According to most of what I’ve read, it is very easy to overwater plants.  In fact, the gardening book we’ve been turning to most often this year claims that overwatering is the number one cause of seedling failure.  Damping off and other diseases are abetted by an abundance of moisture.

So I’ve been very careful not to overdo it.  I’ve been using a spray bottle to water the seedlings (so as not to disturb them or the soil) and have been waiting until the surface has become dry (but not arid) before watering again.  For the seeds that have sprouted, I have removed the clear plastic lids to keep the humidity low.

But I suppose it is possible to err in the other direction.  This morning when I checked on the seedlings, they looked to be ever-so-slightly shriveled (not usually a good sign) and a few of the leaves have developed brown spots.  When I felt the soil surface, I could see that in some of the seed compartments, the soil had contracted a bit.  Apparently, I waited a day too long.

I gave everything a thorough watering (not the squashes and cucumbers which are still covered) and hope that the seedlings will not be permanently affected.  Going forward, I will have to be more vigilant and try to better anticipate the seedlings’ needs for water.

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