Please help...Serious trouble with germination
I'm having the worst time getting my bhut jolokias to germinate. I received my seed from NMSU so I know they're actual jolokia's and of good stock. Here's my problem...
First 20 seeds--Planted in peat moss in a greenhouse. Stayed too wet-nothing sprouted.
Next 20 seeds-Planted in MG Orchid Mix soil, non greenhouse, 3" pots covered in aluminum-I think it dried out too much. Nothing has sprouted.
As you can see I went from one extreme to the other (due to research I found peat soil was a no no with these guys) so I decided to go with MG Orchid Mix from which I read does very well. Also I read that you need to keep the soil moderately moist but not soggy. I was pretty much letting these suckers dry out with every other day watering.
Since the Orchid Mix drains so fast I think I wasn't letting my seeds get wet enough. I soaked the soil the first day, then every second day would only get the top wet because I was afraid of overwatering. I think since I let the top dry out so much I killed them this way!!!
When it says "water your seeds" and you're using a high draining soil do you give them a good dousing or just a little bit of water? I would literally take a spray bottle (typical windex type bottle I got from the feed store. NO chemicals have been in it) and spray the soil 2 or 3 times and move on. I'm thinking I should be using more.
3" peat pots
Miracle Gro Orchid Mix for soil
Seeds planted 1/4"
Pots are covered in aluminum and set in aluminum trays. Bottom heat provided with mat
Light provided with 6500k blue light spectrum fluorescent (I know seeds don't need light, just kept them on a timer so when the first sprouts do come up I don't have to do anything).
Did not presoak seeds
Growing inside. 85 degrees day time 70-75 degrees night.
As you can see my setup is pretty generic and follows most of the guidelines for what hot peppers need. I know that I rambled, I just wanted to make sure I had all my info out there so the pepper gods could aid me to the best of their abilities.
1. WTF-OMG-BBQ-UFO-NFL SUNDAY WHY DIDN'T ANYTHING SPROUT
2. Should I use more water?
3. Could I technically dig these up, soak them, and replant with any sort of success, or are all the seeds most likely dead? They've been in dry soil for the last month so I doubt they're rotted, and have not been in direct contact with light.
4. Should I just buy some more, pre-soak, and stop being such a baby and water these suckers while they're seeds.