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Tips for Germinating HOT & SWEET Pepper Seeds

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Peppers are easily second only to tomatoes as a home gardeners favorite. Try spot planting them around the garden for bursts of beautiful color too.

When to Plant
Pepper roots don't like to be disturbed, so plant them indoors in Seed Starting Soil Pods about two months before your last frost date, usually three or four seeds to a pod.

How to Plant
Peppers love full sun, but don't plant peppers where tomatoes or eggplants grew previously, because all three are members of the nightshade family and are subject to similar diseases.

Keep your soil moist and about 75°F. They need at least 5 hours of sunlight a day. Once the seedlings are 2 to 3 inches tall, thin them by leaving only the strongest plant.

When your pepper plant seedlings are 4 to 6 inches tall, harden them off for about a week. To avoid shocking the plants, make sure the soil temperature is at least 60°F before moving them outside; this usually occurs 2 to 3 weeks after the last frost.

How to Harvest 
Harvest peppers during mild and dry weather by cutting them from the stem. Make sure you wear gloves if you are sensitive to the heat.  Most hot peppers will be mature and ready to eat in 70 to 85 days, but some can take as long as 150 days, depending on when you transplanted them. They're mature when they are firm, good sized, and have thick walls. Handle carefully, because nicks and bruises can cause them to rot faster.

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