Pepper seedlings

My peppers germinated pretty well this year.   I just had two pots with seeds that did not germinate, but as I had used a couple of seeds per pot, I had spare seedlings to transplant into those pots.  Today was the day.

My first step was to give all the plants their first taste of Neptune’s Harvest fish emulsion.  Yum!  I watered the seedlings with a dilute mixture.  After they’d had a chance to uptake some of the liquid, I used a discarded kitchen knife to carefully lift out the seedling to be transplanted, trying to minimize root disturbance.

I then popped the replacement seedling into the cup, and gave it a bit more fertilizer to settle it into the potting mix.

Once that was done, it was time to thin the remaining seedlings to a single seedling per cup.  I used some fine snips to do this, selecting the most robust seedling to keep.  In some cases it was pretty obvious which seedling to select, in other cases, it was not.

I did keep an extra each of the Carmen and Baby Bell peppers in case the first transplant procedure goes awry.

I am liking the party cup method of seed starting, especially when I’m starting multiple varieties of the same plant.  It makes the labeling much easier, something I always find challenging.  It uses more potting mix, which adds cost, but the trade-off is less potting up of seedlings, which is time intensive for the gardener and harder on the seedlings.  I throw all my used potting mix into my compost or use it for larger container planting so it doesn’t go to waste.  It’s all about the trade-offs, and in this case, I can’t buy time, but I can buy potting mix.



13 Responses to “Pepper seedlings”

  1. GrafixMuse Says:

    Yikes! I almost can’t look at the last photo! I always find it difficult to thin seedlings.

    Your peppers look good. Much further along than mine.

  2. Lou Murray's Green World Says:

    Ali, you put me to shame. I BOUGHT pepper seedings and still haven’t put them into the ground. I’m slowly pulling compost from the bottom of my bins and getting the beds ready though. That’s something. Good job putting the used potting soil into the compost. I do that too. I figure tha eventually I’ll have some vermiculite in my raised beds thanks to potting soil in the compost. happy gardening!

    • Ali Says:

      Jeez Lou, give yourself a break! You’ve had a few things on your plate. I’m sure they will survive and thrive when you get to them!

  3. S Says:

    They look great, I’m having really poor germination this year (old seeds, probably combined with me not storing them properly…). I ended up buying some mixed pepper seed packs as a backup so will have an odd variety this season–but at least they sprouted :)

    • Ali Says:

      I had that problem last year, so bought fresh Carmen seeds from Johnny’s this spring. The rest I planted thickly and was lucky. I think peppers are more finicky than many plants.

  4. Little Sis Says:

    They look great! I’m afraid I am a chronic overwaterer – yours look like proper peppers! Good luck to you!

  5. Spencer Says:

    I need to separate my pepper seedlings too, thanks for the reminder ;). I am glad to hear labeling has challenged other people, I have struggled until this year when I (so far) stuck with my method. Nothing special, just what I chose to do. Know what you have where does help. I hope your solo cup party continues!

    • Ali Says:

      I really struggle when the transplanting happens. I never seem to get the labeling right then, so we often are surprised. Ah well, they all taste good at least!

  6. sandy Says:

    Those are healthy looking plants. I have used those blue cups before, and they work well since they fit on my sill.

    • Ali Says:

      Yes, the cups would be great for that. Unfortunately, my wretched evil kitties would be all over them, so my plants are banished to the laundry/mudroom.

  7. Robin Says:

    I like the looks of the cup plant starters. Sandy mentioning the window sill just made me feel brillient. I am going to try that. :)

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