Zone 4, ready, set GO!!!

esox07 (4b)January 8, 2014

I am wondering when most of you up in the northern zones start your seeds and why you pick that date?

I am in zone 4 (s. central Wisconsin) and plan on starting early February. It seems that allows my plants to be well established when lat May comes around and I can kick them outside for good.

How about you?


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Late January to mid-February here in the Chicago area, depending on what my schedule allows.

I like giving them lots of time to develop inside before putting them out, including 24/7 light for the first six weeks.

BTW - Thanks! Got your last email, can't wait to try germinating a couple of them.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 2:20PM
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esox07 (4b)

all packaged and stamped and ready for the mailbox. Just too cold to make that 40 foot walk outside to the mailbox if I don't have to. I will probably be going out later anyway. You should have them by this weekend.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 2:35PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Bruce, In 3 months you should have real big size seedlings. I test germinated some peppers (shishito)early November now they are about 10" tall , with lots of flowers. But I think HOT peppers grow at slower rate, as I can tell from my habanero. I am getting ready to start germinating full steam shortly. My Average Last Frost date is around early April. I also have a 3' x 6' cold frame to shelter some in case of cold weather Or during the nights , for a while.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 7:27PM
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wondering when most of you up in the northern zones start your seeds and why you pick that date?Hey Bruce,

Maybe around Feb 7 will be first sowing of hot peps for me. Then successive tranche's of same until finished by late Feb. On a different subject, I have a brick of coir and some Azomite and some of each I will add in prepping seedling mix with primary ingredient ProMix boosted with some extra vermic and perlite. For some reason, bone meal does seem to enhance favorable growth habits of C chinense... discovered this in 2013 inside seedling nurturing. May have been coincidence but I did it with many "control" seedlings of same variety that were treated the same but with no bone meal. "Control" seedlings were OK, but were significantly bested in apparent plant vitality by same varieties treated with the bone meal.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 8:42PM
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Last Sunday (5th) I sowed a few different seed varieties of what I call the super hots (reaper, a few different Bhuts, scorpions, etc.) that I was graciously given by a few members here. Then around the 1st week or so of Feb I'll beginning sowing other hots, then milds and finishing with sweets by 1st week of March. By March I usually start up my harbor freight greenhouse, move peppers out there and then begin with tomatoes. By May the greenhouse, my grow room (1/3 of my lowest level), and other areas of the house are bursting with pepper plants.....
I'm already getting the peeps I give plants to, asking if I've begun yet. They are spoiled....


    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 7:00AM
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esox07 (4b)

Thanks for the responses, keep 'em coming. Just like to know what people in the same area/zone are doing.

I have a test grow of some Black Pearl seeds that I started on Christmas day. They are doing great, much to my surprise as I couldn't get even one to germinate last year. These came up in six days with no external heat, just room temp and today I noticed their first set of true leaves budding out. I am still debating if I want to try to keep one of the sprouts growing until this summer. It is going to be tough to nurse it along in the house until late May, but I guess I will just treat it like an overwinter plant in that case.
I am still looking at 3-4 weeks before I start my 2014 grow in earnest however.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 11:04AM
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judo_and_peppers(Tampa FL)

man, I love living in FL. I started mine outdoors a few weeks ago, and only had to bring them in a few times.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 5:42PM
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naturemitch(3/4 WI)

Gonna be starting really soon in Northern Wi....Glidden. There are a few varieties that I have notes on that need sow dates of mid to late January. Here we go!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 12:21AM
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In zone 3 I usually start annums in mid-March for outdoor planting around May 20. Two years ago that worked out pretty well. Last year it resulted in pathetic looking plants during June, our rainiest month that can also have some downright chilly, rainy days, then the plants really picked up starting in early July. I'm thinking an early June outdoor planting might be better, not sure whether to delay indoor planting by two weeks, or plant mid-March or even earlier and then clip the plants to get them bushier indoors before moving them out.

BTW Bruce, near the end of July 2013 I planted some of those Naga seeds indoors that you sent me a few years back. The first flush turned red starting in December (still haven't picked them yet). The first flush is now all red, and the second flush is getting near full-size and should start to turn red within a couple weeks. After the second flush, I'm planning to keep one of the 3 plants alive until spring/summer and then trying to see how it grows outdoors here. I recall some confusion a year or two ago over the exact name for this pepper -- did you come up with a "best match" name, or at least something I can tell people besides "it's some kind of Naga pepper"?

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 2:02AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Today I started a bunch of them, in addition to thise already germinated and growing. I have about 15 varieties, not too many.

To my estimation, in 10 weeks you can have pretty good size seedling. From there on you should treat them as greenhouse/house plants. Which is ok if you have the resources.

Happy Growing !

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 2:13AM
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esox07 (4b)

Don555: Where are you growing those "some kind of Naga" peppers? Indoors?
They should do fine once you get them back outside this spring and likely will give you a couple more nice harvests.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 6:09AM
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Been doing some serious thinking this past week or so - trying to decide what all to plant this year (in general) now that I have more space, and also, just took seed inventory. Now, I just need to narrow down exactly what peppers I want to try this year. I'll be starting seeds probably first half of Feb.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 6:31PM
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esox07 (4b)

Seems like most of the people up my way are thinking about the same as me and planning to start early to mid February. I like the vote of confidence since the last two years have been rough starts and I fell a little behind even when starting in late January. This year, I think I have a good handle on starting things off right and should have a good grow.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 6:38PM
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