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**Link below to the newest edition of PEPPERMEISTER ROULETTE!!!

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I’m sure a lot of you chile heads have started your pepper seeds weeks ago under hot grow lamps or tropical skies. 

For the rest of us, here are some tips to help you get a successful start to the 2013 season.

Pepper seeds can take a few weeks to sprout!

Because chile seeds take their sweet time to germinate, a lot of factors and considerations arise that you don’t typically experience with plants like beans or even tomatoes.  Pepper seeds will be sitting in those pots/cells for many weeks which is why proper seed starting know-how is essential.

  • Keep it moving.  A fan set on low in the room where you start your seeds is a great idea to avoid stale air and mold that can negatively affect seeds and seedlings.
  • Avoid peat pots.  They seem really easy, just start the seed in there and transplant it directly into the soil when ready.   In my experience, these soggy pots promote mold growth. Go with recycled plastic and reuse them year after year.  If you do prefer peat pots, buy the larger size and be sure to crush off the bottom of the pot before transplanting, not doing so will inhibit root development.
  • Typical Seed Starting Mix is just peat or coir (coconut fiber) and contains no nutrients at all.  Mix in some organic potting mix (with OG fertilizers) and some organic perlite to your seed starting mix.  The potting mix will feed your seedlings for a few weeks and the perlite will hold water.
  • Hot and moist.  Yeah, you read that right.  Pepper seeds love the heat.  Try using a grow mat (not a heating pad) or some powerful lights to speed up the process and make those chile seeds nice and comfy.  A plastic dome or cling wrap over the pots will keep the moisture in and create a nice humid environment.  Don’t forget to ventilate!
  • If you totally suck at seed starting, don’t worry.  Cross Country Nurseries is now taking orders for their enormous selection of hot chile plants.  They ship the plants ready to be transplanted in the garden.  Read more about CCN here.

For more seed starting tips, check out these free Pepper Growing Guides:

The Chile Man’s Growing Guide

Fatalii’s Growing Guide

Are you playing Peppermeister roulette? No? Well, someone is.  Head on over to Rachel’s Table and find out which pepper caused her to go from this…

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To this….

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Don’t worry, she not only made it out alive, but she’s challenged me to a Peppermeister Roulette Duel this Summer.  Challenge accepted, although her hot pepper perseverance worries me…..  Details to follow.  

 

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