nicksicko
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Growing jalapenos from seed... a question.

I grew a tray of jalapenos from seed to transplant into my garden. At this point all the plants are up and doing well, but when I planted I put two seeds in each 1" by 1" starter pod. Now I have many cells with two plants growing in them. Should I cut out the small plant to help the bigger plant along? I suppose I can leave them the way they are but I don't want both plants to suffer because they run out of nutrients. Anyone know anything?

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Lots of us know stuff... :wink:

I'd cut the weaker one. The other's roots will act as channelks for the survivor's roots, and you will get one better plant rather than two in competition... that's my opinion, but you could end up with a good yield if they both did okay, too. But I like the single cell/single plant idea myself...
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Nice! Thanks! That was my idea as well, but I was looking for some reinforcement. I have 48 cells in the tray and prolly 90% of them came up with two strong seedlings. Same with my spinach... I want high yielding plants so anything that deters them from getting strong indoors I will do. Thanks!

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!potatoes!
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so, even if you clip out one from each doubled cell, you'll still have 48 plants? you have the potential to be very jalapeno-rich this year..

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gixxerific
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Since some didn't come up you could pull a few out and put in the empty spaces. I use a table fork for these things. Of course if you have that many plants growing that will make a ton of poppers already. :lol: You are best off separating the ones furthest away in the cell to lessen any damage to the roots.

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It's often difficult to eliminate one of the seedlings but you need to grin and do it. It's a lot of extra work to separate them, you will undoubtedly damage some in the process if you do, and with 48, quite frankly I don't think you need them. Let us know if you actually go through with snipping off the weaklings!
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hendi_alex
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I plant most everything in community pots to start. Then when they get a set of true leaves, each plant is moved to its own container. That way there are few wasted seeds or plants. The plants never seem to miss a beat, generally with a burst of growth shortly after being moved to their own pot.

Even when planting seeds in a re-used 36 cell tray, where each cell gets a couple of seeds, I generally separate the plants when both seeds germinate. Since the trays are filled with loose potting soil, the plants separate very easily, especially since there is generally a little space left between seeds.

Whenever two plants are tightly entwined, cutting the weaker plant is always the best rule of thumb, IMO.
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I agree with all of the above: cut the weaker one. All is not lost for it, however. You could re-plant the weaker seedlings into other containers and give them to your friends and neighbors who garden.
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Problem there is you will likely damage the root system of the good plant extricating the lesser one. Just cut them... studies show that old dead root systems create natural channels for new root systems, so there is an up side...

HG
Scott Reil

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hendi_alex
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I never plant in peat cubes so can't speak for that, but most aways separate the plants, and when ripping roots apart and there is a contest, opt to rip the roots from the weaker plant. But after both are repotted and a few weeks pass, there is generally very little or no distinction between the two plants. I've already separated dozens of plants this season, and there would be no way to tell which plant was which at this point. All are healthy, vigorous and well sized for the age of the plants and time of the spring.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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gixxerific
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hendi_alex wrote:I never plant in peat cubes so can't speak for that, but most aways separate the plants, and when ripping roots apart and there is a contest, opt to rip the roots from the weaker plant. But after both are repotted and a few weeks pass, there is generally very little or no distinction between the two plants. I've already separated dozens of plants this season, and there would be no way to tell which plant was which at this point. All are healthy, vigorous and well sized for the age of the plants and time of the spring.
Same here I even replanted some thinnings of lettuce from the garden in various places today.

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Did the same this morning and stepped up my scarlet runner beans from the plug trays (getting BIG fast). Did some lupines too (seed from mine from last ...)

HG
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hendi_alex
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I bought a tray of twelve lettuce plants early this spring. A couple of weeks after planting them, I noticed or at least noted as a problem, that most of the cells had contained between two and four plants. I dug and ripped the small side plants out as carefully as possible, some just barely having a bit of root still attached. Stripped all leaves except the newest starts at the tip. Now about two or three weeks later, as I harvested today, noted that all of those separated and saved plants are about as large, and are actually growing more vigorously, than the main plants that were barely disturbed during the separation. The larger plants have been giving a steady harvest however, and the salvaged plants just in the past couple of days have caught up with them.

On the other hand when various flowers and veggies have been seeded two or three seeds to the cell, when separated at the first true leaves stage, almost all do equally well, with no apparent side effects from the separation and repotting into individual containers.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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garden5
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The Helpful Gardener wrote:Problem there is you will likely damage the root system of the good plant extricating the lesser one. Just cut them... studies show that old dead root systems create natural channels for new root systems, so there is an up side...

HG
Actually, there may be a way around this. I don't know if it will work for peppers, but it will for tomatoes (I've done it :shock:).

Cut the seedling as close the to soil as you can, then just re-plant the stem and there's a chance the stem will develop a new root-system. The plants may be a few weeks behind since they have to develop new root systems, but they will still live.

I did this with tomatoes when they barely had their first true leaves showing, but they have almost caught-with the other seedlings that were left alone.
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