Answer: Seedlings can die for a number of reasons. The most common cause is called "damping off". The seedling emerges but falls over and withers. This is caused by a soil-borne fungus that attacks the stem at soil level. The cure is to use a soil-less media or sterilize the media you are using. Spread the soil in a shallow pan and bake at 275 degrees F. for at least 30 minutes. It will have a peculiar odor. Cool thoroughly. Other suggestions include spreading a thin layer of vermiculite on the surface of the soil. Seedlings like a temperature around 60-65 degrees F. and a bright location but not strong sunlight. Fluorescent lights provide sufficient light for young seedlings. 15 hours of light a day is ideal. Water thoroughly at each watering but allow the soil to dry between waterings (roots need oxygen).
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