I took the advice given by people in this group a few weeks ago. I got some
sterilized, light (mossy rather than heavy soil) potting soil, a growing
tray and a dome. rather than using the tray inserts, I just put the potting
soil directly in the tray, and I sowed all my remaining pepper seeds.
Watered it lightly and placed the whole thing up on top of our downstairs
fridge for extra warmth.
Well whaddaya know, it works! I've got a few dozen pepper seedlings poking
their little heads up. Remains to be seen if I can get past the damping-off
demon, but I've got some no-damp.
From what I can tell, my mistakes in the past have been:
- Using too heavy of a growing medium
- Pusing seeds in too deep
- Not quite warm enough. They seem to require more than room temp.
- Impatience. Regardless of what the seed packets say, they take longer to
- Letting the growing medium dry out (and then drowning it to get it wet).
I'm going to grow these suckers, and I'm going to try to overwinter them in
our crawlspace. I'll let you know what happens.
Forget the "no-damp", whatever that is. Take the dome off the tray, and make
sure there's some air circulation. If it's a busy kitchen, you're probably
fine. If the soil dries out and you're worried about washing the seeds away
by using a watering can, go buy an ear syringe at a pharmacy and use that to
This is a really individual thing. SOme seeeds are very picky. Some
need to experience cold first, so you set them in a fridge first. Some
seeds need cooler temps, some warmer(peppers), some need light(don't
cover), some dark(cover completely). Some greater humidity. You have
to learn about the plant to improve your chances with some.
Soaking the seeds before planting them works wonders. 12-24 hours. 36
max. At 48 hours some seeds will just start sprouting in the water.
As they absorb water they usally submerge. Seeds need to absorb and
bloat to germinate(hence a need for continued moisture). Pre-soaking
quickens germination for most. I presoaked seeds Friday night and
planted them outside on Sunday. I already have over 15 seedlings
(sunflowers, watermelon, nasturtiums, marigolds, and others
germinating). I use a clean ice cube tray and place different seeds
in each cube. I use a plastic eye propper that came with one of those
soil test kits. Great for sucking up small seeds with water and
"watering" them into place. The rest I did with fingers.
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email)
Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound
3rd year gardener
Cheap experiment: If you still have some seeds left, order some similar (or
maybe identical) ones from Burpee, and do a germination test. Yours seemed
to take quite a long time to germinate. The ones I get from Burpee always
seem to beat the time estimates printed on the packets,and I don't think
it's because they're conservative with their wording.
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