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Old January 13, 2018   #16
pmcgrady
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I am guessing there a some calculation flaws with the calendar (at least with the peppers). It says to start my tomatoes 2 weeks before my peppers and my egg plant a week before the tomatoes. Eggplant and peppers are started at the same time ... and that is generally 2 weeks before the tomatoes.
The peas also seem to be a couple of weeks too early.
Really? And you have the correct last frost date in for 2018?
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Old January 13, 2018   #17
rhines81
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Really? And you have the correct last frost date in for 2018?
Ooops, must have been the beer I had watching the Eagle game. But it does say to start tomatoes on Mar 31st and Peppers April 7th (only 1 week later, not 2) ... but still incorrect by my book. Eggplants it says Mar 24th.

Peppers and eggplants should be started at least 2 weeks earlier than tomatoes. Last year I jumped the gun and started most of my peppers in early-mid Feb and my tomatoes in late Feb/early Mar. It was way too early for the tomatoes as I found out when they got too large too quick, but the peppers were somewhat manageable and gave me a good crop.

This year, I think I will probably not start my peppers and eggplants until Mar 3rd and tomatoes will not be started until the 31st. Another lesson learned from last year is that I will not grow for anyone else but myself ... it was just too much of a burden with all of the extra plants. They can learn to grow for themselves or buy from the garden center like they used to do.
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Old January 13, 2018   #18
ScottinAtlanta
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Superhots start slower than sweet peppers - I usually start mine in late Dec for a late March plant out. Watch your soil temp closely - keep it between 75 and 85 degrees. I use a laser pointer thermometer to test the temps in the germinating tray. You will be surprised how much the temps differ from the center of the tray to the edges. So start your hot peppers in the center, then the eggs, then the toms around the edge. Just a tip.
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Old January 14, 2018   #19
JerryHaskins
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Superhots start slower than sweet peppers - I usually start mine in late Dec for a late March plant out. Watch your soil temp closely - keep it between 75 and 85 degrees. I use a laser pointer thermometer to test the temps in the germinating tray. You will be surprised how much the temps differ from the center of the tray to the edges. So start your hot peppers in the center, then the eggs, then the toms around the edge. Just a tip.
Great ideas! Thanks.
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Old January 15, 2018   #20
DonDuck
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I seem to remember some quick start method to treat hard or slow to germinate pepper and eggplant seeds. I can't remember the details, but I think it is something like soaking the seeds for a few days in warm water on a heat mat. After pre-soaking the seeds a few days, plant them in seed starting mix with very little moisture. I have no idea how accurate my memory is.

I planted my tomato, pepper; and egg plant seeds on January 6 with the peppers and egg plant seeds on heat mats set to about 80 degrees F. My tomatoes will be set out after mid March if the long term weather forecast looks good. My peppers and egg plant will be set out between early and late April. The peppers and eggplant don't seem to grow well in the cooler soil which tomatoes like.
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Old January 16, 2018   #21
JerryHaskins
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There is a quick start method whereby you put the seeds on wet paper towel and place the towel in a zip-lock bag and leave it in a warm place (such as on top of the fridge) for a few days.

I found some detailed guidance that came with my pepper seeds from Pepper Joe's.

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How to Propagate Habanero Pepper Seed - Native to Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, this tender perennial is grown as an annual in the U.S. It requires a long growing season; most gardeners start habanero seeds indoors, 7 to 10 weeks (January 4 to January 25 in zone 8) before the last frost date (March 15 in zone 8).

Germination - Habanero peppers have a reputation for slow germination. Habanero seeds may begin sprouting in 11 days and can take up to 5 weeks to germinate.

Soil - When preparing the seed-starting trays, use a sterile seed-starting mix. Using warm water to moisten the seed-starting mix helps keep the wet mixture warm until the seeds are planted. Generally three habanero seeds are planted in each cell of the planting tray and covered with 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the warm, moist mix.

Temperature - Peppers are tropical plants and require heat to germinate. While most fruit and vegetable seeds will sprout at soil temperatures of 65 degrees Fahrenheit, habanero peppers need warm soil to germinate, preferably between 90 and 95 degrees. Placing the seed-starting trays on a seedling heat mat with a thermostat controller allows you to maintain a consistently warm temperature. If a heat mat is not available, the top of the refrigerator or dryer are often the warmest places in the home.

Humidity - Habanero peppers are native to the Yucatan, where the air is hot and humid. To raise the humidity inside the seed-starting tray, either use a plastic lid or cover the tray with plastic wrap. Opening the lid for a few minutes every day allows the air to circulate inside the tray. If the planting mix looks dry, mist with warm water before closing the lid. After the seedlings emerge from the planting mix, remove the lid and place, the seed-starting tray in a brightly lit location.

