Here are some shots of my tomato babies.
They look pretty good, right?
Ahhh..... but look a little closer...
Here is a classic case of Damping Off. It can happen to seeds or seedlings. In my case, it was the seedlings. From Wikipedia: "a seedling can be infected after it sprouts, before it leaves the ground, or even after it appears well-developed, the latter often resulting in the plant mysteriously thinning right where it touches the ground, until its stem at that point rots and it falls over"
Yep, that's what I have - right where it touches the ground. And it doesn't happen to just tomatoes. Nope, we've had losses with just about everything we've started.... fennel, lettuce, kale. Some of its causes are soil related, lack of air circulation or too much water. In my case, I think it was too much water. So I've cut back on watering these guys.
Losses so far: about 20 tomato plants, 35 lettuce, 10 fennel and 30 kale. Sounds like a lot (and it IS). But we had almost 200 tomato plants, 160 lettuce, 35 fennel and 90 kale. So we took some hits, but there is still a lot left. And I get to re-seed all but the tomatoes and get a second, and maybe third harvest! So all is not lost. Phew.