transplanting pepper seedlings

Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

When transplanting pepper seedlings to their permanent home, should you bury the stem deep like tomato plants?

Boca Bob

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7b)

I bury mine all the way up to the first set of true leaves, just upright, do tomatoes on their side.

Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

Wow! Thanks for the quick response doccat5

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7b)

No problem, a little to early for me yet, but soon, very soon :) What varieties are you planting?

Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

Mini chocolate bell
mini yellow bell
mini red bell
gator belle hybrid
03127a carmen hybrid
and big bertha

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7b)

Ah, I'm going to do the big chocolate bells again. I have a couple of heirloom green one's I got from a seed exchange I'm going to try. As well as some sweet Italian reds and yellow banana peppers which my DH loves.

Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

sounds great, please send pictures when you get going

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7b)

Same here, please give me a progress report. I've been eyeing those little mini chocolates. The big ones are soooooooo good.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Cat, do you want seeds for Carmen, Gypsy, or Bounty? I'm finalizing my order for TGS, trying to decide how big my packets of those should be... You can pick them up at the swap. Sounds like I should put some 'Sweet Pickles' aside for you too?

Bob, I do the same thing, setting the seedings slightly deep, generally to their nurse leaves (cotyledons). I don't know that they grow more roots from the buried part of the stem like a tomato seedling does, but it doesn't seem to do them any harm, and it steadies them in their new pots.

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7b)

Please do Critter, there is not such thing as too many peppers or maters either.

Helena, MT

doc...my wife is a big fan of cholocate but she won't quite bite on the idea of chocolate peppers...should I tell her they taste like chocolate!

Got a question about sideways planting of tomatoes. Twice now I have heard that. I plan to add an intermediate step this year to my tomato planting process. From peat pots to 10-inch plastic pots, before going to the garden in plastic wrapped cages. The plants in the peat pots were getting root bound at six to eight weeks, and over two feet tall. The recommendation from another DGer was to transfer from the peat pot and lay the plant sideways in the plastic plant to cover as much of the stem as possible. Objective is to get the largest root ball as possible before transplanting to the garden. Seems logical to me. Question is do you strip the leaves from the stem part that goes underground or beneath the potting soil, and if so, how many sets of leaves do you adivse keeping above ground?

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Just to give me an idea, are you likely to want 10 seeds or 30 of those varieties?

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

mraider, I've been there, done that... but although I've put out bigger plants with that method, I've never had better production or healthier plants on down the line than when following Carolyn's method (see "sticky" on tomato forum for a link). She recommends starting seeds just 6 to 8 weeks ahead and transplanting seedlings only once before planting out. She plants them deeper again at planting out but suggests it might be better not to strip off leaves (why create openings for possible pathogens).

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7b)

But the big ones do not only taste like chocolate they smell like chocolate too. Honest injun, buddy. Nope leave the leaves on it and lay it on it's side. The tomatoes will do fine. :)

Helena, MT

I've made several copies of Dr. C's recommendations, and not stripping the leaves makes sense. I still prefer peat pots for peppers and tomatoes. The tomatoes however, are at the recommend height and size for transplanting in five to six weeks, so if I followed her guidelines I would have to wait a month to start my seeds. Just wish I had the same luck with hot peppers.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

So start them 6 weeks ahead rather than 8... I've planted out some pretty tall and root-bound tomato seedlings (in 2 inch pots), and they did great. I bury a lot of the plant, often leaving just 3 or 4 sets of leaves at the top... since I don't want to dig a 15 inch hole (or plant them that deeply into the ground -- it's still pretty cold down there), I dig a sloping trench and lay the tomato sideways at an angle, with the root ball at the lowest point.

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7b)

Yep and you can bury them up to the first 2 true leaves. They throw out a massive root system which makes for a healthier, sturdier plant long term.

Helena, MT

Thanks critter...that is pretty much the process I used last year except for laying the tomatoes on their side. Very discriptive procedure...I liked that.

doc...you have got to be kidding!

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Cat, if you're talking tomatoes, you can bury them deeper than that... you could pretty much bury them so only a tuft of leaves stuck out at the surface, if you wanted, although I'm usually not quite that drastic! But my big sturdy seedlings do suddenly look pathetic when I've planted them out... a week or so later, though, they look fabulous!

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

The tomatoes do indeed put out roots all along the buried part of the stem. Have you ever noticed those root nodes form on tomato stems, especially when they start flopping around and touching the ground? Sometimes they'll even layer themselves and put roots right down into the soil from a point quite far along the vine.

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7b)

It's an old Mother Earth trick, just leave the 2 true leaves on top of the tomato. The whole stem is contributing to the root system making a much stronger plant. That's why you should water deeply, the roots go down after the deep water, the longer it gets the stronger the plant. This is another one of those everything old is new again.

Helena, MT

OK Cath, I just want you to know I'm changing my pepper seed oreder. If this is a gotcha, you got me good. Just can't wait to try those chocolate habs.

Remeber the story about the king that wanted something sweet, hot and cold at the same time, and the young chef's apprentice that came up with ice cream covered in hot chocolate. Well how about chocolate habaneros stuffed inside sopapias for the strong at heart. Think I'll just go and have a Hershy bar.

