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Pepper Seed Starting Tips

Pepper Seed Starting Tips - How to Plant and Sprout Hot Pepper Seeds!
Following are some pepper seed starting tips -

Plant pepper seeds in pre-moistened seed starting mix or light potting soil. You should plant the seeds flat, and then cover lightly with soil.

Pepper seeds should be started indoors, or in a greenhouse, and then transplanted once they are large enough and it is warm enough outside. For best results, you should not plant pepper seeds directly outside.

Water carefully as needed to keep the soil moist but not drenched. Do not water from below, as this can adversely affect germination. Covering your seed starting pots with Saran wrap or something similar to increase humidity will help the seeds to sprout.

Keep your planted seeds in a fairly warm spot while sprouting, as peppers won't even sprout if temperatures are much below 60F! If you have a seed starting mat or warm spot, 80-85 is an optimum temperature for peppers and will speed-up sprouting. Otherwise, try to keep the planted seeds at least at 70 or above.

Depending on the variety, you may see your first sprouts in about 7-14 days, but hot peppers can take as long as a month or more to come up. Pepper seeds are notorious for taking their time to germinate, or germinating at different times, and it is not unusual for some of them to surprise you and sprout several weeks after the first ones do!

How to Avoid Damp-Off:
Damp-off is the arch-enemy of any gardener trying to grow plants from seed. This disease is fairly easy to spot - seemingly perfectly healthy new seedlings suddenly start flopping-over dead at the soil line for no apparent reason!

Damp-off is caused by a fungus, and can be spread through contaminated soil or pots. It is typically more of a problem for smaller seedlings like mint than for larger pepper seedlings, but it can still cause peppers trouble. So how can you avoid it?

Following are some tips to prevent damp-off:

  • Do not re-use old potting soil for planting new seeds. Always plant your seeds in new seed starting or potting mix.

  • Do not re-use old pots for planting new seeds.

  • Peat pots can sometimes have a tendency to get soggy and can be "mold magnets", so avoid using them for seed starting.

  • One of the primary causes of damp-off is overcrowding. So avoid it - do not plant too many seeds too close together!

  • As it is a fungus, another primary cause is excessive humidity. While high humidity is good for seed sprouting, it can be dangerous once they have sprouted. So if you have your seeds covered by a tray cover, plastic wrap, etc., as soon as your pepper seeds start coming up, remove the cover!

And if you do notice any of your seedlings starting to look sick, immediately move them well away from your other pots to avoid spreading anything to your other seedlings!

Follow these tips, and damp-off may never bother you again!

Other Tips:
Following are some detailed articles with more pepper seed-starting tips!

Looking for a good way to plant your pepper seeds? Then take a look at -
Seed Starting - Coffee Tip.

Trying to grow some hard-to-sprout pepper seeds? Then you might want to check-out -
Seed Starting - Tea Tip.

Looking to grow some Rocotos or other rare C. pubescens peppers? Then you'll definitely want to read all about our -
Surface Sowing Technique.

If you still have any further questions about pepper seed starting, ask us!

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