germinating pepper seeds

Planting Pepper Seeds

Planting pepper seeds is pretty easy.  Sure, all you need to do is put the pepper seed in soil, cover it and water it, but there are a few more steps along the way that can up the germination rate of your pepper seeds.  Let’s take a quick look.

Seed-Starting Medium

I can’t remember the last time I planted a pepper seed outdoors, directly into the soil.  The germination rate is really poor that way, and seed-starting medium (“soil”) is a much better bet.

Go to your local garden center and locate some seed-starting soil.  You can use straight sphagnum moss (finely chopped) or sphagnum and vermiculite combined, if you can’t find a ready-made seed-starting medium.

Do not use garden soil directly; there are too many bacteria, spores and whatnot in it; fine for older transplants, not so great for seeds.

Containers for Planting Seeds

You’ll see in the two videos that I’ve used plain paper cups (“Dixie cups”) for my containers.  Cheap and easy to find, you can poke holes in the bottom for drainage, and when it comes time for planting, the cup tears away from the soil very easily.

Planting Pepper Seeds Videos

Here are two videos I made on planting pepper seeds.  The first one goes over supplies; the second is the actual technique.  And after the second video, I’ll list where you can get some of the supplies online, if you can’t find them locally.

Enjoy!

And here’s part 2 of how to plant pepper seeds.


Redskin Pepper in the Garden

I decided to try the Redskin pepper, even knowing my track record with bell peppers hasn’t exactly been stellar.  But I have to admit to being impressed with Redskin.  Finally, a bell pepper that actually produces for me in South Florida!

Planting Redskin Pepper

Redskin PepperI had to plant this versatile pepper from seed, as there were none in the local garden shops.   The plant started out a little spindly at first, but started growing nicely once in the garden.

Given my luck with bell peppers, I planted 4 Redskins, hoping at least 1 would produce some peppers.  Whoa!  They all are producing nice little bells.

Now Redskin doesn’t grow as large as traditional bell peppers, but it’s a great “personal size” snack.  My peppers are around 4″ long and maybe 2.5″ wide.  The taste is quite pleasing, even when green.  And speaking of color, this pepper is red when fully ripe.

Low-Growing Pepper

This pepper is a low growing pepper — wider than it is tall.  This makes it fantastic for growing in containers!  In fact, I have 3 of my Redskins in containers and only one in the ground (and yes, they do grow a bit taller in the ground).

For someone who traditionally cannot grow bell peppers, this one is thriving and gets an “A” in my book!  Looks to me like I will have plenty this year.  So if you’ve been having problems growing bell peppers, this is one variety I recommend you trying.

Germinating Pepper Seeds, Update

It’s been just over a week since I planted my latest batch of pepper seeds, both hot and sweet. So what’s sprouting already?

And the Winner Is…

Corno di Toro, a sweet pepper, was first out of the gate at 5 days. However, of the two seeds I’ve planted, only one has shown up yet. On the other hand, I planted two different strains (confused yet?). At any rate, the red Corno di Toro is the clear winner.

Jalapeno M was the second to sprout at 6 days, with both seeds coming on up. Jalapeno M was closely followed by Cambuci Hot, about a half day behind.

The next two sprouted at nearly the same time — Nardello Sweet and Mini Belle.

And finally this morning — Mustard Habanero.  Wow, a super-hot pepper in 7.5 days — amazing.

I’m Waiting On

Some “hotties” — Hot-Banero, Peter Pepper and Bhut Jolokia.  Also lagging are two more jalapenos — Jaloro and Tam Jalapeno.  Brazillian Rainbow is also nowhere to be seen yet.  I know — patience!  And considering 10 to 21 days is the usual for hot chile peppers, it’s great that some have already shown their faces (er, leaves).  Yes, the seed germination mat I talked about does work well, shaving days off the sprouting.

Thinking About a Transplant

Purira pepper (quite hot) is growing very strong and looks like it will need its final transplant before going outside to harden off for the garden in the next few days.  Seeing as I did its first transplant early last week, this one appears to be a winner!

Other pepper seeds that need their final transplants before hardening off include Redskin, Anconcagua and the last of the sweet banana peppers.  For Sweet Pickle I just did its first transplant on Saturday, and it appears that it will need its second transplant this weekend — wow, that was fast!

More Seeds?

I think I’ll take a short break, since I have at least 20 pepper plants at the moment, not counting the ones that are just now sprouting.  Come the middle of April, it will be time to start thinking about my late Summer wave.  I’m planning on the following peppers for then:  Datil, Tennessee Teardrop, Ring of Fire, Yellow Cayenne and Scotch Bonnet.  On the cooler side it will be more Sweet Banana, along with Anconcagua and probably Nardello Sweet.  Perhaps Mini Belle again, if small bell peppers work well for me.

Have You Planted Your Seeds Yet?

I know, it’s been a cold winter, and for many of you, putting pepper plants into the garden is many months away.  But for you folks in zones 8, 9 and 10 — it’s pepper “prime time”.  Get planting!

P.S. — it’s a few hours later and both my Corno di Toro, both Cambuci and both Mustard Habaneros are up. Even Peter Pepper is starting to break through! What a difference a few hours can make. 🙂