How to prevent damping off of tomato?

Damping off of tomato! This, also known as the seedling disease, is a term that defines the sudden death of new plant seedlings. More often than not, you will find that damping off is caused by fungal attacks. Fungal diseases take place, and you find root rots and molds. While you see this fungal disease as a disease that can still be curable, you will find the seedlings do not usually emerge from that or die after emerging. Tomato plants affected by damping off in the early days fail to produce any good fruit. If the tomato plant gets matured enough, it can somehow resist the fungus attack, which is impossible in the early periods. Damping off of tomato disease cycle always needs special focus.

There is an immense importance of prevention for healthy tomato cultivation. Tomatoes are the fruits that provide good nutritional value and the tasty meals you usually have. Therefore, it is critical to take care of the plantation a bit more till you find that your whole crops are matured enough and have entirely developed roots. With this extra care, you ensure that the tomato plants are getting strong enough to resist the dangerous fungus.


Causes of damping off in Tomatoes

Before going to prevent damping off in tomatoes, it is vital to know the causes of it. Rots like Pythium and Phytophthora and molds like Sclerotinia and Botrytis are known to cause damping off among tomato plants. There are a few significant causes, and we will point out a few of them so that while your tomato seedlings grow, you can keep an extra eye on them for any of these causes.

  • You can reuse the old pot, but if it is not sanitized correctly, it leads to fungus growth. Even if your hands are not sanitized, you are allowing the dangerous fungus like Pythium to get to the tomato garden and contaminate the whole crop easily.
  • Garden soil usually has fungus, and if you take it to the seedling tray, then you are giving a wet and relaxed environment, with a bit of moisture to the whole seedling tray. It is the best recipe for damping off the tomato seedlings.

If you find tomato plants looking healthy one day and weak the other day, you need to worry about damping off. This terrible disease attacks the plant both below and above the soil line. Usually, you can see wilting and discoloration as part of the fungus attack, leading to damping off among the tomato plants. Sometimes, due to this horrible disease, you can see that there are sudden deaths with many tomato plants in a single plantation period.

How to Prevent Damping Off in Tomatoes?

Damping off is a very terrible disease, and once it starts to grow its attack, it is impossible to cure it. From basic cultural practices to chemical and biological control methods, one needs to have an idea regarding all of these to prevent damping off in the plants whose fruits we usually enjoy on a daily basis. How to prevent damping off in tomatoes is always a challenge if you do not know the right methods to resolve it.

Identifying Damping Off in Tomato Seedlings

Well, damping off in tomato control can be done if you know its seedlings has some typical symptoms. You can see that the stems are rotting at the exact soil level or near the soil line. After the damping off has emerged, you can also find the root decay starting to destroy the plants. The affected areas are usually more than a foot in diameter if you see the seed bed. The seedling would have collapsed or stunted and shriveled brown. Sclerotinia, Fusarium, Rhizoctonia, and Sclerotium are caused after the start of damping off. It starts by killing the seedling at the soil line. If you see the attack below the soil line, specifically at the tips of the root, it must be Pythium.

Cultural management of damping off issues among tomato plants

Moldy fungal growth is usually found on the affected plants. Even germinating seeds cannot escape the attack by these dangerous fungi, which results in poor stands. Detect early and have essential cultural management to handle this case to solve damping off tomato.

  • Sanitize all seed trays and store them in a clean location when you are not using them.
  • Follow the route of proper soil preparation and management. You must ensure good soil drainage, structure, aeration, plant nutrition, and water-holding capacity.
  • Ensure proper seeding rates to avoid low light intensity, poor air movement, and thick plant stands so that damping off tomato seedlings does not happen.
  • A suitable soil temperature and planting depth ensures rapid seeding growth and emergence to avoid tomato damping off.

Chemical Control Methods

Unlike cultural management, chemical methods are a bit of a curing method rather than a preventive method. Chemical fungicides can be used as soon as you see the first symptoms of damping off. It can improve the growing conditions pretty quickly. Obtaining proper chemicals can help you to quickly fix the issues. Still, chemical control methods have a few disadvantages, so you should avoid them as much as possible. It can cause yellowing of the young seedlings and stunting. Avoid fungicides if the damping off has not been severe, as younger seedlings are more susceptible to injuries due to fungicides than older seedlings.

