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Old May 26, 2020   #16
b54red
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I have never had much trouble starting most pepper seeds but sometimes had problems with damping off or mold with some seed starters. Since I have been using DE as a seed starting medium and watering from the bottom up the only issue I ever have is when I try to start them when the temperatures are far too low. Of course with DE as a medium as soon as they start popping up they will need a bit of dilute fertilizer and I just use a little Miracle Grow about 1/4 strength and increase the dose when they get larger. I transfer them into a potting soil mix in individual cups when they get 5 to 6 inches tall.

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Old May 28, 2020   #17
DonDuck
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I use heat mats on the pepper seeds. With the exception of the heat mats, my pepper seeds are germinated right beside my tomato plants with all other conditions being identical. My pepper seeds may get a little more water than my tomato seeds. The heat mats cause the pepper seed cells to lose moisture faster through evaporation.


I've found over the years that different pepper varieties germinate at different rates. Some germinate fast and some slow. I always heard that Carolina Reaper is hard to germinate. They germinated quickly for me this year and I got seven plants from seven seeds.


I don't pay much attention to how sterile my germination trays are. I use the same trays year after without washing them. I'm planning on washing them this summer as I pull some old identification stickers off them. I use potting soil but nothing special so long as it doesn't get hard when dry. I usually start the year by purchasing ten, one gallon jugs of distilled water to prevent minerals from building up in the soil as the moisture evaporates. I usually need to buy a couple more jugs of water before plant out. I start watering my seed by adding 1/8th teaspoon of miracle grow fertilizer to the first three gallons of water used. My plants get no more nutrition before plant out. I germinate and grow on a table I built under T8 fluorescent lights starting with the trays about six inches below the lights. My lights are on a timer with sixteen hours on and eight hours off each day. I lower the deck as the plants grow until the deck is about twenty four inches below the lights. When the plants have grown to almost touching the lights, it is usually warm enough outside to put them in the garden. I stopped up potting a few years ago. They do seem to grow faster when up potted, but I don.t need my plants to grow faster.

Last edited by DonDuck; May 28, 2020 at 11:54 PM.
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Old June 28, 2020   #18
Black Krim
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Looks like everyone has reasonably good sucess with germination and grow out.
The last tray seeded only germinated the sweet peppers, no hots. ( A friend gave me 4 hot peppers to transplant.)

Will buy fresh seed for next year, and try again.
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Old June 30, 2020   #19
nctomatoman
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Pepper and eggplant seeds have much shorter life spans than tomatoes (so it seems). I save a lot of pepper seed and when fresh, it can be close to 100%, but that drops off after a few years. I've purchased seed from some companies and have great results when fresh - other companies not at all (Reimer's peppers do not typically germinate well for me). Sweet Bells seem to germinate the best, the super hots not only take longer, but are very small seedlings until it gets warm.

I don't do anything different from all of my other seed starting - inexpensive heat mat, sterile soil less mix (Sun Grow Metro Mix 360 has been my go-to for decades) - seed onto dampened mix, barely cover, mist - then cover loosely with Saran Wrap. Where tomatoes will take 3-4 days, eggplants and peppers are in the 6-8 day range, often longer. Peppers can also tend to helmet head.
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Old February 11, 2021   #20
Gardeneer
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very interesting subject. My take is
-- unlike tomato, pepper seeds have very short
viable life.
▪︎▪︎ They need higher temperatures to germinate,
85 to 90f perhaps is optimum
--No matter what, they take much longer than tomatoes
to germinate ...hots, super hots take longer than sweet
and mild ones.
-- finally, patients is a virtue ...can you wait for 3 weeks ??
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Old February 12, 2021   #21
zipcode
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Pepper germination varies wildly for me, the fact that there are more species certainly makes a difference. Padron or Jalapeno germinate really quick, while rocoto are almost impossible.
Also I think the way seeds are saved makes a much bigger difference in seed quality for eggplant and pepper, I have had very different results from different sources. There's more parameters compared to tomato seed saving, like do you leave the pepper to dry with the seeds in, or how yellow exactly should the eggplant be.
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Old February 13, 2021   #22
Milan HP
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I've just realized that my simple germinating procedure - seeds on tissue in a propagator and adding the mix when they shoot - doesn't work well with pepper seeds. As they take much longer, the tissue tends to get mouldy and infect the seeds. Either I'll use the mix from the beginning or I'll transplant the seeds the moment they put out the root.

