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Fungal Disease Control

You might think that the closed environment of a greenhouse would be protective - keeping plants pest and disease free. However, this same closed environment will trap pests and disease inside and provide them with the warm, humid conditions in which they thrive. Diseases common within the warm, humid atmosphere of a greenhouse include damping off, black root rot, mildew and botrytis.

The easiest way to help prevent diseases and aid pest control in your greenhouse it to keep it clean. Ideally clean and disinfect your greenhouse at least twice a year - once in the spring before you start sowing seeds and once in the autumn ahead of bringing in your tender plants. You might also want to fumigate your greenhouse - this is made easy by using a Sulphur Candle for example. Once your greenhouse is clean prevent the re-introduction of problems by checking any plants for pests or diseases before bringing them into the greenhouse.

One of the most common fungal diseases is damping off. Damping off can cause seeds to rot before seedlings emerge. The most visible sign of damping off is stem-rot - this occurs as the point where the stem leaves the compost and causes the seedlings to topple over. The most common reason for damping off is poorly drained compost. Damping off will kill young seedlings and will rot the roots of older seedlings and cause stunted growth. Try to use free draining compost to aid fungal disease control If the compost you're using tends to stay wet and soggy, you can improve drainage by adding up to 50% grit or perlite. When sowing your seeds, instead of covering them with compost cover with grit or vermiculite. You can also help to prevent damping off by watering from below rather than above - place pots or trays on water matting is the most efficient way of watering from below.

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