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Seed Starting - Coffee Tip
If you're like us and enjoy growing a variety of interesting pepper plants, you may find yourself sometimes wondering, "Now what should I start all of these in?"

Those seed starting trays can be problematic, with different seeds sprouting at different rates, when do you take off the top? And if you want to avoid damp-off, having all of those seedlings in the same small enclosed space is just asking for trouble!

The peat pots some use for seed starting tend to get soggy and attract mold, and sometimes will even disintegrate on you just from watering - yuck!

Those small plastic seed starting pots work well, but you never seem to have enough of them around when you need them, and re-using old pots for seed starting is not a good idea, due to soil-born illnesses and damp-off.

The small plastic pots can also be a hassle to label (so you know what's what, as it's hard for even an expert to tell many pepper seedlings apart!). And when it comes time to transplant, it can sometimes be difficult to successfully remove the plant and soil from the pot completely intact, and without damaging the seedling's fragile roots.

So, what's a gardener to do?

We have discovered an amazing, perfect device for starting pepper seeds...

The 8oz styrofoam coffee cup!

They are dirt-cheap (one grocery store sells 100 of them for $1), so you can use a new one each time - no worry about re-using possibly contaminated dirty pots for your new seeds!

They are incredibly easy to label with a regular permanent marker, and the black marker against the white styrofoam is very easy to read, even from a distance!

And best of all, transplanting is a breeze! Instead of having to pull the plant and its fragile roots and soil from a pot, you can simply cut and peel the styrofoam away from the plant, leaving the soil and rootball completely intact and undamaged!

All you need to do is take a regular 8oz styrofoam coffee cup, use a medium-size (3/8"-1/4") philip's-head screwdriver or something similar to poke 3 holes in the bottom for drainage, and you've got yourself the perfect seed starting pot!

Extra Tip:
Looking for a larger temporary pot to transplant seedlings into until they are large enough to plant outside in the garden? And with the same ease of transplanting? Try some soup!

The Cup-o'-Noodle and similar products come in a styrofoam container that is the perfect size and shape for your baby pepper plants! Simply dump-out the contents, rise-out the cup, poke some holes in the bottom for drainage, and you've got the perfect pot for a baby pepper!

And when it comes time to transplant your pepper plant to a "real" pot or your garden, simply cut and peel the styrofoam away to extract the rootball completely intact, and avoiding any transplant damage to your plant's roots!

For more advice of starting pepper seeds, see our Pepper Seed Starting Tips article.
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