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soil Newbie Has A Life Changing Idea!!!!! But probably not really......

This is my third year planting peppers. I was wondering if there is a better way? I plant in a starter mix, then have to replant to a soil mix better suited for growing yada yada yada. I understand starter mix is good because little plants can pop out and send down roots. Then I need to traumatize it and try and get it into other soil?

Can I get a 3 inch pot full of planting soil, then hollow out a 1/2 x 1/2 hole at the top and fill it with starting soil? Start the seed in there, then the pepper plant begins to grow, and then the roots burrow into the good soil and avoid the entire replanting. The roots would be in good soil nutrients in no time.

Ta Da! Skipped a step!

Would this be a good idea? I can't be the first person to think of this, so does anyone do it? If not, Why?

Thanks in advance


Grass Snake

Extreme Member
You can skip the starter mix all together if you're going to start them in 3in pots. Starter mix is better suited for the small cell germination trays. Your idea of using a small amount in in the middle wouldn't hurt but it's not necessary if your using a good potting mix.
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Extreme Member
I've done something similar, in filling a container mostly with growing soil and then sandwiching seeds in a small layer of starter mix at the top. It worked just fine. It's not even necessary to use starter mix - as grass snake points out.

What matters is likely
1 - The quality of your growing media as to balancing moisture and air in the mix. Starting seeds in larger containers can make water management more challenging.
2 - That if you germinate in the container you'll grow in you have to keep nutrient content appropriate for the sprout at germination, which might not be the same as what you'd prefer later at a typical transplant time.

I don't give too much concern to the pathogen management aspect of starter soil unless I'm starting varieties know for having longer typical germination periods (> 2 weeks). Then I get pickier about my germination conditions including using only clean starter mix.
As above straight from cell to the ground or 5 gallon bucket. One thing though, be sure to harden them for full sunlight either method you use.
Happy growing!