cause any problems to plants, if the young larvae are in large numbers, they can damage your seedlings. Fungus gnats search out moist soil in which to lay their eggs. When the eggs hatch, the larvae will feed on the roots of your plants. Healthy seedlings will often be able to withstand this feeding but any seedlings that have small root systems like onions and leeks and those that are showing symptoms of nutrient stress can be put back quite significantly.
Dampaide™ has shown to be very effective against fungus gnats in our trials, one by deterring adult flies ( sprinkle a little Dampaide™ over an area infested with fungus gnats and watch them leave town! ). Also, the neem powder seems to control or at least impede the larvae from destroying the roots. Of course Dampaide™ cannot undo damage already done by fungus gnats, so it should be applied early.
Note: We only ship these products to addresses inside the USA.
Order your Dampaide™