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Why are my seedlings falling over (damping off)?

There are two main causes of this problem, but both of them have to do with a fungal organism infection known as pythium. Depending on the components of your growing medium and how it has been stored, your starter soil could possibly contain dormant fungal spores of pythium that once wetted, become activated and begin to bloom. This can infect young seedling roots and flow up the stem until it causes the stem to fall over. The second possible exposure to pythium is through contact with fungus gnats, since they feed on fungus, their mouths and feet can carry spores to everything they touch.

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