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Seedling root width and depth

Posted by JamesonF WI 4-a (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 14, 11 at 19:24

Everytime I have a question about gardening I google it and sure enough GW is #1 on the results. I always find the answer and a bunch of useful information as well. I have been pondering about one thing though.

I am trying to find out how much depth and width pepper seedlings would like. this is obviously determinate on the age of the plant. I will be concerned with my oldest this year. I germinated some habs back in January which is very early for my zone, but I just couldn't wait. I didn't realize that the plant would soon outgrow my largest peat pot (only a 4" tall by 3" wide). They currently have a few sets of true leaves(2-4).

I read that peppers have a strong root memory so I should stunt their growth by leaving them in the peat pots. So I'm looking at container options to transplant to. Someone had quoted research that mentioned width is not that great of a concern but depth is key. So I got creative, Could I use a 24 ounce can with the top cut off as a pot? I have plenty of Arizona iced tea cans that would do the trick. The dimensions of which are 3" wide by 7" tall. Assuming 3" wide is enough, would this work for a little while? Until May? or not at all?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Seedling root width and depth

Hi, JamesonF. I too am from Wisconsin and planted some peppers back in January. In fact I just posted a similar question regarding one of my Ghost Pepper plants. I was wondering how long I can keep it in its current pot before something more roomy would be needed since it can't go to it's permanent home outside for another 8 or 9 weeks. I know depth is a concern since some containers do not drain real well and the standing water in the bottom will cause all kinds of problems. If it is a good draining pot with good draining soil, I would go with something about 6 inches or so deep and close to that wide. Many times when transplanting starters, I find they are rooted all the way out to the sides and it is safe to assume they would enjoy more room that way too. When i have to put my seedlings into the next sized temp pot, I am thinking I will go with something 5-6" wide and about as deep. I dont want to have to do another temp transplant before it finally warms up enough up here. Hope this helps but I am by no means a master gardener and last year was the first year I even grew hot peppers (Cayennes and Habs). This year I have several varieties but my Bhut Jolokia's (Ghost Peppers) are my pride and joy right now. Check my photo in the post just after yours.
PS: The snow should be gone in a week if you go by what the weather reports are saying...yippeeeee.


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RE: Seedling root width and depth

Well isn't great to meet another Bhut enthusiast, especially a Wisconsinite one! I have a few questions for you that I'll post on your post.


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