The Q&A Archives: Spiderweb-like Substance on Peat Pots

Question: I have been planting seeds in those Jiffy 7 mini-greenhouses and put the covers on just like the instructions on your seed packs. I keep them around 70 degrees with a bank of grow lights. When I finally get sprouts, some of the peat pots have a spider web-like substance on the tops. Is this called damping off? If so how do I control/prevent it? I would appreciate any information. Thank You. Todd Ebert Akron, OH

Answer: Fortunately, it sounds as though your seedlings are not suffering from "damping off" Damping off is a disease caused by a fungus which attacks the stem of the seedling causing the seedling to fall over and eventually die. I'm not quite sure what the spiderweb-like substance is on the tops of the peat pots. If the seedling looks healthy and grows normally, I would ignore the web-like substance. If they don't grow normally, then you may have spiders or spider mites (you'll need a magnifying glass to see these little fellas on the undersides of the leaves!) You might try removing the covers for a short time each day to increase air circulation.

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