is it possible to start peppers from seed now in my climate?

ameera(z11 Dubai)March 15, 2011


I am in Dubai, UAE and just received some hot pepper seeds ordered from the US.

the temperatures right now here are highs fluctuating day to day from upper 70s to mid 80s. the evenings are in the upper 60s, low 70s. So I think to get seedlings the temps are ok for now.

in April the temperatures will be in the 90s and by mid-may in the upper 90s... and then hell will come with temps well above 100, even some days over 110F and humidity in the 90 percentile for the rest of the summer.

When it is time to pot up the seedlings and also again when planting in their final big pots, I was thinking about using a mylar emergency blanket as mulch and putting up some stakes so that I can lay some kind of thin cotton cloth or gauze to let sunlight go through, but protecting the plants from the sun's full force.

Do you think I would be able to grow peppers successfully like this? Or is it best to just wait for the next growing season?

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I'm a beginner myself so I can't give you advice on how they will do in your climate. But last year, I planted some tomatoes very late in the season, too late, and they didn't do well. But I learned a lot from the experience, and I know that this year (still starting a little late, but not as late as last year) I will do much better because I have more practical knowledge.

So I would say that even if your climate isn't ideal, at least try a few plants, so that when you do get to the best season, you have some experience to get you through the rough spots.

Plus, growing is just too fun to NOT do it! :-)

Good luck, whatever you decide.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 9:12PM
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Right now temperatures sound perfect for setting flowers and new peppers on the plants. But soon it will be too hot for that. If you plant seeds now you will have to wait for temperatures to cool down before they set new peppers. However, you will have a longer time for the plant to grow big so when it does cool down the larger plant will set a lot of peppers. You will then need a couple of months for them to ripen red. lets say a month to grow big and green and a couple of weeks to a month to turn red.

So need to know more about all 12 months of your weather.

Technically you should be able to keep your peppers alive for a few years if they do not freeze to death or dry out completely in the heat.

I am up north in zone 5 with short season. Basically I start mine early and then get them outdoors and get a few peppers to set. they ripen over the time of higher heat and then set a lot of peppers as it cools down.

If you are going into a real hot season I would probably expect better results if planted in the ground and not in pots. Although pots would be good if you are home all day every day to watch them closely and water them at the first sign of drying out. But one miss and they can dry out and die on you.

When planting in dry soil it is probably best to plant in a hole. you fill the hole with water and that makes watering much easier. The water does not flow away from the plant.

I would definitely plant some seeds immediately. You will learn best by experimentation. I am sure you will have some success.

Of course pots have the advantage that you can move them out of the super hot sun. Maybe talk to some people from Arizona where it gets desert hot and they use other tricks to keep things alive over the heat.

I think you want to try some chinese and annual peppers at this time to see how different they grow. habaneros vs say some jalapeno or new mexico types.

I like to think of it this way. The best place to grow peppers is at the equator up high in a cool mountain. It never freezes but never gets too hot either and the plant can grow for years.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 10:50PM
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