68 year old dual degreed 20th year hot pepper gardener - first degree in wildlife management, second degree in mechanical engineering. I started growing hot peppers 20 years ago and want to expand the number of plants and species each year until I find the "perfect burn" created by mixing and matching different pepper species.
I play mandolin/guitar (12 String D-35-12)
Favorite Hot Pepper
7 Pot/Trinidad Scorpion
Favorite Hot Sauce
DefCon 1 with some Zero in it
Favorite BBQ Food
Favorite BBQ Sauce
none, I use dry rubs..but if I do use sauce, it is Stubbs Original
Chili... Beans or No Beans?
Favorite Beverage with Fiery Food
Beer for thirst, Milk to kill the burn
2nd Place Big Show in Terlingua 2005
Share a Recipe
100 grams pods
60 ml white vinegar
1 tsp agave syrup
dash of sea salt
DD and I seem to be thinking alike...it may have something to do with the spectrum of light being supplied. For vegetative growth you needa more "blue" light....Iam in the process of relighting my entire grow room which currently uses 6500K color temperature CFLs.
as far as pinching the buds off...if you are in a hurry for pods to appear, letem' be....if there is no hurry for pods, pinch the dodo out of them
I am not familiar with those tepin seeds, however I have a Tepin plant that was grown from "wild" stock. She is 13 years old and has been in my front flower bed for the past 10 years. She dies back each winter and comes back healthier and bigger each year.
I would gladly send you as many seeds as you need..spamenty of tiny round pods on the plant righty now.
If you are interested, message me with the address you want them sent to.
First off I do NOT know all there is to know about growing peppers, nor would I ever claim to. I learn new things and methods each year. I wanted to share with you how I do things which has worked out well for me. I try and improve my process each year, but most times, I have to relearn what I learned last year (if that makes sense)
I am hoping ...that this will help the new pepper grower learn the process of seed starting and have written this from my personal experience...it's pretty straight forward and I know everyone does it their way but this way works best for me and usually ends up producing 90 + % germination rates...
Step by step process.
1. Cleanliness - Sanitize all tools/work areas/germination areas/trays before starting...I use a very strong solution of the harshest chemical my nose can stand while cleaning my work areas....wash hands very often to keep cleanliness at its best...remember cleanliness is the most important thing...think of your seeds/seedlings as if they were babies...they need care...
2. Seed Starting Medium - When deciding what media to start your seeds in, remember this...you want a light weight medium without large "chunks" in it...water retention of the media is also of utmost important...I use Hoffman's seed starting mix. A lot of growers use peat pucks and that is fine but they dry out too quickly and are the cause many seedling deaths...
3.Pre-Soaking your Starting Medium - Soak your starting medium overnight in warm water to completely wet it before planting your seeds.
4. Planting Seeds - Poke a hole in the soaked media using the blunt end of a sharpie about 1/2" deep. Planting shallower will result in more "helmets" on your seeds. Place the seeds in the holes and gently cover them up...a little pressure won't hurt but you don't want to "pack" the medium you are planting in.
5. Moisture - You want your starting medium damp, not wet...if at any time after the germination process starts, your medium dries out, your seeds are dead...any dry period will kill the embryo...Moist, not wet is very important to remember.
6. Germination Temperature - the temperature at which you germinate your seeds is of utmost importance - 80-86F is optimum. If you get lower than that, the seeds will still germinate (down to 60F probably) but will take forever. If you get higher than that, they germination percent also decreases and when you hit 95F or above for an extended period, can you say "zero"? Constant temperature is a key here IMO
7. Ambient Temperature - While not as important as germination temperature, ambient temperature of your grow area is important also...IMO 80F is about a perfect temperature to grow pepper seedlings.
8. Light - Light is not needed for pepper seed germination but once the seeds have "hooked", pour the light to them...as much as you can...mine get 3K lumens/ft2
9. Stem Exercise - A fan blowing on the seedlings several times a day is required for stem health...you want to "exercise" the stems several times a day....this stretches the cell walls thus thickening and strengthening them...think of standing on one leg with a pretty good wind blowing on you for 30 minutes a day...that leg would get muscular...I run the fan on as high as the plants can stand it without breaking them down...
9. Fertilize - to fertilize or not to fertilize...up to ya...some people say no, some people say yes...I fertilize with 1/2 strength from the time the seeds hit the soil until first transplant then use full strength...that is my choice and works well for me....I use Botanicare products like Liquid Karma & ProGrow.
10. Watering - I have found the best way to know when you need to water is through experience...if the seedlings wilt, definitely time for water, however, if you will take a dry container, feel the weight of it, then take a soaked container and feel the weight of it, you will know when your plants need water...IMO this works better than moisture gauges or being on a set watering schedule...over watering will make your plants die over time...
11. Transplant time - if using seed starting trays, transplant only when the roots start growing out of the bottom...remember, the health of your root ball determines the health of your plant. Transplanting several times to increasingly larger containers improves the health of the plant by making a more compact root ball, not root bound, just a good network of nice hairy roots. Something like this works really well...seed starting tray (3 weeks) to 3" square containers (3-4 weeks), to 6" containers (3-5 weeks) , to 2-3 gallon (2 months) to 5 gallon etc...however, because I grow so many plants, I only transplant three times...from seed starting tray to 3" container to 6" container to 5 gallon container....then during the season, I may transplant to 10 gallon containers...
enjoy growing...for those not growing in containers, go to ground or raised bed after 6" container....
If I have left anything out or if anyone simply disagrees with this method, please say so...I probably won't change but the process can be tweaked to fit your style of growing....
Red solo cup, I fill you up, lets have a party...singing while finishing this post
IMHO heat control is the most important thing when germinating seeds...after moisture of course...I do not water on a schedule...I use weight to determine when water is needed...the way I do this is fill the container with soil/seeds, pick it up and "feel" the weight, then I deep water....pick up the tray to find out how much heavier it is...based on the weight delta, Later when I pick up the container and feel the weight, I either water or don't water...
a "perfect" germination temperature is a CONSTANT 80F...and as was mentioned above, you want the soil moist, not wet...
another thing to watch for is that even if the top 1" of soil is bone dry, the bottom of the container could be pure wet mud...not good for peppers...of course planting depth is also important...in my experience 1/2 inch planting depth is deep enough for the seeds to shed their helmets...shallower in dry soil will prevent the sprouts from shedding their headgear....deeper planting depth will either take the seeds forever to break the surface....
just remember, my post is talking from my experience...you have to find what works for you...trial and error is the best teacher...
I wrote a germinating guide (how I do it) a long time ago on here and don't know whether it is still around or not...
I only use 72 cell seed starting trays and a really good seed starting soil that is very light weight and very clean....
I tried every method to start seeds it seems when I first started growing and have found the trays with the light weight starting soil worked best for me...