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Seedling Damping Off - The cure!

Seedling Damping Off
 
Wondering why seedlings are struggling?
Why are seedlings leggy and weak?
Why are seedlings wilting and dying?

These are common questions gardeners have when starting seeds for their vegetable garden. Don't worry, there are solutions to all of these issues!



The best solution is to provide air circulation and movement!

Seedlings need exercise too, otherwise they get spindly and weak and can even get sick from an ailment called "Damping off." Often people think that their seedlings are not doing well as they don't have enough light, but that is not always the case. Often, the lighting is fine – we recommend using supplemental lights such as growlight LEDs or old fluorescent shop lights also work great. Lighting certainly helps seedlings grow, but without air circulation and movement, seedlings can struggle.

Seedling Damping Off

The Cure for Seedling Damping Off:
The cure is simply adding a fan to circulate air and cause movement of the seedlings. However, you can also pet or brush your seedlings with your hands which will also help them grow stockier, stronger stems and also not get as leggy. If your seedlings have already started to shrivel at the base, they are not likely to recover, but you can certainly prevent more of them from suffering by adding air circulation and movement to the equation.

Why? Because Air Circulation and Movement helps to:

• Prevent damping off
• Improves root development
• Strengthens & thickens stems
• Prevents legginess
• Discourages pests
• Increases photosynthesis
• Regulates temperature
• Prepares seedlings for transplanting


Pepper Seedling

Other Tips for Stronger Seedlings:

Don't overwater:
Overwatering seedlings is one of the most common causes of poor health. Roots need air, and drown when in constantly soggy growing medium, so make sure to use a well-draining potting mix and don't water when the soil is already damp. If you start seeing yellowing leaves and your seedlings are struggling, it very well could be overwatering! Make sure to provide air circulation and let them dry out slightly between watering. Overwatered seedlings may stop growing and get stunted and even perish, so it's vital that you don't overdo it with water! 

Fertilize:
Once the seedlings have grown their first couple sets of leaves, you can also lightly fertilize them with an organic fertilizer. Don't over-fertilize, seedlings don't need much, you're better off under-fertilizing that over-fertilizing.

Find tons more tips on growing peppers from seed »

Happy growing!
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