It’s been a little over a month since I planted the Bhut Jolokia seeds, and the time has come for me to move some of the seedlings to pots.
I planted 29 seeds and I’ve ended up with 22 seedlings. Out of those 22, 16 are ready for larger pots. The rest are still fairly small, and have just recently set their first true leaves. I’ll leave these in the garden tray under the humidity dome until they are a bit larger.
For the ones that have their second set of true leaves, or more, I’ve gone ahead and put them in 4″ peat pots. The 4″ pots may seem quite large, but I’ve found I get larger seedlings and larger plants with the 4″ than I have with 3″ pots. They do occupy a lot more space, but I think it’s worth it in the end. If space is an issue, I’d recommend the 3″ as you can get quite a few more in a garden tray.
For soil, I’ve just used a basic seed starting mix from the local garden center. I fill each pot about 2/3′s of the way up and then set the plant in. I then fill the pot up to the level of the peat pellet’s top. I don’t bury any of the stem when I’m potting up my peppers, like I do when potting up Tomatoes. I also don’t compact the soil much while planting. It’ll settle a bit over the next day or two, and I’ll top up the pots as needed.
Once all the seedlings are potted up, I place them all in garden trays and add water. I always put the water in the tray and let it soak up rather than watering the individual pots. The seed starting mix is very loose and it’s get moved around a lot if you water directly into it. I will occasionally apply small amounts of water / fertilizer with a spray bottle to the top of the soil, but I primarily bottom water my seedlings at this stage.
I’ve also removed them from a the heat mat. At least for now they are still upstairs in the house, so the air temp is still in the 60′s all day long. I’m not sure if they’d still benefit from heat mat or not, but I don’t have enough mats to keep everything heated at this point. I’ll need the mats for starting more seeds soon!