Damping Off

I usually start 6 flats of 40 seedling each in my basement each spring. Been doing this for at least 15 years with mostly great success. I started with peat pots and lights on timers and graduated to special hydration trays and heat mats. Things continued to improve with special seed starting mediums (soil-less) and I have wanted to try adding fans to strengthen the seedlings but have just not gotten to that before it’s already time to harden them off. Next year, right?

Well, I tried a new starting medium this year (NOT naming brands, but I have used their potting soil for years…), so I am shocked to have 3/4 of my marigolds damp off. You just have to know how easy marigolds are to grow from seed to find this odd. I usually have the seedlings setting blooms BEFORE I can even get them outside…

So, what is different? I am starting to lose okra seedlings (which I never started inside before) and most of my cutting flowers but NONE of my veggies. Odd?

I am tentatively scheduled for Master Gardener classes this fall, so I hope I can learn the answer to this and  many other questions that keep me a “young gardener”.

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