Are your seedlings falling over and dying, and you aren’t sure why? Take a look at the stem, if you notice that it has turned black, you have damping off disease. This is a very common problem for seedlings, so don’t feel bad. Notice the picture- our Swiss Chard has it too!

Damping off is caused by a fungus, often brought on by overwatering. If you have poor germination rates- this might be the cause. Damping off can be spread through contaminated soil, or a pest like fungus gnats, who transmit fungi from plant to plant. If you are reusing old containers, be sure to sterilize them, otherwise you will have the same problem year after year.

Try to keep your plants watered, but not constantly moist, and be sure to have fresh soil and containers. Try topdressing your seedlings with vermiculite to help with excess moisture.

Happy planting!