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chile peppers not germinating

Posted by wingspings none (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 16, 12 at 12:10

Ok, first time trying to grow chile peppers from seed. Planting depth is good, on a heat mat for 8-10 hours a day and watered every other day. The seeds are Burpee seeds jalapeno and hot chile pepper seeds.This is the second time trying to grow some transplants. First ones did not germinate either.

Is there something that I am missing?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: chile peppers not germinating

Prob to much water, every other day could be rotting the seeds. Also you did not mention how many days you left the seeds that did not germinate before starting the new batch.


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

thanks for the reply, I waited 24 days before starting a new batch. I also should mention that I water new/seedlings using a spray bottle to be careful not to over water. The other plantings in the flat have already sprouted, they were corn and lettuce like to start then transplant.


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 16, 12 at 12:57

I would leave them on heat 24/7 until they are sprouted. But even without heat, you should have some sprouts within a couple weeks. What is the soil temps? Are you sure you are not cooking them? 80-85 degrees is optimum.

Those, along with incorrect watering are my initial concerns, however, your problem might also be planting depth. If you are planting them at 1/4" like the directions on many of those seed packs instruct you to do, you are planting them about twice as deep as you should. I plant about 1/8" which is just under the surface basically.

One last concern is your soil. If you are trying to start in straight garden soil or something similar, you will have problems. Use a good loose seeds starting mix.

Bruce


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

What is the temperature of your soil? You mentioned you had a heat mat but not what temperature. Heat mats should be controlled, but require much higher temperatures then other vegetables. Most recommend 80-85F 24hr/day until germination. I got 97% pepper germination at 26C (79F) this year. If you are using an uncontrolled heat mat, you may be cooking them, if you are not getting temps near 80F, then germination can take weeks. Run 24/7 until you get germination.


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

LOL, Bruce, I didn't mean to duplicate your words. Your post wasn't there when I was replying.


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

Germination can take a few days to a few weeks depending on the type of pepper and conditions. I did not use a heating pad and my jalapenos started sprouting at the 3-4 day mark. Other peppers of mine took weeks.


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

Thank you all for the posts. This is the first time trying hot/chile peppers. I am using a heat mat that came with a 72 cell seed starter (Jiffy mat) it has been 10 days for this batch. The planting medium is soiless mix seed starter from Burpee with green house top. I use this because in previous years these have worked well for other plants (tomato, corn, lettuce, squash, even bell peppers and those did not use the heat mat.).


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

Ah, so you don't have a controller. I would test the soil temperature to make sure you aren't overheating, as most heat mats are too warm without a controller. 10 days or longer for superhots to sprout is not that unusual.


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

If your looking for a good mat and controller, I picked up a Hydro Farms 10 by 20 with a digital controller for $62 USD. I found it on Amazon. I think I still have the purchase info. If you want it, just shoot me an e-mail. I've been using it for about a week. I have already had pretty good success. My Red Savina, Numex Twilight, and Chimayo have sprouted after only 5 days.


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

peppernovice: Glad you ended up getting a heat mat and controller. It really does make a difference and makes things easier. Looks like you've already started to succeed with it!


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

@capoman Yes sir. I'm amazed at how much easier it makes it. I started out with a (muscle) heating pad. It had an auto shut off, so i had to check it every couple hours. I also had no idea what my soil temp was. The nice thing about the controller is that it also has a soil thermometer. It really has made this a much more enjoyable venture. Another nice thing is you buy it once, and can use it for years to come. I honestly owe it to all you guys. I would have been lost if I hadn't found this forum!


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

Yes, they usually last for years. I still have the same mats and controllers I've had for years.


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 16, 12 at 16:14

I agree on the heat mats. Using warming blankets and muscle heating pads is asking for trouble in my opinion. I am a tinkerer and I truly believe a roll of duct tape is the answer to 80% of all problems but buying a heat mat designed for germinating seedlings is well worth the money in my mind. I also purchased a dual refrigerator thermometer with alarms on it just to make sure the thermostat on the heating mats was working correctly. It also allowed me to see how fast heat would transfer into the soil when they turn on. The temps in my starters would rise from 70 to 85 degrees in no time. I can't imagine how fast a heating blanket would heat up the soil. Two hours and you could be hitting 100 easy. After cooking your seeds, nothing you can do will make them sprout.

Last year I didn't use any external heat source and my germination rates were nearly as good and just a few days slower than with heat mats. This is in a 68 degree basement. I would go with no heat before I would use something like a heating blanket. You just wait a few days longer and plant an extra cell or two of each variety. Once they sprout, most people pull the heat mats anyway.
Bruce


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

Agree with Bruce. Better not to use heat, then to use uncontrolled heat mat or pad. On controlled heat, I usually get full germination in 4-10 days including superhots. I've also ran some pepper seeds along with tomatoes, which I run much cooler, and they run 14-21 days at basically room temperature, but still germinate. I'm not a big fan of doing peppers without heat though as the potential for rot is there having seeds damp that long.


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

ok, so looks like I am cooking the seeds of the chile peppers.

here goes my steps.

1. I put the seeds in the Burpee starter greenhouse. water very good.

2. Put the greenhouse in the bay window on top of the heat mat (I now believe that this is where it takes a turn for the worse.) Just took soil temp 98 degrees.

3. Thinking that the sunlight from the window and the heat mat would aide in the germination process.

What I should do is either a leave in sunlight from window or use the heat mat away from the window. Does anyone agree with this thinking?


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

Yep, 98F ain't good.

Just my opinion:

unless you have sprouts that need light, get them out of the sun.

Unplug your hear mat if you don't have a temp controller.

Reduced/slower/longer germination at 70F is better than no germination at 100F.

Just my two cents.


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 16, 12 at 21:54

Ottawa is on the same page as me.
First, you could germinate in a dark closet. You dont need light until shortly after they sprout. If you had a dome on that "greenhouse" then just putting that alone in the sunlight will easily hit 100 plus even without a heat mat. If you cannot control the heat, then just germinate at normal room temps and expect a couple extra days to germinate.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
Bruce


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

Bill and Bruce are right. Without a controller, you are just asking for trouble, and a dome in a window can cook them as well. If you want faster germination, you could put it on top of a fridge or something similar which has much less heat then a heat mat running full out. I would still check the temps though to be confident you are in range.


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

Well I thought that I would post an update. I did not give up on the hot peppers. They are now growing... I moved them into a room that had indirect light and kept the soil moist. 12 jalapeno peppers are growing and 4 hot chile pepper plants are starting to grow as well.


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

Congrats for not giving up. You're on your way.


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

Great! Now that they are up, the more light the better (at least while inside)!


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

Thanks for the encouragement.

Anyone have a good soil mix they use for container peppers?

This is my thought. Peat moss, coffee grounds in a 2 to 1 mix ratio.


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

Enjoy the addiction! This is only the beginning ;)


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RE: Soil mix.

Yes, check the container forum for Tapla's 5:1:1 and treatise on container soils. Very forgiving soil mix that's cheap to make.


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

Please do not use two parts peat to one part coffee grounds. It would turn into an acidic bog. Check out the 5-1-1 mix on the container forum.


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RE: chile peppers not germinating

ok the chile and jalapenos are about 2 1/2" to 3" in height. is this a good time to put them into my green house/hotbox as a transplant where they will get about 4 hours of sunlight albeit not direct sunlight.

Or should I just put them on my windows sill where they will receive about 6 hours of sunlight exposure?

thanks


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