Q: My seedlings were doing great and then they all died! What happened?
A: The time between when a seed sprouts and when the plant has a healthy, self-supporting root system can be challenging for growers. The soil mix needs to be consistently damp so the little seedlings don't dehydrate, but too much moisture may drown the plants or create hospitable conditions for destructive fungi.
If your seedlings appear to be growing up healthy one day and have fallen over dead the next, the likely culprit is damping off, a fungal disease that attacks seedlings at the soil line.
You can reduce the risk of this happening to your plants by sprinkling a little cornmeal on top of the soil mix – it absorbs the excess moisture on the surface without drying out the soil underneath, so the roots can still take up the water they need.