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Can you 'pot up' too soon

Posted by zippity_duda 6 (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 6, 10 at 16:28

So I was planning on potting up my seedlings when they had 2 sets of true leaves. However, I noticed that my pellets were holding ALOT of moisture, and some were starting to turn green on the top. They hadn't affected my plants yet, so I put them in 16OZ plastic cups (with holes for drainage of cours). Some of the plants didn't even really have any roots yet. I know this because I attempted to pull off as much of the sponge as possible in case it was contaiminated with anything. They all looked fine this morning, and so I am thinking of just potting up all of the plants left. Most of the plants left are peppers. Did I get lucky with the ones that I already did, or is OK to pot up this early? Everything that I have read says to do it when you have 2-3 sets of real leaves. Is this the latest that you want to do it, or the earliest? In your opinions is it OK to go ahead and do the rest if I am careful of the little buggers?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Can you 'pot up' too soon

It's fine. I know the standard recommendation is 2 sets of true leaves but that is just for convenience of handling. You can do it at the first true leaves stage too.

And those of us that germinate 500 seedlings in 1 flat often prick them out and pot them up at the cotyledon stage when they still only have one tiny tap root. I just about 200 of them today. Of course at that point they go into 1" cells rather than a 16 oz cup. ;)

It's a bit more risky so takes more care but once you get the knack down it is easy and quick to do.


RE: Can you 'pot up' too soon

digdirt...I have been transplanting at the cotyledon stage too, but I only started doing that last week so I don't know yet if I have been successful. Nothing has died yet. I put them in a 1020 flat with 36 cells. Do you think that's ok? anything else I should be careful about? I really love not potting up the plants until I know they've germinated.

RE: Can you 'pot up' too soon

The 36 cell are awfully big for cotyledons. Got anything smaller? 72 cell size is perfect at that size.

If not just take care with watering as a cell that size will hold a lot more moisture than they can handle right now. Use the "stick in your finger" test before watering. And transplant them deep - to just below the cotyledons.

If nothing smaller an alternative would be to use the 36 cells but only 1/2 full and then fill up as they grow.


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