help with seedlings

JWW_1(8B / 9A Foley, AL)February 19, 2014

For the first time I am growing peppers and tomatoes from seed. I planted my seed in a shallow tray in rows for each type. The various tomatoes, jalapeno and bell pepper from Southern Exposure, and lemon drop hot pepper from Baker Creek have all come up and seem to be thriving. Probably going to transfer tomatoes to individual pots this weekend.

I also planted Red Mushroom pepper and Tabasco pepper seeds from Baker Creek. I have not seen a sign that they germinated. Does anyone know of tricks or methods to get better results from these two? I would think my lack of experience would be the issue, but the others in the same tray are doing good. Is it possible that these types require a warmer planting mix to get started? I was really looking forward to trying these types fresh from the garden; any help is greatly appreciated

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How long have they been germinating?

What are the temps of the soil. 86 deg. would be good.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 1:13PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Are you using a grow light or heating mats? Warmth is about the best addition to a seed-starting set up.

Tomatoes germinate in 3-4 days for me....they're ridiculously easy. I won't even bother to start any until the third week of March - since they rapidly outpace the peppers. The Jalapeño and Bell peppers also germinate very easily and reliably.

The other peppers will tend to take longer. To hedge your bets, you might wish to start another tray of seeds. Or you could just wait. You didn't mention how long they've been in the tray, but many of us wait three weeks or more for germination.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 1:18PM
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Place the seeds in damp paper towels inside a zip lock bag.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:30PM
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JWW_1(8B / 9A Foley, AL)

The seeds were started on the 10th I think. I have read that some peppers take longer, but started to wonder when the jalapeno and Jupiter Bell jumped up nice and green.

The tomatoes do seem easy. Germinated like weeds in one week.

I originally had the seed tray on the top shelf of our TV armoure (sp?). I thought the heat from electronics would be enough. Then i moved the whole tray out to a raised bed covered with a framed plastic sheeting "green house." I don't have a heat source out there, so I bring the tray in to overnight indoors. The El Cheapo thermometer hanging in the green house stays between 75 and 90 during daylight. Temp is usually dipping to 68-70 when I bring them inside.

I guess I will have to learn patience and see what happens. May hedge my bet and plant a couple seeds of each in peat pots.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 3:13PM
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Unless I know a certain variety is a very slow germinator, I will restart after about 12-14 days. I will likely keep the original one for another week or so, but I will plant another round as backup. I very rarely have any that poke out after a week and a half. Most varieties pop in 5-9 days for me.

Keep the soil moist with some type of covering as a humidity dome or clear cling wrap. You shouldn't have to rewater for a long time if you keep them covered. Also, make sure your soil isn't tooooo wet to start with. That will cause the seeds to die and rot before they can germinate.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 3:52PM
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I hate it when I don't know if seeds are going to germinate or not, so I recommend a method like the one proposed by MorugaMan. I do it a little differently using the small plastic containers that take-out fast food places use for salad dressing, etc. I take a strip of paper towel, fold it so it's 3 layers thick and about 1 inch square, and put it in the plastic container. Put the seeds on the paper and mist it. It's easy to see when the seeds pop without even taking the lid off. As soon as I see the white root appear I lift out the seed on the tip of a paring knife and put it in soil about 1/4 inch deep. Another advantage is that I don't end up with empty cells in the 6-packs because I know the seed was growing when I put it in the soil.

Here's a picture of some Kung Pao seeds I did a germination test on.

This post was edited by kentishman on Wed, Feb 19, 14 at 16:31

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 4:22PM
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kentishman, I like it.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:33PM
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me too.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:12PM
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Looks like a great method kentishman. That's a good reason to not germinate in dirt because you don't know for sure if it's growing or dried out unless you dig it up.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 4:03PM
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