Overwhelmed after potting up

peps22April 6, 2014

This is my first time ever potting up from the seedling tray. I always kept them in the trays until May and put them outside. This time, one month in, I have potted up to solo cups.

I instantly feel overwhelmed. Obviously, the solo cups take up a lot more room. The grow light I had was not adequate for the trays - now the grow light will barely hit 50% of these cups. I have a huge south facing window which will help.

How do I water these? I cut a big hole in the bottom for bottom watering, but I don't have anything to catch the water. I'm concerned that top watering will not go deep enough, and if I water it too much from the top to get it deep, the plant will turn yellow. If I need to bottom water, I will need to put the cups in something, but I don't know if I have enough room. I read a thread on here about nesting cups, but people say that isn't ideal, either.

Just. Really. Overwhelmed.

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Stop...take a deep breathe , and relax. You're obviously doing fine so far. Potting up is a good thing. Personally, I poke 3 or 4 holes in the bottom of solo cups. I water from the top until water runs out the bottom. Then I'm set for at least a week. Lather, rinse, repeat. It's easy as that. Good Luck!


    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 9:22PM
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A large rimmed cookie sheet would work, or a large old broiler pan.

Years ago I bought a tough plastic oil drip pan (in a Walmart automotive dept) which I have used for numerous gardening chores, includin soil mixing, ever since. A smaller child's plastic "swimming pool" or sandbox can also be useful.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 9:36PM
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Welcome to the party....lol. All you need is a couple of water tight plastic planter trays. Or anything water proof to hold half in one tray and half in the other. Rotate them under the light. If you have a window use that for the batch not under direct artificial light that day.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 9:57PM
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Yah, just visit walmart and look around. Dont even bother with the garden department. Visit housewares, automotive and hardware, paint, etc.... You will find all kinds of "drip pans" that will work and be very inexpensive. Like suggested above, cookie sheets, broiler pans, shoe drip trays, etc...
Potting up is always a little overwhelming. We start out with a 72 cell starter kit in a 2 square foot tray and upon potting up, the coverage area instantly grows to a 12-16 square foot area.
Then you have to consider light coverage as well.
Good luck,

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 10:02PM
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What Tim said. I only bottom water for the 1st 2-3 times to cut down on the risk of damping off. After that, I top water to make sure there's no salt or fert buildup. As far as bottom watering, just take a large tupperware(or like mentioned, a roasting pan), put about an inch of water in and 10-20 mins later, pull and drain them. I do mine a few at a time. Takes about an hour and then I'm done for over a week.

Looking just fine. Namaste!


    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 10:03PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I have vacated my system from tomato seedlings. Now it looks better with just peppers. After I plant my tomatoes, I will transfer the peppers to the hoop shelter.

Finally, plant out season here.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 2:32AM
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Scroll down to my setup and you'll see Im going through the same thing. Done with 72s , 2 32s ready to transplant and 5 more 32s I started later in 2 weeks. It all gets done just takes time. I put my holes in the side of the cups at the bottom , I think I get better drainage that way. Bottom watering is less work but I only use it every other watering. Your plants will tell you when they need water , so will the weight of the cups. The work never ends

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 7:34AM
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You can easily fit 100 cups under 2 sets of shop lights from HD $30 for 2 fixtures + bulbs. Just put it away for next year when done. Im on year 4 with a few of my bulbs.Starting to fade but still work fine. Im up to 8 sets of lights, 16 bulbs. Still running out of room.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 8:06AM
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Bottom watering is best, the Espoma is a bit dense so I worry with top watering that you'll soak them too much and rot the roots. Just leave the cups in a tray or sink of water until you see the top surface start to darken, then you know enough water has wicked up to wet the roots. Don't be afraid to let the surface dry out between waterings - the plants will start to wilt a little to let you know they need watering, they'll perk right back up.

Yeah, it gets overwhelming - wait until you have to start hardening off!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 8:13AM
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CanadianLori(6a Oakville)

Go to the dollar store and get a cheapie boot tray - they hold lots of pots!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 12:05PM
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flipback23(9 SF Bay)

plus 1 on dollar store, I just bought a bunch of the big aluminum trays. works like a champ just fill with water let them soak it up and dump the excess.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 12:47PM
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I'm going to buy two seedling trays and house the cups on them. I cut one hole smaller than a dime on the bottom of each cup. I hope that's adequate to bottom water.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 9:24PM
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These are all good recommendations but I donâÂÂt think anyone has stated the very obvious and easiest solution. Use another solo cup. I found this to be easiest way, so that you are not limited to the shape of the tray, and donâÂÂt have to have a space for a big tray with all your plants in one spot. Also, it doesnâÂÂt take an hour to water them, waiting on them, draining them, drying the cups, moving them in and out of their spots ects. Just poke holes in the bottom of one cup and put it in another cup that doesnâÂÂt have holes. When I water, I just pick up the first cup put about 2 inches ( depending on how dry it is) of water in the bottom cup and then put the top cup back in and back in its spot it goes. It will float at first but will sink shortly. Then you are good for another week or so. It works like a charm and have had no issues.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 1:28AM
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I only have one hole cut in the bottom middle of the cup.. At this point its not practical to cut more holes, so I'm wondering if the bottom water method will work with one hole.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 7:21AM
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CanadianLori(6a Oakville)

If water can run out that hole then...

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 7:34AM
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I think multiple smaller holes probably works best so air can flow too (it's like poping the tab on a gas can). However, this year many of my plants have one dimed sized hole in the bottom at it seems to work fine. At a certain point they no longer need to be bottom watered but I continue to do it because it is just more convenant for my situation.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 7:29PM
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I got a rectangular tub around 6" deep for mixing mortar for brickwork. I am currently rotating peppers and tomatoes. 2 days on and 2 days off. The tray helps in this and also for the hardening off process. Dont sweat it,and good luck.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 8:21PM
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One week into it, peppers are acclimated and taking off. Not to my surprise, the habs are s good deal behind in growth from the cayenne and jalmudos. However, they're also looking a little yellow. I have been very conservative as to watering, so I don't think overwatering is an issue. May it be time for some ferts? The seedlings are about a month old.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 8:03AM
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I put 3 triangular holes using a box cutter on the side of my cup at the bottom. I personally feel I dont want a seal to whatever I place the cup on. You could always put more holes in a cup with bad drainage at any time without effecting your plant. Most Commercial pots dont have there holes in the bottom. When you bottom water it just has to be a little deeper. Roots need Oxygen on there roots probably more then the need fertilizer.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 11:34AM
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