Young plants are vulnerable to all kinds of damage and diseases, including fungus. But one TikTok gardener offers a simple way to protect seedlings: spraying them with chamomile tea.
Vego Garden Academy (@vego_garden) posted this hack last April. In the video, she scoops loose chamomile into a metal tea ball, then steeps it in water for several minutes.
“Let the tea cool and pour it into a spray bottle, then diffuse over your seedlings and you should be set to go!”
The TikToker says that the simple chamomile infusion will prevent “damping off fungus.”
@vego_garden Here another #gardeninghack #foryou ! Featuring one of our favorite #teas to drink and the best for delicate #seedlings! #vegogarden #chamomile ♬ original sound – Vego Garden Academy
How it’s helping
According to Planet Natural, damping off is a fungal disease that attacks vulnerable seedlings, especially in cool, wet conditions. It breaks down the root and the base of the stem and can cause the whole plant to collapse into a mushy mess. The condition can be caused by a wide range of soil fungi, most frequently pythium.
Thankfully, chamomile is a natural antifungal, meaning that it stops the growth of many species of fungus. Garden Therapy also recommends a chamomile spray for seedlings for this reason. Daily misting or watering with the herb will keep seedlings healthy so they can grow into thriving adult plants.
The more healthy plants you raise, the more food your garden can produce — which not only saves you money on produce, but also cuts down on the demand for food to be shipped to your local grocery store.
This is good for the environment since the trucks and trains that transport food release heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. By reducing shipping, you help stop the Earth’s temperature from rising more.
Chamomile is just one of the beneficial plants that gardeners can use to control pests. Others, like lavender and bee balm, repel mosquitoes. Just be careful what you plant in which part of the garden. Some plants, like sunflowers, can actually keep others from growing.
What everyone’s saying
Many users were excited to try the chamomile hack.
“This is a great tip! I love chamomile; such a great herb,” one Tiktoker says.
Several users ask Vego Garden Academy whether the trick is safe for all plants. “Should be safe for most plants!” she replies. “A quick Google for your specific crop never hurts.”
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