Peppers take a long time to grow, but interestingly, they do not need light to germinate. What they really need is warmth. Last year I started them early but they didn’t sprout because I didn’t provide enough heat. This year my plan is to seed them into cells, cover the seed starting mix with tac straw, and put them in my very warm basement. The basement is warm because that’s where the furnace is. It must be 80 down there.
Another thing I’m trying that’s different is I’m using mostly seeds from peppers I bought at the store. I’ll try to post a pic of the various peppers I bought. I had gone shopping for pepper seeds and there’s not a lot out there, even in the fully stocked seed displays at places like my local plant store or the big orange box. That’s one reason I decided to plant seeds from peppers I could find at the store.
I will probably order some heirloom pepper seeds, since I didn’t find any in the retail stores.
Update: the peppers I started from seed packets have yet to sprout.
The peppers I started using the paper towel/plastic bag method have mostly all sprouted and are now being put into cells. I purchased two new heating mats, also. Literally, they started growing roots within days–I guess it is the ultimate in fresh seed.
I got some interesting seeds last year from another gardener, but circumstances prevented me from planting them. The person I got them from said he grew a lot of peppers and recommended Pepper Joe’s for info a seeds. It’s an interesting website [link].
I planted my peppers last Sunday and some are already sprouting. Jalapeno, habanero, and various bell peppers. I use peat moss seed pods in a germinating tray that has clear plastic top. 15 watt heat mat under the tray makes all the difference in the world. The cucumbers sprouted in like a day. Already had to remove them from the tray they got so tall!
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Thanks for the recommends on the seed sources, everyone.
Alcina, that link you posted about Pepper Joe’s showed me a way I had once done seeds for sprouting–in the plastic bag between the paper towels. I did plant a flat or two yesterday, but switched to this because I think it’s a lot smarter to make sure the seed is sprouted before going to all the effort of putting it in a cell first.