Starting Peppers from Seed

Get some expert tips on how to grow your own peppers.

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Here are some tips if you're starting peppers from seed:

  • Soak the seeds in a mixture of 1 tablespoon of salt in a quart of water for two days before planting (though check the label for instructions, too).

  • Plant in fine soil, recommends Aaron Dew of The Flower Bin in Longmont, Colo. He suggests something even finer than seed-mix soil.

  • Use 2-1/2-inch peat pots that can simply be planted in the ground when the time is right, Dew suggests.

  • Warm soil is required for germination, so either use a heating cable, cover seed trays with plastic bags or set in a sunny window. Dew puts his in a sunny window and rotates the plants one-third to a half turn every day or two, so the leaves don't build up on one side.

  • A couple of weeks before planting outside, harden the seedlings by setting them outside on nice days and bringing them inside at night.

  • Plant in a sunny location that is sheltered from the wind when soil temperatures are at least 65 degrees. Soil that is sandy or tends to clay should be supplemented with organic material.

  • Fertilize with organic materials from the compost bin.

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