Growing peppers from seeds

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 germinate. - 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.
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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 water.
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I also use a turkey baster to water small seedlings to keep from overwatering and knocking down seedlings with a strong water stream.
Marv-Montezuma, IA http://community.webshots.com/user/vmwood
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Good idea, and easier to find than an ear syringe. It took me a month of visits to various chain drug stores to locate one. Mostly, when I asked for the item, the help said "Whuh?"
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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 http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier/album?.dir=/2055&.src=ph
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This sounds like great advice! I have some seeds still in the packet, so I think I'll try this out just as an experiment.
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What brand of seeds are they?
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Pacific Northwest Seed and OSC Seeds
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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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