The Q&A Archives: Excessive Moisture Damage to Germinating Seeds

Question: I bought a Burpee seed starting kit and an electric heating mat to use to start the seeds. This means that I've got the plastic dome over the individual trays, all under the plastic dome of the heater. I've noticed a lot of moisture collecting under the domes of the trays. Is there such a thing as too much humidity when the seeds are germinating? Do I need the individual domes? (Thanks for the tip on too-moist soil and stagnant air for seedlings.) What about before they're at the seedling stage? Ruth Brown Philadelphia, PA

Answer: Yes, it can be a problem if the humidity is too high even before the seedlings emerge. Damping off fungus can attack seeds just as they start germinating and kill them before you even see anything! I'd take the domes off to let them dry out and get some air circulation, especially during the day when the sun may be on them. Keep checking the soil for being too moist and that will help you know when to have the domes on or off.

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