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Old February 13, 2021   #23
ScottinAtlanta
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What Carolyn K said. Heat is essential. My peppers like around 85 degrees. I use a laser thermometer to check the heat every day.
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Old March 1, 2021   #24
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I used to have a hot pepper plant called Guam Boonies, native to the island of Guam. It was a woody bush plant, unlike other pepper plants. It had to live indoors under a plant light and in front of a south facing window. Long story short, it died after a year and I had no time to start a new one.

So now those peppers are 10 years old. I remember when I planted that one, it took 4 to 6 weeks for germination. I figured the seeds would be dead by now, being kept in a baggie in the cabinet. But I wanted to grow them again, so I broke up one of the dried peppers and put it in a wet paper towel and baggie on a heat mat, in front of a south facing window. I included the dried pepper skins with them. After 5 days, nothing. Then I got some GBA (gibberellic acid) and put a small amount of it on the wet paper towel. Six days later, I have sprouted seeds. I do believe the GBA made the difference, based on the age of the seeds, and how long it took to germinate the original plant seed. So a total of 11 days was all it took to get several 10 yr old seeds germinated.

"Hormonal Regulations During Seed Dormancy:
(i) Gibberellins:
The germination of both dormant and non-dormant seeds has been shown to be stimulated by applied GAs. The stimulatory effect of GAs has been widely reported in seeds where dormancy or quiescence is imposed by different mechanisms like incomplete embryo development, mechanically resistant seed coats and presence of germination inhibitors."
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Old March 1, 2021   #25
Hillbillygardner
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What is GBA and where do you get it
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Old March 1, 2021   #26
Shapshftr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillbillygardner View Post
What is GBA and where do you get it
Gibberellic Acid is a natural plant hormone. It is used to break dormancy in seeds to induce germination. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibberellic_acid

I ordered it off Ebay. https://www.ebay.com/itm/GA3-5g-GIBB...5/183853853242
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Old March 3, 2021   #27
Shapshftr
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Sad to say, my 10 yr old pepper seeds that I got to germinate all fried on the heat mat. For some reason the heat mat thermostat let it shoot up to 104 degrees the day after they started putting out radicles. There appeared to be plenty of moisture in the bag due to heavy condensation on the top of the bag, but the paper towel and seeds were dried up when I went to plant them. So I'm starting over with another pepper's worth, 12 seeds. This time I am trying another method. I soaked them for 10 minutes in bleach and rinsed well. Then I put them in water with a little gibberellic acid, and put them under a red light for 12 hours. These are germination tips I have read about, but have no experience with other than the red light. Going to put them in a paper towel today. Fingers crossed!!!
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Old March 4, 2021   #28
Milan HP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shapshftr View Post
Sad to say, my 10 yr old pepper seeds that I got to germinate all fried on the heat mat. For some reason the heat mat thermostat let it shoot up to 104 degrees the day after they started putting out radicles. There appeared to be plenty of moisture in the bag due to heavy condensation on the top of the bag, but the paper towel and seeds were dried up when I went to plant them. So I'm starting over with another pepper's worth, 12 seeds. This time I am trying another method. I soaked them for 10 minutes in bleach and rinsed well. Then I put them in water with a little gibberellic acid, and put them under a red light for 12 hours. These are germination tips I have read about, but have no experience with other than the red light. Going to put them in a paper towel today. Fingers crossed!!!
I've heard of using bleach to trigger germination, especially when the seeds are old. Somehow I am afraid of it. What strength of the solution did you use? And for how long?

Thank you.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #29
greenthumbomaha
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decherdt View Post
Not a chile head but I've had better luck with the media, heat and watering pepper growing tips at www.ecoseeds.com


Reduced peat media, 80-85 temps, reduced watering than is intuitive. I also like to pretreat the media with peroxide
the day before sowing seed

Try a seed starting mix that has some heft to it. I used Miracle Grow which was my only choice to have shipped locally. It contains bark/compost and does not appear as peaty as Jiffy.

One of my potting mixes is suspect of being a fungus gnat source. Not fun hosting them inside the home. I've seen the larvae squirm around thru a lens and did a root wash when the plants were small. Something to consider monitoring if you notice gnats. They just went into the up-potted final containers and are doing well , especially since they were able to go outside for a few days when the weather was unusually warm. Still have fungus gnats that come and go though.
- Lisa
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