There are few things more deflating to an Edible Learning Lab instructor than to walk in one morning and find a plant or entire group of plants suffering from some unknown assailant. Is it disease? A fungal attack? Or did we mess up somehow?
At the Edible Learning Lab in Buffalo, WY we’ve had our fair share of challenges. We’ve seen common seedling problems like damping off, radical shifts in pH that turned leaves yellow in a matter of hours, overwatering for sure, and even the effects of fusarium wilt fungus. The first thing we do is begin the research phase to troubleshoot the issue.
Common seedling problems
Disease, fungal pressure, nutrient deficiencies, and overwatering are but a few of the myriad of variables that affect plant health and cause seeds, young seedlings, and even established plants to struggle through the stages of plant development.
The Pennsylvania State University (We Are! Penn State!) has an amazing ag program and their research on the subject of plant development is nothing short of awesome. I was raised just 20 miles from campus and still remember the countless fields of crops and agricultural buildings that cover campus and the surrounding community.
The following research presented by PSU is a tremendous resource for Labs of all sizes. When you have a problem with any variety in your Lab, start here to diagnose and address the issue.
I really like the way this key is organized. Simply look for your symptoms and the top few culprits are listed right there. Eliminate the ones you can and address the ones that remain. The PSU Extension website contains a wealth of information so dig as deep as you like. There is a ton of great information there.