Damping off ➡ “Is a soil-borne fungal disease that affects seeds and new seedlings, damping off usually refers to the rotting of stems and root tissues at and below the soil surface. In most cases, infected plants will germinate and come up fine, but within a few days they become water-soaked and mushy, fall over at the base and die”(Planet Natural Research Center, 2018). In order to get rid of these, it’s important to treat the nursery bed either by soil solarization, which is an environmentally friendly method of using the suns power to control pests such as bacteria, insects and weeds. Formalin solution or dust, as well as fungicides like Thiram or Captan can also help.
In some cases you can purchase seeds that are pre-treated. If the disease appears after seedling emergence, then consider drenching the nursery beds with 0.1% solution of Brassicol or 0.7% Captan or thiram after germination. In some case it might be better to remove and bury the affected seedlings from the beds otherwise you may end up spreading the disease. Another way that disease in your nursery can be controlled to some extent is by applying treated sand, soil and or in your manure mixture up to the level the seedlings are experiencing the pest or disease.
Leaf curl is a white fly transmitted viral disease, infestation starts from seedling stage and may continue to affect your plants up until harvesting of the crop. The disease is specially seen in the tomato and sometime in chilli plants as well. Leaf curl can cause great loss of the crop. The leaves of affected plants show curling, mottling, rolling puckering etc.It can be controlled by the following ways:
1. Treat the soil of the nursery by carbofuran 3-5 g/sqm.
2. Seed treatment with Imidachloprid @ 2.5 g/kg seed
3. Cover the seed bed after seed sowing by Agronet. This can be done by making a tunnel like structure. The spray the nursery beds 15 days after seed germination at 7 days interval with Metasytox or Monocrotophos @ 1.5 ml/litre of water. Last spray is done 2 days before transplanting.
4. Remove the infected plants if any in the field and burried in with soil or burn. In this way the raised seedlings will be healthy and free from viral diseases
While this may not be a comprehensive list of diseases that can affect your nursery plant. The two main nursery diseases listed in this article and how to treat them will go a long way in keeping your nursery plants healthy.