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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #31
SueCT
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I start my seeds in 3 ounce white plastic cups, 3-5 seeds per cup. Rarely, I will do 1 or 2 seeds per cup if it is a hard to find seed that I do not have many of.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Great-Val...Count/12167406

Less than 3.00/100 cups at Walmart. They are cheap, easy to find, easy to cover with a sheet of plastic wrap until germination, and easy to water when necessary. I separate individual seedlings while they are still small, before they go into the Solo Cups
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #32
Rajun Gardener
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That's what I'm talking about, starting them in a smaller cup with more seeds then separate and transplant in a 20 oz. I'm sure starting them in a 20oz cup the plant gets leggy without a transplant or two to bury it up to the true leaves.

The best, easiest way I found to start peppers is to use a dishpan with holes drilled on the bottom to start seeds and let them grow to about 5" then transplant into pots. It saves room on the heating pad and shelf space. They separate just as easy as tomatoes.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #33
agee12
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I like the idea of communal planting but I don't plant a lot of the same plant so if I do that I will have to be careful with my labeling.

I also like the idea of starting in smaller bath cups before moving up to the larger Solo cups.

The problem I encountered was that I lost most of the plants I planted in February/March to damping off. My understanding is that even established gardeners have problems with dampening off but my loss ratio was way too high and I think my rookie mistake was too much watering. I could have probably watered the plants less but been more careful when I did water.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #34
Rajun Gardener
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Let the plant go through the stress of not enough water, it makes them grow a better root structure. I'm not saying let them dry out to the point of almost dead but just watch the plant and they will tell you when they need water. I use a spray bottle on small seedlings and it just takes a few squirts to make them happy after you see them drooping a little but once the roots come out of the bottom of the cup then bottom watering will work.

Keep us posted and good luck this year.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #35
imp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agee12 View Post
Off topic but I am curious about seed starting in Solo cups which I did last season with mixed results but hope to get better at it. How big are the cups you use? Do you water from the top? If you water from the bottom, do you do anything special to get the water wick up high enough in the cup to reach the seedling's roots?

Thanks.
I start the seeds in a multicell flat, dense planting method, each cell labeled with a stick ( each cell can have 3 to 20 seedlings in there). Then , at the first true leaves, push them up out of the cell and separate into one per solo cup, planted almost up to the leaves. See the dense planting thread on here by NCtomatoman (Craig) for a good video and I do it like he does, but I use solo cups instead of pots.

The solo cups , 16 or 18 ounce??- have been stacked up about 9 deep and turned upside down, bottoms up, and I use a drill to make lots of holes in the bottoms; even with 6 or more holes drilled, doing them in stacks makes it fast going.

I label the cups as I am going o transplant, fill with MG soiless mix, and plant them. Water from the top at first, after planting, then from the bottoms. Nothing special to make them take up water, the MG absorbed just fine. Once in a while will mist a few, but mine were outside in Texas heat and a constant breeze; shaded from noon on, but still bright light. After about a week to 10 days, out in the yard, full sun, and then planted.

First picture, about 3 to 5 days from transplanting to solo cups 2nd, sorry about the thumb, into the garden with the cup cut for a label.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #36
Rajun Gardener
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Imp, you're a trooper for labeling all those plants. I thought about why am I labeling all these only to need more labels later and started labeling the flat then writing down what seed is in what cell then transfer than to Excel for later use.

I make a label for the flat and attach it to the front and then record what I planted where, like this.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #37
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Imp, you're a trooper for labeling all those plants. I thought about why am I labeling all these only to need more labels later and started labeling the flat then writing down what seed is in what cell then transfer than to Excel for later use.

I make a label for the flat and attach it to the front and then record what I planted where, like this.
I made labels for the flats in the evenings, listening to Rob and books or movies. The solo cups were easy to do, just count the seedlings in each cell of that variety, write on the cups for that many ( already drilled cups) and scoop some loose mix in them, and poke the babies in. Also, when planting for good, cut the cup label off - a quick wedge shape, make a hole and I had the plant label for there, too.

I'm not all that organized as you are, lol, and the sheets of print would get wet and blur, I'm a messy gardener!!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #38
SueCT
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I am reluctant to admit this for fear of jinxing myself, but I have never had a problem with damping off. I wonder if keeping them a litter dryer helps, which I can do with the top watering. I don't know why, but I always have really soggy soil at the bottom of the cup before it wicks up high enough to get to the tiny seedlings at the top. And I used to think preventing damping off was part of the reason people didn't want to water from the top.
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