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brogz
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Vegetables dying

My family and I started our vegetables by seed like we always do but, this year a bunch of them are dying. The middle of the stems are just shriveling up and they fall over and die. It's happening with some of our flowers for the flower bed too.

Also the leaves are curling up on some of the cukes.

Can someone tell me whats causing this and how I can stop it?
Here is a picture of one of the cukes.
[url=https://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/593/img20120423205953.jpg/][img]https://img593.imageshack.us/img593/316/img20120423205953.jpg[/img][/url]

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Kisal
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In my experience, when the stems get really thin like that and the seedling falls over, it usually indicates "damping off", which is a fungal problem. It most commonly occurs when the soil is kept too moist. Other members will surely have additional information for you.
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rainbowgardener
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Yup, that is a classic picture of damping off, with the pinched in area of the stem. Unfortunately, once they get like that, they are goners. You can prevent damping off, but you can't really cure it.

Are these indoor seedlings? Are they in peat pots?

Damping off is a fungal condition that little seedlings are very vulnerable to, that mainly occurs in conditions of too much moisture and too little air circulation.

I mention the peat pots, because they tend to hold too much moisture, keep the soil too damp, too much of the time. But it can happen in regular pots too, if you are over-watering.

So be very careful with water. You can't let little seedlings dry out, but you want to water as little as you can consistent with that. I find bottom watering helps. A small fan on a few hours a day helps with air circulation if these are indoor seedlings.

I have also found that putting a little cinnamon and/or chamomile in the water you water with helps prevent damping off and fungus gnats, another frequent problem of indoor seedlings. The cinnamon and chamomile are natural anti-fungals.
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brogz
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These are in the Jiffy pellets that swell up when you water them. I started these indoors but, I've brought them out like 2 days but, the leaves started to curl and I thought that was because it was too cold. Is this why they are curling up

sciencegal
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I've been starting seeds indoors for about 3 or 4 years and no problems until I used the little pellets that swell up this year. They were the Burpee ones, which may or may not be like the Jiffy ones. I saw poor germination and when they do come up they often die off. I've had problems with most the flowers I started using the pellets. Maybe using the pellets are like using the peat pots.

I'm starting most of the vegetables this week but I'm going back to the seedling start mix that I've used for the past years with great luck.

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brogz
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I never thought of that one of my coworkers planted like 20 tomatoes and only 2 came up and he used the same pellets. I still have a ton of seeds so I'll find some seed starter soil and grow them in the coir baskets we were going to put them in when they get a little bigger

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rainbowgardener
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Plastic pots, even plastic drink cups, yoghurt containers, etc, are really good for starting seeds. You want something that lets the moisture drain out. The coconut coir is a more environmentally sound substitute for peat (renewable, not mined), but has some of the same disadvantages for baby seedlings.

Not that I'm generally a big advocate of plastic, but I reuse my plastic seedling pots over and over - some have lasted more than a decade.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration



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