Well here i go again, thinking out loud. I have been seeing posts on the Daylily Robin about starting seeds and damping off. So i thought i would give my 2 cents. Is there a difference of Mildew and Fungus? My being a house painter i am use to seeing Mildew on houses and carports also Mildew will live on clothing as long as temp and ph factor makes for happy Mildew. To get rid of mildew we need to change the ph factor by using bleach or vinegar. These 2 liquids will help get rid of the Mildew. Mildew lives on nonliving materials and takes in its moisture and such right out of the air and usually in damp places with not so much air movement.
Fungus makes it living from being a host on living plant tissue. Whether it is on the leaves of Crepe Myrtles in what we call Powder Mildew or in the form of Rust on our Daylilies. There is a Blight that kills your Tomato plants when the summer heat gets going. The Tomato leaves will start to curl just like when you have worms on your Tomato plants but these leaves that curl will turn brown and fall off and before long that plant is dead. After spraying a good safe fungicide on your Tomato plants the plants leaves will return to normal and look healthy again. Find you a fungicide that can be sprayed on Fruits and Vegetables.
Damping off is what we as Daylily People need to be aware of. This is when your seedlings start germinating and get leaves about 2 inches tall then just fall over for no reason. This is Damping Off. Doesnt matter if you use cups or plug trays it will get you one day. The planting medium need moisture mixed in before planting your seeds. What i do is take two 5 gallon buckets and put a gallon of water plus one tablespoon of fungicide in a bucket then fill the other bucket with potting mix. Add the mixed water to the planting mix and mix with your hands until it has a wet consistancy, you dont want any dry pockets in your mix. You must have holes for drainage in your cups or your seeds may rot. Wether you water from the top or place your cups in a water trough add fungicide to the water at least once a month. But by all means start off with fungicide in the planting mix before starting seeds. Once they start damping off water with a fungicide before you loose them all. But if you start with a good Fungicide and a good planting medium you will have fewer problems as your babies grow.
We woke up to 18 degrees this morning in Central Arkansas after spring like temps for the past 3 weeks. My plants are in the greenhouse in the ground waiting for the plastic to warm them up. In the comming weeks i hope to show what is going on in the greenhouse as we set things up for bloom season. I cant wait to see scapes and blooms.
Your ideas and comments are always welcome. May you have a Blessed New Year. Jim Elliott