Problem with transplanting from seed starter kits

Crestview, FL

This is only my 3rd year gardening, and I use containers for my plants once they are big enough. At first I had a problem with dampening off disease, so switched from peat pellets to coconut coir, which solved that problem for me. I ran out of coconut coir seed starter bricks and decided to use some medium I used last year in my earthboxes, a mixture of coconut coir and vermeculite, problem is, it was dry and dumby me did not wet it first. I transplanted my bell peppers from the seed starter kit into styro foam cups (the small ones 8 oz ones) and on the bottom of the cups I had put a lot of little holes using a nail. I thought that by letting the cups sit in the seed starting solution mixed with water, it would soak it up, it hasn't. I only did 12 plants this way and since then found a bag of MG seed starting mix and Gardener''s Supply Germination mix. If I follow the directions on the bags of the MG and Gardeners will the peppers I transplant from the seed starter kit to the styrofoam cups be okay or did I mess up using styrofoam cups? Or are my holes wrong?

Galesburg, IL

Joy, I've only used coir once, and when I did, it very readily soaked up moisture. Are your holes maybe too small? I usually put holes close to 1/4 inch in diameter in the bottom of any containers I use. As long as your soil media doesn't fall out of the holes, fewer larger holes are better than many small holes (with small holes, surface tension comes into play and they may not allow adequate drainage if they are too small). Also, I always poke the holes from the top down rather punching them from the bottom. Sometimes when you punch them from the bottom the ridges produced are high enough to prevent good drainage. Nothing is wrong with Styrofoam and moving them to the other planting media shouldn't be a problem. Peppers are really tough.

By the way, I have very little experience with coir, but my impression thus far is I will only use it for germination. When I need to step up anything, they will go into a peat based mix.

Crestview, FL

Aha, you may have hit the nail on the head there, I used a small nail to put lots of little holes all on the bottom of the cup; and I did turn the cup over when I punched the holes, thanks for the advice, I will do the other cups differently and see if I can enlarge the holes any on the ones I have plants in, very carefully of course right? LOL

Canyon Lake, TX(Zone 8b)

Put 4 or 5 holes on the sides as close to the bottom as you can. Don't be shy use a phillips screw driver or something as least 1/4" in size. You do not want your cups holding water.

And yes your growing medium should always be moist before transplanting into it.

Crestview, FL

Thanks, I did that only I used scissors. LOL Just the pointed end of a pair.

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