The Q&A Archives: Damping off fungus

Question: I started your Steichen strain delphinium seeds in a plastic seed starting container along with Shasta Daisies with sterile seed starting mix. They were covered with a clear plastic lid. About a week later, I noticed a tuft of white mold-looking stuff on a few cells only on the delphinium side. I poked at it with a q-tip and the whole clump seemed to come from one spot under the soil at the depth of the seeds. The Shasta Daisy seeds were white stuff, only good little sprouts. My question is: Did I get a bad batch of seeds? I have separated them so as not to endanger the Shastas. Should I throw them out and start over? The next day, the moldy stuff seemed to have disappeared. Shanna Lister Gresham, OR

Answer: It sounds like your seedlings were infected with damping off fungus. You're right to through out those infected seedlings and start over. Next time reduce the watering and increase air circulation by letting some air into the cells. Of course use a soilless mix when starting seeds . It sounds like an isolated incident and your seed starting proceedures are sound.

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