Youíve been living off bread and water for a year.
Suddenly, a table of your favorite food is dropped into
your living space. Youíre probably going to "attack" the
food and eat all that you can, as fast as you can. All
your friends, seeing that pile of food that just
appeared, will join in and eat to their hearts desire.
Seed is a table of food for microorganisms
When we plant a seed in the ground, microorganisms
see it as a food source. Most microorganisms in the soil
wonít hurt the seed or plant, some microorganisms can
actually be beneficial to the plant, and some can hurt
the plant by causing diseases and economic damage to
plant stands and the plant in general. The
microorganisms that cause plant diseases are the "Tiny
Predators: Enemies of Germination".
Different Kinds of "Tiny Predators"
Disease causing microorganisms can be present on the
seed or in the soil. Here is a general view of three
types of disease causing organisms.
A virus basically is a piece of DNA with a protein
coat. They are the smallest and generally the most
difficult disease-causing microorganism to control.
Virusís can be seed borne, but usually are not the cause
of plant stand problems. They are more likely to cause
problems as the plant grows.
Bacterial disease causing microorganisms can be present
on the seed or in the soil.
There are more options for soil and seed borne
bacterial control, but control measures are limited.
Bleach or hot water seed treatments can kill seed
borne bacteria without harming the seed, and if the
chemical label permits, antibiotics such streptomycin
can be applied to the seed as a preventative measure.
Fungi are the most likely microorganism to cause seed
germination and plant stand problems. There are many
seed treatment chemicals in the market place that can
help to control plant diseases caused by fungi. Some
very specifically, control a certain type of fungi that
may cause a certain disease, and some help to control
several types fungi. Some only control the fungi if it
comes in contact with the chemical, and some are
systemic and travel inside the plant controlling the
disease in all parts of the seed and plant.
In solving plant stand problems caused by fungi or any
of these "Tiny Predatorís", it is always best to
identify specifically what is causing the plant stand
problem, and select the control options or chemicals
that best solves the problem.