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7b)

A friend of mine gave me seedlings when they were introduced several years ago and it was incredible. They cook up like green pepper, a bit sweeter tasting I think, but the smell blew me away.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Ah, when you said "up to the first 2 true leaves" Cat, I thought you meant only just past the cotyledons, not up to the last pair of leaves on the plant... we're on the same page, then. :-)

Henderson, KY(Zone 6a)

I've done that for years, it's how my dad taught me to plant tomatoes. I was however taught to go ahead and strip off the bottom couple of sets of leaves. I think I'll try a few this year without stripping. But I get a good extra 12 inches of roots when I bury them. They do well when thumper and bambi don't bother them.

PS Critter, I'm getting ready to try and start the Aleppo pepper seed that I got out of the crushed pepper I bought, wish me luck.

This message was edited Jan 29, 2008 8:18 PM

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Good luck! I'll be trying the same... hopefully one of us will be successful!

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

I plant tomatoes in the dirt vertically so watering isn't as critical. Soil here is loam with excellent drainage but there is always moisture a half foot or foot down. Seems laying them in a trench would be problematic if we had dry conditions and I didn't get around to watering. At least that is my theory. I can't say this is true because I've never compared. Figure the roots will grow from the buried part of the stem no matter what so why not set them upright.

Now if you have clay, perhaps encouraging root growth nearer the surface by laying the plant in a trench might be a good idea.

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

Boca Bob,

I have a some evidence that supports planting the pepper seedlings deep. My peppers, started in Jiffy pots, are growing roots above the surface. I probably went a little longer than I should have...the seedlings are from 5-6 inches tall. As I repot, I'm planting as deep as I can (up to the leaves). The focus on the photo isn't great, but you can see the roots starting to form.

David

Thumbnail by dreaves
Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

Thanks David- I'm going deep!!!

BocaBob

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7b)

Dave, after 25 years of working what use to be VA red clay, trust me, I can go just about anyplace on this property and go about 3' deep and it's black loam all the way. Lots and lots of compost and hard work. I plant them deep, because I rarely stake mine, I mulch under them to protect the fruits, but when you pull up the spent plant you can see the difference. It's amazing. I have a very shallow well, so I'm looking to conserve as much moisture as possible while encouraging my veggies to grow and multiply, I normally get great production. More than enough for eating, preserving, and passing out to neighbors. I also usually sell a few bushels to our local pizza joint. She makes her own sauce and loves the fact these are organic and I grow big guys, so a lot are weighing in at over a 1lb. The sauce is spectacular!! She also buys all the loose leaf lettuce I can grow for their hot hoagies. The difference in the taste is something and people start looking for that in the early spring and summer. I'm always amused since I normally go to the front door to let her know I've got the "stuff". I've got guys getting up from the table to come and help carry the produce in. LOL I almost always pack a little extra, cause a homegrown mater while your waiting is always a good thing.......

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Good luck w/ your plants, Boca Bob.

I didn't realize you could plant the peppers deep like you would tomatoes.

Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

Dean-W- Thanks for the encouragement.

BocaBob

Helena, MT

dreaves...nice looking pepper plants David...have you been trimming the lower leaves? I like peat pots for tomatoes and pepper plants because you can see the roots as they become bound. According to what I have read here in DG, disturbing the root ball when transplanting or potting up is a good thing for these two types of plants.

I have been planning on potting up some of my tomatoes from peat pots when they get root bound to 10 inch plastic pots to get the biggest root ball possible for transplanting early into my garden this year. However, critter's comment on the cold soil is really bugging me. Our permafrost goes down two feet, maybe more, and I've got to figure out some way to get around this subsurface cold soil problem. Bigger hole...more compost...little green manure...straw??? Don't know.

m

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7b)

Mraider, think going up, not going down. You could set up a raised bed area, cover with black plastic to warm the soil and set them in that. Use cloches or row covers to protect the seedlings from sudden frosts (in your case, I doubt it's sudden, not like the chillies snuck up and said boo). Quit worry about the root bound on the tomatoes, just plant em trench style and let them do their thing. They'll be fine.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Good suggestions! Big rocks, bricks, or gallon jugs of water can also be useful as "heat sinks" set around your plants... during the day, they warm up in the sun (paint them black for even more effect) and at night they release the heat to your plants.

Helena, MT

good thoughts...I have covered cages and stakes, but if I leave the cages in place I can try the above ground planting...sounds good. I also have about 50 one gallon plastic milk jugs and some red and black plastic spray paint from Ace which I can use as well. Thanks

m

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

LOL... your neighbors might not be pleased (you should've heard the comments the year I tried the red plastic mulch on the tomatoes, which, by the way, there's no reason to bother with)... but your peppers will love you!

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7b)

Oh, oh! New tomato checker board!!! GO GURL! I wanna see pictures!! LOL

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

Mraider,

I haven't trimmed them. The earlier photo was of the seedlings in the starter pellet. They've been planted for four weeks--actually growing for about three of those weeks. This shot is of some of the peppers after going into 3-inch jiffy pots with potting mix. I finished moving all the seedlings over on Saturday (removed the netting and planted the seedlings as deep as the pellet would go into the pot.

David

Thumbnail by dreaves
Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

David - GREAT looking peppers!!!!!!

BocaBob

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