Growing Peppers from Seed

It’s getting to be that time to start my pepper and tomato seedlings. I definitely don’t want to fall as far behind this year as I did last year with them.

In my experience, peppers can actually be one of the harder plants to get to germinate. I used to start everything but peppers by seed and just go buy pepper plants. But I wasn’t satisfied having to limit myself to just what I could find at the nursery. There are so many varieties of peppers out there that it seemed a shame to not grow them.

I always knew that pepper seeds need warmth to germinate, but even with using a seedling heat mat, it didn’t seem all that successful. After doing some research I found that the type of soil you used made all the difference. Pepper seedlings don’t like peat, so those peat pellets and soils that are made up primarily of peat moss inhibit pepper seed germination. I like to use orchid mix to start my pepper seedlings because it’s mostly made up of forest products.

Another important thing to know about peppers is that the hotter they are the longer it will take for them to germinate. While sweet peppers can germinate in as little as 6 days, a hot pepper, like Bhut Jolokia (Ghost pepper) can take up to 30 days.

I know it seems early, but every year I always say to myself “next year I need to start these in December.” Well, it’s December and it’s time for me to get on them. Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out which varieties to grow yet!

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