Pepper Watch 2013 has officially begun!
As of this weekend there are 26 little pepper seeds nestled in under the lights in the basement. I'm setting low expectations for the wait this year, as I'm quite certain that unlike last year, this year I will not have the advantage of a freakishly hot day to set my covered seed tray out in the sun and speed up germination to a matter of days. No, the fresh snowpack we received in the last week has sealed the deal on that possibility. This year slow and steady seems more likely, but that doesn't mean I haven't been peeking at my seeds every day, a couple times a day, hoping to see some green.
Peppers are not as instantly gratifying as some of their garden counterparts, usually taking 2-3 weeks to germinate, even under perfect conditions. Last year a few of my pepper seeds took an almost unbearable 42 days to germinate. But before you start to feel disheartened about starting peppers from seed, here are a few things you can do to promote germination and potentially speed things up a bit:
- Surface-sow pepper seeds right on top of the soil instead of covering them up.
- Warm the soil to a minimum of 60 degrees using a heat mat (around 80 degrees is ideal for faster germination).
- Light helps pepper seeds germinate, so set starter pots directly underneath lights right from the beginning.
- Avoid sowing seeds in peat pellets or an all-peat starter mix, as peat can sometimes restrict pepper germination.
And if your peppers still take weeks to germinate, just remember that they are every bit worth the wait!
Labels: peppers, seed starting, seeds