Seedlings keep dying after 3 weeks

by Mark
(Las Vegas)

Seedlings

Seedlings

I live in Las Vegas and can only grow Kale & Spinach with any success. Lately I have experienced my seedlings starting off like gangbusters and they get about an inch tall and then droop over & die.

The last time I added dirt around them to help support them & they still died. I start them inside to keep the bugs from getting them & they get plenty of daylight while being sheltered from the heat & scorched by the sun

Any recommendations?

Comments for Seedlings keep dying after 3 weeks

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Damping Off
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

Hi Mark, your explanation leaves no doubt in my mind as to what's going on. This is called 'damping off' and has been a problem for gardeners since time began. It's caused by some kind of pathogen attacking the young tender seedlings, caused by a fungus, usually.

There are a few solutions, but unfortunately, it makes more work for you.

First of all is the supply of seeds. These need to be fresh seed, especially if you're growing them outdoors. They are exposed to so many diseases that they should be given every chance to get a good start.

The second thing is the pots or containers you are growing them in. If you continually use the same pots without sterilizing them in between crops, you're just continuing the problem. Wash the pots in warm to hot water (depending on what they're made of - some plastic will melt or deform if it's too hot). Add a few drops of bleach to the water you rinse them in, let them dry before you go to the next step.

Third; soil. This absolutely has to be pasteurized for seedlings. The reason being, they need to be able to get past this damping off situation. Once they're old enough to transplant into the garden, they're tough enough to withstand this type of issue.

Another thing to try is sprinkling the soil with cinnamon. I've never tried this, but apparently it works to keep damping off to a bare minimum.

Best of luck with your new, revised system!

Thank You!!
by: Mark

OFF to The Races & I will let you know how it goes!!

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