First time growing peppers please help on germinating

wyzupMay 9, 2012

Hello there!, new member here first time poster and first time growing peppers. As of right now I just started germinating Habanero, Anaheim Chili, Long thin Cayenne, Eggplant, and Okra (although the last two aren't peppers) in a small jiffy cup, planting 3 seeds of each into each cup using the jiffy seed starter mix.

I first mixed the starter mix with some water to get to a moist consistency, then after putting the seeds in the cup I gave it some water until I saw a little overrun at the bottom.

Now I've heard that pepper seeds germinate best in 75-80 degree temperatures and with this being a low budget first time grow I didn't invest in one of those heat mats and makeshifted one of my own.

My current setup includes one of those little personal heaters set at the lowest setting and set under an aluminum baking tray which is about about a foot and a half above the heater. On top of the aluminum tray I have a plastic liner that I've set my jiffy cups on top of covered in saran plastic wrap to keep moisture in. I've left it sitting there for a while and when I touch the bottom of the aluminum tray it barely feels warm.

So my question is does this seem like a good way to germinate my seeds? if not I would love some suggestions.

Btw I live in Alaska and if the plants germinate within the end of the month I plan to transplant them outside

any suggestions on when I should plan to transplant them?

I would really really appreciate any feedback.

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keriann_lakegeneva(5B WI/IL border)

It seems like you could germinate them this way. Does your soil feel warm? you may need to get the cups and pan closer to the heat source. On top of a cable box works too for warmth.

You may want to try more warmth, they should have a better chance then

good luck!


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 8:02AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Most of us have a thermometer around somewhere, even one from an old advertising calender. With peppers the time required to germinate seeds at 75 degrees will be twice as long as at 85 degrees. Al

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:10AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Agree with Al that you need to come up with some way to measure your actual soil temp. You have such a short growing season that you need them to germinate quickly and grow quickly - something that peppers just aren't prone to do.

Next year start them way earlier - a good 12 weeks before your plant out date. That way you'll have plenty of time for their normal slow growth rate.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 3:30PM
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ifraser25(z11 Brazil)

Hot, hot, hot!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:51PM
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luvahydrangea(Albany, NY 5)

Seems sorta late to be starting peppers. I always start mine around Valentine's Day. They can take 2 weeks just to germinate. I would just buy plants at this point and save the seeds for next year.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 4:13PM
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You're in Alaska, so maybe your seed starting times are different than us. I set my peppers out 8-10 weeks after sowing seed because I am waiting for the soil to heat up enough to their liking (I don't use black plastic). So, in Mid-March or beginning of April, I sow my seeds in ProMix in the 72 cell flats on heat mat (No settings, just plugged in) under 2 shop lights (4 lights). I have found that if your seed is fresh or up to 2 years old, it is pretty reliable in sprouting in around a week or so. Any older, it can take a long time. I planted a flat of peppers 2009 age and only about 9 came up after ages. I took those old seeds and put them between moist coffee filters in closed plastic containers about 3-4 weeks ago and just yesterday, I have chitting. Much better percentage than the same seeds planted in the Promix which turned mossy with watering and waiting. Be patient, they will come--especially given light and bottom heat.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 5:05PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

One thing no-one addressed was planting them out. Once germinated and growing indoors they need to be hardened off before transplanting out. Google this and you will see some of the methods used but I just put mine out on the deck for a short time, and extend the time for about 2 weeks. By then the soil is warm enough and they are used to the outdoor environment. Try again next year starting in early March. I germinate between coffee filters on top of my cable box. I have grown under regular fluorescent tubes, but I get better results with grow lights from a hydroponic shop nearby.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 2:31AM
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Even with my heating mat my peppers took forever to germinate. Do you have a light source as well? I always put a flourescent shop light above them right above the surface. It provides a little extra heat to help them come out. But i agree, if you are in alaska you will want to start them SUPER early and you may want to do something to heat up the soil where you will plant them. I've read about both plastic mulch and doing a manure/compost heated bed. But I haven't tried either of these methods.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 8:25AM
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I presprouted my pepper seeds this year. That is, I placed them in a plastic sandwich bag with a piece of moistened paper towel. When I saw roots, I potted them up.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 1:18AM
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