Biological or Microbial Control Methods

Utilizing Beneficial Microorganisms

Utilizing beneficial microorganisms can take you a long way to handle the damping off. Trichoderma virens is one such beneficial saprophyte that is very common and dwells in soil only. It can easily control Rhizoctonia solani and Pythium ultimum, which cause damping off among the tomato plants. Damipng off of the tomato disease cycle can be tackled smoothly.

Bio fungicides being the best option to deal damping off issues among tomato plants

Bio fungicides that use beneficial bacteria can always be helpful in controlling the damping-off disease of tomato issue as they take care of the attack by utilizing a beneficial microorganism as their active ingredient. This way, the quality of soil is also never hampered. It is essential to cure the damping off among whole tomato plantations without interfering with the quality of the ground.

To be specific, there is a bio-fungicide called Trianum Shield that utilizes Trichoderma harzianum as its active ingredient. It effectively keeps tomatoes healthy by avoiding damping off issues and improves the soil structure. It ensures that the plant’s roots and aerial parts grow well. You can buy Trianum Shield from Novobac, a fantastic professional manufacturing option. This brand takes care of the specifications and always ensures the best quality production regarding this bio-funggicide.


The advantage of Trianum Shield against chemical fungicides in damping off tomato plants issues

  • Trichoderma harizanum grows faster than the other fungi and pathogens. Competition ensures that the source of nutrition of pathogens decreases drastically. Then pathogens usually parasitize their cell walls, which kills them. Chemical fungicides directly try to kill them with toxic chemicals that are not good for soil.
  • It strengthens the root system of the plants so that they can absorb nutrients from the soil easily. In the case of chemical fungicides, the earth is never maintained due to the chemicals being used.
  • Resistance of the plants is increased with bio fungicide, but with chemical fungicide, you do not see any positives like this.

Practical Tips for Tomato Cultivation

Before going for tomato cultivation, you must have some tips related to it in your mind. These tips are:

  • Grow your seeds early so that the tomato seedlings have time to settle. It ensures that you get a healthy plant.
  • Sanitize the whole tomato plantation regularly so that no dangerous fungi are around the plants, especially in the soil.
  • Prefer to grow tomato plants where the sunlight is available abundantly.
  • Ensure regular checks and maintain cleanliness to avoid damping off of tomato plants.
  • Choosing resistant tomato varieties can be very helpful. Usually, no tomato plant has the capacity to tackle the damping-off issue, but there are a few varieties that are more resistant to it, prefer them.

Conclusion to prevent damping off of tomato


Damping off of tomato is a perilous issue among these plants. If you read this article properly then you do not need to worry about how to prevent damping off in tomatoes. Always prefer preventive methods like sanitizing and proper soil management to avoid such problems. Damping off in tomato control can be done using proper bio-fungicide.

You can always keep Trianum Shield from Novobac, which has Trichoderma harzianum as its active ingredient. Novobac is a manufacturer that believes in sustainable development in agriculture more than quick-fix solutions with more side effects. Using species of Trichoderma usually protects the plants against soil-borne disease and can prevent damping off issues among your tomato plants. If you want to have good tomatoes, then always keep in mind the simple preventive measures to get good results. When a plant gets good nutrition, it always provides good fruits.


  1. Jayaraj, J., N. V. Radhakrishnan, and R. Velazhahan. “Development of formulations of Trichoderma harzianum strain M1 for control of damping-off of tomato caused by Pythium aphanidermatum.” Archives of Phytopathology and Plant Protection 39.1 (2006): 1-8.
  2. Amer, M. A., and I. I. Abou-El-Seoud. “Mycorrhizal fungi and Trichoderma harzianum as biocontrol agents for suppression of Rhizoctonia solani damping-off disease of tomato.” Commun. Agric. Appl. Biol. Sci 73.2 (2008): 217-32.

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