One of the most disappointing things that can happen to anyone starting seeds indoors is to have those poor little seedling topple over. It is pretty sad since they look like they could be saved but deep down you just know that they're gonners.
While there could be a number of issues that could have cause its untimely death, the most common error is ventilation.
Most people think that they just need air but there is a tad bit more to it. They need fresh circulated air. You need actual air flow and not stagnant air which is common indoors. Flip on the ceiling fan or place a portable one in the room your starting the seeds in.
This can happen during transplanting and hardening off too. This is why I always suggest using fans and a sunny window (or growing lights if you prefer) to start hardening off your plants indoors first once the seeds have sprouted.
I'm personally not a big fan of starting seeds indoors simply because I'm too lazy and prefer direct sowing. But from experience if you're going to put an effort to starting seeds indoors, do it right the first time or you'll risk having mass casualties on your hands.
So here are some tips for good start:
~ Use a potting mix especially for seedlings!
~ Research the growing instructions for that exact verity of plant. Sometimes those packet labels aren't enough. Just search for "Growing __(type of plant)__ from seed" and you'll find some helpful tips from fellow gardeners on the internet.
~ Make sure your pots have drainage holes.
~ Don't forget to water! For best results water from the bottom, not on top. (If watering from the top then water gently.)
~ Keep an eye on those roots! Keeping seedling in a small pot too long can cause stunted growth.
~ Make sure you have good air flow. If you're using anything to cover the pot to create a greenhouse effect then make sure to uncover it once the seedlings have sprouted; they are for germination only.
~ Sunlight! Once the seeds have sprouted make sure they are getting enough sunlight. (Please note that some seeds need sunlight to germinate, always check growing instructions.)
~ Get the right temperature. Make sure that the room is the right temperature for germination and growing.
UPDATE: Part 2 on why seedlings fall over with more details as to why.
Blog of the day =)
Check out http://claudsy.wordpress.com/ I think the blog is well written and I just so sucked into her posts that I had to give you guys her link. She so far seems to be following the prompts from NaBloPoMo no relatives.