I have not had a lot of luck with some varieties of my hot peppers germinating. Today I got my hydroponics newsletter and they said to presoak the seeds overnight to aid germination. Has anyone ever tried that? Marg
Sorry I don't have an answer to your question.
However, I'd sure like to know more about your hydroponics newsletter :)
Hi Lynn. The newsletter is from Homegrown Hydroponics. Hubby has started using hydroponics. If the link doesn't work, just google Homegrown Hydroponics.
I never pre-soak hot pepper seeds. I just plant them in medium-moist soil, covered loosely with plastic wrap until germination to prevent them drying out, and try to keep them relatively warm under the shop lights in the basement, so not that warm really. Whenever I've had problems with germination I am suspect of the seed source. For self-collected fresh seeds germination is typically about 90%. Pre-soaking isn't likely to hurt anything, but I'd be surprised if it helps.
Do you give yours bottom heat? I use a heat mat.
No. I have a couple sets of shop lights, and I drape an old sheet over them to trap a bit of warmth (not supposed to I know, but). During the on-cycle I guess it's about 22-24C in the grow area, and in the 8 hour off-cycle it would be the ambient basement temperature, so around 17C.
I don't. A heat mat gives sufficiently good results for me. However, I have read that soaking the seeds in a 1% solution of potassium nitrate (available at fertilizer supply stores) will improve germination further.
I've germinated pepper seeds in plastic sandwich bags with a piece of dampened paper towel. Too wet and the seeds will rot and/or go mouldy. When they sprout, I pot them up with some planting soil.
I actually use this method for a lot of my larger seeds (not tomatoes though since they are easy to germinate just planted in soil).
Planted my summer pepper plants in cell-packs on March 14, under basement grow lights, covered loosely with Saran Wrap to maintain moisture until they germinate. Will update this when there is news, good or bad.
Mine just germinated under lights in the basement. I have plastic domes to keep moisture in. I keep the light for the shelf underneath hiked up close so it acts as a heat mat and the light for their shelf dropped close above. It gives a steady 80 degrees day and night and they germinated in 5 days. They were leftover from last year too and still had a good germination rate.
I also use a heat mat for some seeds, peppers included, and have great success with them germinating. I think not only warm but a steady temperature is key.
Some plants, like verbena, like temperature swings to mimic spring and help break the seed, but those warm season veggies like consistently warm temps.
7 days, seedlings now just starting to pop up.