Tips on How To Successfully Germinate Pepper Seeds
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Growing peppers in a home vegetable garden is as rewarding as it is fun. To successfully germinate your pepper seeds, start by making the process simple and follow a few simple guidelines to ensure a good germination rate from your heirloom pepper seeds.
First, if you live in a warm area, like in the south, you can start your seeds directly into your garden. This is called the "direct-sow" method. Don't live in a warm or hot climate but maybe you have a greenhouse? This will work beautifully for starting your seeds outdoors using natural light and the warmth from the sun.
If you don't have either of the two options above for starting your pepper seeds you'll want to follow these tips on starting your seeds indoors.
1. Use an organic seed starting mix available in any nursery or hardware store. If you want to make your own, mix equal parts of garden soil, vermiculite, and sand. OR...for an even better seed starting experience use our Seed Starting Soil Pods.
2. Place your seed tray in a sunny and warm windowsill or under grow lights or full spectrum utility lights. Your seedlings will need AT LEAST 6 hours of sunlight or leave artificial light on them for up to 18 hours a day. Remember that pepper plants originated in tropical, warm climates.
3. Soak your seeds overnight in warm water to help them germinate faster.
4. Plant your seeds no more than 1/4 of an inch deep. Timing is everything and they should be started approximately 6-10 weeks before your last average frost date.
5. Turn up the heat. Your house may not be hot enough for the seeds to germinate. Ideal temperature is 75-85 degrees. If this is the case, try using heat mats or start them on top of the refrigerator, or in the warmest spot in your home. Once they sprout you can move them to the sunny location or under lights to finish growing.