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rootbound peppers

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rootbound peppers

Post  elysia on 4/16/2012, 12:11 pm

I just discovered some roots emerging from the bottom of my pepper seedlings. I used standard plastic about 2.5" square starter containers. May I just confirm that this does indeed mean that they are becoming rootbound? Beyond that, as they have several true leaves I was going to feed them today before I discovered I may have to up-pot them - as I do not have all of my mel's mix I will just use the seed starter soil I have that seems to be working great. Do I still need to feed the plants that I transplant to a large pot or will the fresh seed starter do the trick?

Any and all input will be appreciated.


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Re: rootbound peppers

Post  camprn on 4/16/2012, 12:31 pm

Transplant them to 10-12 oz. cups. That should hold them until its time to put them in the garden. Make sure to put a hole in the bottom of the cu. And water from the bottom. You can do a weak solution of miracle-gro or it's equivalent from the bottom. Make sure they don't keep wet feet. Very Happy

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Re: rootbound peppers

Post  elysia on 4/16/2012, 2:36 pm

thank you Camprn! Smile

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Re: rootbound peppers

Post  quiltbea on 4/16/2012, 2:53 pm

Something I just learned this month is that seed-starting medium is basically sterile with few nutrients in it. Its meant as a light base in which the seeds can grow thru easily. The initial plant gets its energy from its seed.

Seed starter is not meant to feed a plant so if you use that for up-potting, be sure to add a little sustenance, like a little compost.

Its better to up-pot new seedlings into potting soil which is made with nutrients enough to keep them fed til they are transplanted outdoors.

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Re: rootbound peppers

Post  elysia on 4/17/2012, 2:23 pm

I apologize - the starter I am using is actually seed starter / fertilized soil that says it has a varitey of uses... details, details... Embarassed again, apologies for that little omitted detail!

So I repotted the plant in question into a 10oz plastic cup (holes in the bottom) with the seed starter/soil...we'll see how that goes...I was really surprised at the root system that had developed already...perhaps I should have used just potting soil (appreciate the advice quiltbea Very Happy ) but I didn't have any and I was feeling a little frustrated and burnt regarding my seedlings Evil or Very Mad this morning (don't tell them that).

Speaking of this morning, I don't know if it was my mood but I realized that I probably should have "weeded" my seedlings down to one plant per container a LONG time ago! Is this right? Most of my plants are 3-4" tall and have 3 plants each growing together...if I remember from ANSFG correctly, I should choose plants that are a little stouter...is this accurate? Any other hints regarding choosing which get the axe and which are "spared"?

I feel stupid and panicked. I realize that my frustration this morning lies not with my seedlings but with this constant feeling that I have no idea what I am doing and there are no definitive answers for so many questions. Gosh, I think about how lost I would be if not for the great folks on this website!

If only I had a soothing garden to work in to help with my stress...soon...(when!?!)...soon! For now, just breathe...and don't panic (hitch-hiker's guide says)...


Last edited by elysia on 4/17/2012, 2:36 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: rootbound peppers

Post  quiltbea on 4/17/2012, 2:32 pm

Personally I would thin as soon as I can determine one that looks stronger. At the very least, when the second set of leaves arrives, (the first 'true' leaves) you should be sure to thin to the strongest plant.

If you haven't done so yet, take your cuticle/nail scissors and very carefully cut the spares off at soil level. Don't pull them out or you'll disturb the roots and maybe pull out all the plants instead. I would save the one that looks strongest which is usually a little thicker and may not be as tall.

Just keep checking this forum and asking questions and you'll get used to it and soon be comfy with starting your seeds. Don't fret about it.

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Re: rootbound peppers

Post  elysia on 4/17/2012, 2:53 pm

Thanks a bunch, Quiltbea.

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Re: rootbound peppers

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