My indoor seedlings are keeling over, why?
Answer: When our indoor seedlings begin to keel over, the cause is most likely a result of damping off, a very common disease caused by varieties of fungi that attack germinating seeds and tiny seedlings.
Damping off symptoms include: seeds not germinating; if germinated, wilting, drooping or falling-over of seedlings; roots of the diseased plants usually become black or brown.
Causes: This fungal disease is usually a result of unsterile containers and/or soil; however inadequate light, too much warmth, excessive watering, poor air quality, too much moisture and seeds planted too deep in the soil can also cause damping off.
Prevention/treatment: The best advice I can give you about damping off is to prevent it all together. Take a look at the above common causes and try to avoid these situations. The biggest and most important step of prevention is to make sure to use a sterile seed-starting mix and your containers are sanitized.
Next make sure that there’s good airflow among the seedlings. You could set up a small fan to circulate air. Make sure you allow your flats to drain excess water after you water them.
Discover how to collect, save and cultivate seeds from more than 300 plants in The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds.
Create a spectacular, colorful garden with Rainbow Garden of California Poppy Seeds.
Learn step-by-step instructions for successfully completing essential gardening tasks in the Garden How-To University: Honing Your Essential Skills.
Peruse through a plethora of great gardening advice and techniques for any season in the Horticulture Smart Gardening Guides: Q&A for Every Season.