The Q&A Archives: Spider Webs On Seedlings

Question: I recently seeded Roma tomato seeds in those expandable seeds pots. They have not yet sprouted, but I noticed a faint spider-web-like covering over them. What is it and will it effect my plants? If so, can I remove it or do I need to start all over again? Thanks for your help!

Answer: In some cases a mold or fungal infection will cover the soil or seeds with a faint fuzz. This usually happens when the soil is too wet. Sometimes the seeds will rot, and sometimes they will still germinate, depending on how overly wet they have been. Ideally, the soil should be damp like a wrung out sponge, not sopping wet. You can dampen the medium, plant the seeds, then cover with plastic wrap to maintain the humidity level. (Keep in a bright location but out of direct sun to avoid overheating.) This keeps the seeds moist enough without overwatering. Once they germinate, remove the plastic and water as needed. If it has been longer than two weeks, you might try again. Keep in mind that tomatoes and peppers germinate best at a warm soil temperature of about 75 degrees.

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