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Old February 18, 2018   #4
rhines81
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Zone 5A, Poconos
Posts: 817
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Cotyledons are basically useless after the 1st set of true leaves are out. I leave them on until I pot the plants up when 3 sets of true leaves are out. I view them mainly as suckers, but yes they will eventually die off if left alone.
And yes pinch the buds until plants are in their final home for the season. I don't pinch them, even if it is their 1st flush, after they transplanted out. Some people pinch the 1st flush no matter what, others don't do it at all - so I ride the middle-ground in that group.
I have 4 pepper plants now that I will be growing year round indoors. They will be in their final container at 60 days (on 3/11/2018). They were already potted up at 25 days, expecting buds this week or next (I normally see 1st buds around week 6 or 7). Either way, they will get topped next weekend or the following and I will try to propagate the cuttings for my outdoor garden.
The rest of my peppers are just getting sowed in stages 2/10-3/10/2018. I usually can't plant out until end of May or 1st week of June here.
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