Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Experiment in bypassing damp off

Most of my original tomatoes that I started by seed fell victim to damp off.

Aggravating, but many horticulturists suggest not starting tomatoes too early anyways as frost or disease from cold/damp that can occur early from early planting of tomato crop.  Luckily I had some seed leftover and so I've begun again, this time with the luxury of reasonably warm and sunshine-y outdoor weather.  A later home-started harvest, but with luck there will still be a crop!

A very kind friend of mine purchased a good size Bonnie's indeterminate heirloom tomato for me in addition to a smaller hybrid indeterminate (that had 2 plants in it!) so that I wouldn't be without the deliciousness early this year.  Oh us vegetable gardeners and our tomatoes!

But back to damp-off crud:

After I started pulling out the totally damped off seedlings from their small egg carton "pots," I wondered to myself  about the famously well known stem-rooting properties that tomatoes possess and thought that  I might still yet be able to save some.  So I kept one Tropic tomato seedling with a pinched damped off stem and popped it in a small bath of water I was growing a grocery store fennel bulb in, making sure that the damped off stem base was under the water line.   .

Here is the result after a week or so:

(at this point I had discarded the damped off portion that existed below the newly rooted part you can see now)

Now that I have potentially found a way to save damped off seedlings I am slightly smacking myself at not having done with more of the sad looking plants I chucked. 

So, just wanted to share if any of you run into damp off issues.  (There is hope!)