Beet, Chard: Damping-off

categories: Beet, Chard Beet, Chard Diseases Vegetables

revision date: 2023-01-04 12:00

Damping-off of cucumber seedlings.
Damping-off of cucumber seedlings
Photo by: R.S. Byther


Damping-off is caused by fungi that remain in the soil for long periods of time. Infected seeds decay without germinating. Seedlings may be infected and fail to emerge from the soil. Emerged seedlings are also attacked, causing them to wilt and topple over. Water-soaked or brownish lesions are often visible on the stem at the soil line. Plants become more resistant to attack as they mature. Damping-off fungi are more of a problem in cold soils with poor drainage, and in conjunction with overwatering.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Plant in warm, well-drained soils during warm, dry weather.
  • Do not overwater.
  • Fertilize by placing a band of phosphate fertilizer 1″ beneath the seed, covering with soil, then seeding rows.
  • Do not plant in soils known to be infested with damping-off fungi.
  • Mulch to help raise soil temperature.
  • Plant shallowly to encourage quick seedling emergence and growth.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • None recommended

Additional Images