Lastly, another factor that can contribute to damping-off is excessive humidity in your growing environment, most-often paired with a lack of adequate air circulation.
Sometimes, the fungus can already be present in the growing medium or substrate that you use for germinating. This can happen when your substrate is not sterile.
HOW TO STOP DAMPING-OFF
Tip: Fungus gnats, which are tiny, dark, mosquito-like gnats, often appear when moisture and humidity levels are too high. Do not worry so much about getting rid of the gnats, but see them as a sign that something is off with the moisture content in your growing environment. The gnats will disappear on their own when moisture levels in the soil return to normal.
Each of these factors by itself or in combination increases the risk for damping-off. Once the conditions for the fungus to grow are optimal, the disease will normally attack your plants at the bottom of the stem, just above the soil line. The fungus will weaken the stem, cut-off the fluid circulation of your seedling, and ultimately kill it.
Excess moisture from overwatering or high humidity are normally the culprits of damping-off. Check your substrate often to observe if the moisture levels are adequate. Avoid too-frequent watering and make sure that your pots or plastic cups allow for fast and easy drainage. If you use a greenhouse or grow-tent with a cover for cuttings, ensure there is a vent on top that allows for proper ventilation. If there is no vent, remove the cover regularly. Always keep in mind that warm and humid means an increased risk of fungus and damping-off.
Likewise, when temperatures are too low, this can introduce a whole host of its own problems, including inhibiting seeds from sprouting. Colder temperatures also increase the risk of other plant diseases. What to do about it? If you want to grow outdoors, don’t set plants outside too early. Instead, germinate indoors and allow your seedlings to grow for a few weeks.
Unless you are using cuttings, growing weed starts with germinating your seeds. If your seeds don’t sprout, for whatever reason, your grow will be over before it even has a chance to start. But If you know the reasons behind germination problems, your chances of getting your grow off to a great start will greatly increase!
Seeds don’t need light to germinate. In fact, too much light can decrease their likelihood of popping. You only need to worry about providing light once your seedlings actually emerge from the soil. But make sure to start with low light intensity before gradually increasing over time.
12. TEMPERATURE TOO LOW
Do your due diligence and verify when local temperatures are high enough to set your plants outside. Usually, waiting a couple weeks for higher spring temperatures is worth it!
Just like food, seeds are living organisms that need to be stored properly, otherwise they’ll degrade, die, or won’t germinate. When storing your seeds, keep them away from light, extreme temperatures, and humidity. A dark cupboard with stable temperatures is fine. For long-term storage, place seeds in a sealed container and store them in the fridge.
To prevent spoiling your seeds, avoid unnecessary handling. Use clean gloves and some disinfected tweezers or something similar. This will greatly minimise the risk of your seeds being contaminated.
If you allow your seeds to germinate for too long, transplanting them safely will become difficult. The reason for this is that the longer the roots are exposed to air and light, the more likely they are to become damaged. Moreover, the longer the taproot, the higher the risk for accidental damage when transplanting.
When you plant a newly germinated seed into soil the hypocotyl (basically the stem) grows through soil and reaches for the light. As it pushes up through the soil the outer shell should detach, but sometimes it doesn’t and it gets stuck.
Every Cannabis grower has had to deal with a seed’s shell getting stuck to the newly sprouted plant. It’s not a major issue, but if left too long it can cause damage to your young seedling.
Why does the shell get stuck to the seedling?
If the shell is still too difficult to remove after applying some water, repeat the process again.
In this guide I will explain how to remove the seeds outer shell from the seedling without causing any damage to the plant.
How to remove the seed shell from a Cannabis seedling
The most common reason for the shell getting stuck is not potting your seeds deep enough. If the hypocotyl doesn’t have to push through much soil then there’s less movement and friction to detach the shell.