I have been trying to start some veggies inside in a little hot house type thing. The seeds germinate, grow very rapidly and then all of a sudden, they sort of crimp over mid stem and die. I am using soil that came with the planting trays, keeping it damp but not over watering. I use a heat source to raise the temp. to around 95F under the little hot house. Can someone help me???? Tomatoes dry up and die, squash and cantaloupe do the crimp mid stem thing and die. Any advice from people who really know what’s what would be appreciated. I always here that it is to much water but can’t believe that is the problem here. Help!
I have found damping-off to be more of a problem in peat based planting mediums (usually what comes in seed starting kits). With too much peat I find it very difficult to regulate the water- it is always too wet or too dry and difficult to re-wet. I recommend trying a different, better draining medium and possibly sterilizing it first. I use the microwave oven method.
I’ve always had problems with damping off, so this year I drenched my seeds with this http://bit.ly/aVgij6 (RootShield H & G Trichoderma harzianum). Not one plant succumbed, and the added promise of increased Late Blight resistance can’t possibly be a bad thing, right?
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.