Jump to content



Member Since 25 Oct 2007
Offline Last Active Nov 15 2017 06:11 AM

Topics I've Started

Pepper seed germination temperature

11 November 2017 - 07:13 AM

This post is for information on the prime seed starting temperature...simply a link I found from the University of Florida's Ag research group.


A must read for the new (or old) pepper gardener...




The top graph on the second page shows you the prime temperatures and when the temperature reaches the critical point for nearly 0 % germination



Starting Seeds - how I do it

11 November 2017 - 06:14 AM

I wrote a this few years ago as information on how to start seeds...(actually so I could remember)

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.... 

AJs 2018 Grow Log

10 November 2017 - 09:26 AM

I might as well go ahead and start my growlog for 2018, since I have already started thinking about updating the lighting in my growrage.


I intend it to be a diary I write in almost daily, definitely days I am working the process.


I hope and pray everyone has a very successful 2018 in whatever endeavor you choose.



Time to Relight

10 November 2017 - 07:17 AM

I am getting the fever again and am wanting to upgrade my lighting for my "growrage".


The germinator is fine the way it is.  


The grow box is what I am wanting to update...


Currently, I have 18 42 watt CFLs which equals 756 watts (power consumption) that are 6500K color temperature for vegetative growth.


Attached File  01-17-12a010.JPG   76.97KB   14 downloads


What light/lights (LED) should I replace the CFLs with. 


The dimensions of the grow box is 4' square and 6 feet tall inside with the CFLs mounted on 6 light vanity fixtures and the height of the light bars is adjustable.


I would also like to upgrade my "slow grow" area from standard 40 watt shop light fixtures.  There are three 8 foot shelves with 6 shoplights (12 40 watt bulbs per shelf)


Attached File  011311a002.JPG   69.39KB   14 downloads


any/all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



Unknown Pod Identification

06 August 2014 - 09:18 AM

First off, let me say I am by no means the "chili authority"...but...over the years I have learned a few things...


The very first thing I learned is that if YOU don' t know what seeds you planted, there is absolutely no way in hell to know what pods you are going to end up with...


I see multiple post's saying, well from the looks of it, it is this or it is that...guessing is all fine and good, but that's all it is....guessing...


without proper DNA testing, you just can't identify pods by the way they look...


if you have grown chili's for any amount of time you know that a single plant can produce several different pod shapes/sizes....and some look different during the seasonal changes...


To remedy the "I don't know what pod this is, can you identify it"...situation, I suggest only getting your seed from a responsible grower...


For my seedstock, I take photos of the pods I am saving seed from making dang sure they don't get mixed up....I only process one pod at a time so it is easy...


here is an example...this is my seedstock for 2015...and if you notice, I don't call a pod any name other than the standard name of the variety...i.e. Trinidad Scorpion, Yellow Scorpion, 7 Pot, yellow 7 Pot...etc...





my rant (if you want to call it that) over....off my soapbox now....