The Heat is On... The Pepper Seeds

Monday, February 19, 2007
I sowed the first seeds three weeks ago and I only have a few plants to speak of so far. Most of the pots in this photo contain pepper seeds and, after the first two weeks, not a single one had sprouted.

Peppers need warm temperatures to grow well, so last weekend I decided to help things along by setting them on a heating mat. Since then, only one pepper seed has germinated -- one from a store-bought sweet bell pepper. (And that's not all that encouraging, since a few readers warned me that store-bought peppers are probably hybrid plants that might not bear any good fruit.)

In the first photo, in the front row from left to right, are dahlias, calendula, and a pair of leggy red chard plants. Lastly is the lone red bell pepper plant.


Blogger Diana said...

Do you know when the last frost is supposed to be for our area? Behnke's says May 1, but that seems awfully late to me. I don't want to wait till mid-March to start sowing my seeds! You must know something I don't! :)

11:50 AM  
Blogger Christa said...

Hi Diana,
I also go by May 1 as the last frost date for Zone 7. It does seem kind of late, but generally it's not safe to put out tender plants -- like tomatoes -- until around Mother's Day. It's not too early to start some seeds indoors. Broccoli, cabbage, head lettuces, onions, leeks, parsley and other herbs can all be started now. Also start flower seeds that need a long time to reach transplant size: lobelia, snapdragons, ageratum. It will soon be time to sow peas and spinach. In March, we can start direct seeding some things into the garden (radishes, carrots). I am starting super early on the bell peppers because other gardeners have told me they need a long season to ripen.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Anthony said...

Wow, super early is right. Peppers definitely need around 100+ days before they're ready to pick (and I've found that the longer you leave them on the plant, the hotter they get) so it's smart to start them early.

But they're probably going to get pretty big by May 1st. Do you have the room?

In NJ (Zone 6) I wait until around June 1st to put my seedlings in the ground just to be on the safe side. That means, I've still got another month or so before I start my peppers.

Keep us updated on your pepper progress.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

Hi Anthony,
Since I wrote this post, nine more peppers sprouted. I didn't once consider where I would put them if they get really big. I've got a good two and a half months before they can go outside here. How big could they get by then? Things could get pretty interesting in here, space-wise, as we're about to start tomato plants too. We'll see how it goes...

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've got a cool setup going. Are store-bought hybrids engineered not to bear fruit? Good luck with your pepper progress :) *Looking forward to seeing more pics*

12:55 AM  
Blogger pepper said...

My peppers have started to sprout. I am new to this but have had alot of success with all types of seeds. I have concerns with the peppers though. They seem to appear moldy or hairy I am not sure which. I have never seen a sprout look like this. Has anyone encountered something similar to this??

9:56 PM  

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