Germination Question/Seeking Advice

saleveneJuly 6, 2014

So I decided to germinate the seeds outside for the first time. I soaked them in warm water the night before and have them in tiny pots.

Normally, when I was germinating indoors, I would give a little water once a week or so (depending). However, having them outside, and it being really sunny lately, they seem to dry out quickly. As a result, I've been giving them a little water every 2-3 days, as it seems to really need it. The pots are in a soil I bought that drains VERY well so I'm not concerned about rotting the seeds.

Does this seem like a good strategy or wait longer between giving water?


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esox07 (4b)

I would either germinate them indoors or even in the garage if the temp can be maintained at a good level. You don't need ANY sun for germination. Shortly after they pop out is when they need the sun. If you keep them indoors or in the garage, they won't dry out nearly as fast and you will be able to keep a stable level of moisture much easier.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 9:44PM
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Thanks Bruce, appreciate the advice. I'll move them indoors until they pop out.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 9:59PM
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samhain10(5a - MI)

Salevene - you don't say what zone you're in, so unless you're in Florida or someplace that rarely freezes, you're starting hot peppers too late (if that's what you're starting). I started mine back at the beginning of March, but then I'm in zone 5. They started setting peppers 3-1/2 months later.
For future reference, I have in recent years started pre-germinating most of my seeds in damp paper toweling which is then put in a polybag, and placed in a warm location. And with the pepper seeds, I have, this year, taken to nicking the edge of the seed coat with fingernail clippers, so that the water gets to the embryo faster. Germination has been hastened considerably.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 10:24PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

He's in Colombia. That's even farther south than Florida...

I too use paper towels. I like to be able to see how many actually pop.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 10:54PM
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samhain10(5a - MI)

DMForcier -
Ha! I guess it is further south than Florida. :)
My question to you then, Salevene: just out of curiosity, are some of the pepper plants then perennial? Or do they just kind of die off after setting some fruit? Likewise with some of the other usually annual vegetables : eggplant, tomato, etc. What happens to them?
Oh, and DMF - I actually went further and denuded some seeds that I'd had germination problems with in the past, but had suspected it was a problem of the seed coat being too hard. I didn't even know you could do this until I read it on another site about hybridizing zinnias. In some cases the difference in germination was startling.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 8:28AM
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All chiles are perennial.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 8:59AM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

How did you denude the seeds?

As far as I know, a hard coat has little to do with germination issues as the seed coat is softened by moisture during the process.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 11:41AM
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Hey Samhain10 - Yup, I'm in Colombia, so we have 70-80 degree year round weather where I am.... I'm germinating these for a new allotted space I was given to grow more stuff.

After they set fruit, they set more fruit and on and on. My understanding is that these plants live for about 2 years, so I'll let you know in a year what happens. :)

I haven't grown some of the other veggies you mention, but we are planning to do some herbs and maybe broccoli. I'll let you know how it goes.

Back to the main topic, I've moved the original little pots indoors and have tried the damp paper towel method for some of the other new ones (actually using coffee filters) and then put them in a plastic bag.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 3:49PM
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Wow, this method is amazing. I tried to different types of seeds and within a week, one of the varieties had germinated! The seeds of the other variety turned brown, so I'm not sure if I did something wrong or they were bad seeds, but I'm going to toss them and try again once I get another pepper. Anyone part of the seeds turn brown when trying to germinate?

Its weird because these are fresh seeds I took right from a pepper I harvested...

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 9:33AM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

If the germ inside turns dark that generally means that the seed was invaded by a fungus. But it has to be the germ - I've successfully sprouted seed that were fuzzy with mold on the outside, but the germ was okay.

Usually it's only one or two that go bad this way. Did all of one batch go bad?


P.S. Some drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide will help keep the mold down. A nice damp towel in a nice warm environment is a dandy place for mold. Also makes an argument for using very clean paper towels.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 9:51PM
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All in one batch went bad... the part where it would germinate turned brown, in each seed.

Also, the ones that did germinate, I planted them, but they haven't sprouted yet... The ones that germinated had a little white tail sticking out, but that was it. Should I have waited longer?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:31AM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

No. Plant immediately. If you wait the root hairs will entwine with the towel fabric and you'll have to snip out a piece and plant seed plus towel.

Don't touch the tail, btw.

Sometimes a seed will sprout yet poop out in the pot. Sometimes it takes several days for it to poke its head up. Be patient. Keep the soil damp but not wet. I'll use 3% hydrogen peroxide liberally at this stage to help against damping off. Doesn't seem to affect the little sprout butt at all.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:18AM
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Also, after placing sprouted seed in soil, you want to keep the soil warm still. What I usually do is place the pot(s) on TOP of my fluorescent fixture and leave the lights on 24 hours a day until the seeds emerge. The light generates enough heat for the housing of the fixture to be a constant mid 80's. Also helps to place some plastic wrap over the pots to prevent the soil from drying.

You can test the temp of your lighting fixture by taking some moist soil in a pot, cover with plastic, set on fixture for a couple days and then take the soil's temp.

I'll do what Dennis does also. Because mold might creep in with the plastic wrap, I'll mist the soil with the peroxide or chamomile tea solution a couple times.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:58AM
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Thanks guys. I don't have a warm spot, but I'll do my best to find the next best "home" until they start to sprout... I'll keep ya posted!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:03AM
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Hey guys, its been probably 3-4 days, and still nothing...

Unfortunately I won't be able to keep the soil warm, but I do have it a nice room temperature place (~75F) and in a moist soil. I'm a bit shocked that all 3 could have pooped out after sprouting so nicely, but I suppose its possible.

On the other hand, could it be that it takes a solid week to sprout?

I'm sure some seeds are naturally easier, but in that same spot, a few seeds sprouted from a cayenne seed I had planted (and from seeds I planted straight into the pot).

This post was edited by salevene on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 19:34

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 6:24PM
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