Transplanting - When the seedlings are 2 to 4 inches tall and have two to four sets of leaves, they are ready to be transplanted into 4-inch pots. The habanero seedlings should be watered when the soil is dry to the touch and fertilized weekly with a half-strength 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer. When all chance of frost has passed and the soil temperatures are consistently above 65 degrees, transplant the seedlings into the garden or large outdoor planters.
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Old January 17, 2018   #22
rhines81
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There is a quick start method whereby you put the seeds on wet paper towel and place the towel in a zip-lock bag and leave it in a warm place (such as on top of the fridge) for a few days.
I do it this way all the time with the same success rate as using starting mix. I use a coffee filter instead of a paper towel, the radicle can easily get imbedded into the grain of the towel and might break off when removed if not careful.
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Old January 17, 2018   #23
pmcgrady
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That's a good tip! I'm going to try it some superhots.
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Old January 19, 2018   #24
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I planted some habanero seeds on Jan. 6 in starting mix on top of heat mats set at 80 degrees. They sprouted on Jan. 19. That's only 13 days. Seems a little odd for them to sprout that fast. They were old seeds still in an unopened pack of seeds I received as a bonus from one of the tomato seed vendors after purchasing some tomato seeds a few years ago. I seem to get a lot of bonus packs from different companies. I usually keep the bonus packs separate from my other seeds because it is rarely anything I really wanted. Maybe this pack will be something I should have planted years ago.

I did put a clear plastic cover over the cells after planting the seeds. my intent was to retain some of the humidity, but the covers were not tight fitting allowing some air circulation.

Last edited by DonDuck; January 19, 2018 at 03:53 PM.
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Old January 19, 2018   #25
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I planted some habanero seeds on Jan. 6 in starting mix on top of heat mats set at 80 degrees. They sprouted on Jan. 19. That's only 13 days. Seems a little odd for them to sprout that fast.
Last year I sowed 7 habanero seeds and they germinated: (2) 9 days, (1) 11 days, (1) 12 days, (3) no sprouts. The seed was about 5 years old. I grew out 2 of the plants in my garden and gave 2 away.
I've never really noticed the difference in sweet or hot pepper germination time. Last year a few of my bell peppers took 16 days, most around 10.
Maybe the superhots are different. I'll be starting some Carolina reaper this year so I guess I'll find out.
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Old January 19, 2018   #26
JerryHaskins
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Thanks DonDuck and rhines81.

I Admire how well y'all keep records.

I tend to just plant things and watch how it goes.

I figure I'm doing good if I can keep track of what I planted and where.
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Old January 19, 2018   #27
DonDuck
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Jerry, you are hilarious. I thought many times about keeping a journal but it is a llttle late in my life to worry about it now. My memory is fleeting. Most people on this forum have forgotten more about growing stuff than I will ever know. I am just smart enough to ask a lot of questions. Enjoy your peppers!
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Old January 19, 2018   #28
rhines81
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Jerry, you are hilarious. I thought many times about keeping a journal but it is a llttle late in my life to worry about it now. My memory is fleeting. Most people on this forum have forgotten more about growing stuff than I will ever know. I am just smart enough to ask a lot of questions. Enjoy your peppers!
Funny stuff and VERY true !!!

I do keep a basic spread sheet every year, doesn't take much time but it does take a little dedication. My feeble brain has already forgotten what a pain in the A$$ it was to get a decent crop of TAM Jalapenos last year ... they were awful in germination and growing out (according to my spreadsheet, but I had already forgotten that). I actually had to sow 4:1 the amount of seed to get the number of plants I was looking to get. It tells a story - get fresh seed or look for another source or type ... the few minutes of logging that information will help in future years (especially if you're a drunk and forget things like I do). Hell yea, just being honest here.
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Old January 19, 2018   #29
rhines81
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I figure I'm doing good if I can keep track of what I planted and where.
Never rely on "free" internet garden planners ... they REALLY "F'd" me last year when in June (after I spent a ton of time on their site planning my garden) they decided to start charging a fee. I had my whole garden laid out to the inch on one of these "free" sites, then once I started to harvest I revisited the site and could not access my plot plan without paying ... it was a good thing I had some written records as to what was planted where or I would have been totally lost. I still had confusion because I relied too heavily on the site for some single plantings which I did not record elsewhere, so in the end they won ... I ate unidentified food (but I lived).
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Old January 20, 2018   #30
DonDuck
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I saved some varieties of pepper seeds a couple of years ago and placed them in clear, plastic cups to dry before storing them. Instead of labeling each sup with the fulll name of each pepper, I only used the first letter of each name to identify each pepper. I thought my memory was still good enough to remember each name with the single letter prompt. Now, two years later; the seeds are still drying in their cups on top of a tall tool chest in my shop and I am racking my brain trying to identify them. I know RS stands for Red Scorpion. BH stands for Bishops Hat. DY stands for Double Yield cucumber. SC stands for Sweet Cayenne. What the heck does TP stand for?

Last edited by DonDuck; January 20, 2018 at 12:32 PM.
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