Why are my seedlings falling over and dying?
Posted by Dobies Staff on 15 December 2014 11:29 am

Seedlings can be attacked by a number of fungi that are known as damping off disease.The disease penetrates the neck of the plant just above soil level,causing them to topple over and wither. The spread is in roughly circular patches and unless checked rapidly destroys all seedlings in the vicinity.

The disease is most likely to occur if the seed has been sown too thickly, resulting in weak spindly growth and poor air movement around the seedlings. Another common cause is  the compost remaining too wet due to poor drainage or over watering. Seedlings are more prone to attack if the seeds have been sown early in the year.

To reduce the risk of attack, use a quality seed compost, clean containers and use tap water. Water that has been stored in a water butt may contain fungal spores. Any build up of condensation should be removed from the propagator lid

Prevent a humid atmosphere within the propagator or greenhouse by careful ventilation. Sow the seeds thinly to provide good air movement around the plants. 

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