When it comes to you successfully growing peppers from seeds indoors then there are a number of points that you need to think about if you want to end up with a plant that is not only strong but also capable of producing a number of peppers throughout the growing season. Now, we do admit that there is absolutely no guarantee that the methods are going to result in the stronger plants always developing but you are going to at least increase the chances of you being proud of the end results.
So, these are the tips that are going to make the difference.
First of all, we are going to look at the planting because there are several key steps that you need to follow to get the best results.
- Step 1: Soak the Seeds.
The first step is to soak the seeds and the reason why this is so important is because soaking them overnight is going to break down the protective casing that surrounds the seeds. If you soak them then the seed is going to find it easier to germinate and the chances of you getting more seeds through and turning into seedlings.
To do this, you should follow these points.
- Get a tray or container and fill it with water.
- Add the seeds and then leave them overnight.
- Put the lid on the tray or cover it in some way.
- Place them in a warm location.
- Step 2: Fill your Seeding Tray with Soil.
After you have soaked the seeds overnight it is then important that you move onto the next step which is to start to fill the seeding tray that you are going to use with soil. Now, you need to think carefully about the type of soil that you are going to use and once you have checked this out you need to do several important things.
- Make sure that the tray is clean.
- Use a quality potting mix.
- Alternatively, mix a third of soil, a third of manure and a third of sand.
- Fill the tray but not to the top and then moisten it.
- Step 3: Make Holes in the Soil.
Once you have filled the tray or container with soil it is then important that you make space for the seeds that you have been soaking overnight. Now, just throwing them all over the tray or container is not going to work since you have to be more careful than that. So, this is the best way to do it.
- Get the tray and make sure that it is still moist.
- Use either your finger or a pencil to make a hole in the compost.
- Make sure that the hole is at least ¼ inch deep.
- Step 4: Bury the Seeds.
So, you have now made the holes and the seed tray or container is going to be ready for you to actually sow the seeds. Now, there is nothing special that is going to have to be done here because sowing the seeds is easy. For example, you just need to do the following.
- After making the hole drop one seed into the hole.
- Once all of the seeds have been sown cover the holes by pinching them together.
- Make sure that you then gently water the soil making sure you do not over do it.
By doing this, you are then ready to start the process of trying to get the seeds to germinate although there are still several other things that you need to do before the seeds get to this particular stage.
- Step 5: Placing the Seeds in a Warm Location.
The next step is to make sure that you put the seeds in the correct location that is going to lead to the best possible environment in which they are able to go ahead and germinate. Now, as with the other steps we are not talking about anything complex at this point but it is important that you do this before of the profound impact it is going to have on the seeds.
- Take the seed tray or containers that have the seeds.
- Make sure that you place them in a warm location as that is key.
- If possible use a heat mat under them to keep them at the correct temperature.
- Seeds require around
70Fto 90Fin order to germinate.
- Step 6: Keeping them Moist.
The final step when it comes to the planting is to do with the water because get this bit wrong and you are making life harder for yourself. Seeds need the correct conditions to germinate and one of those conditions is going to involve water.
- Never soak the soil as the seeds will not be happy.
- Use a mister in order to just keep them moist.
- Too much water will hamper their ability to germinate.
- Keeping them too dry will not encourage them to germinate.
The next step that we are going to focus on is the transplanting which is the part of the process when the seeds have germinated and you are required to go ahead and move them to a larger pot that will then allow them to grow. However, as with the initial planting there are several key things to think about before you go ahead and do this.
- Step 7: When to Transplant.
You should only transplant when you see that the seedlings have two sets of leaves on them. This is seen as being the perfect time for the move because transplanting does stress the plant out and doing it too quickly can completely stop the growth of the plant. So, remember about the number of leaves to make life easier for yourself.
- Never transplant before the two leaves rule.
- Try not to transplant after this either as the seedlings are becoming established.
- Choose the strongest looking plants first.
- Step 8: Make Sure You Use A Large Pot.
The container that you use is going to be important as well because people will often make the mistake of using something that is too small. After all, you are going to end up having to move the plants again in the future if you choose the incorrect size.
- A large pot means it can become the home for the plant for its life.
- Make sure that the container is 16 inches in depth.
- Make sure it has drainage holes in the bottom.
- Step 9: Filling the Pots with Soil.
After choosing the correct container you then need to make sure that you fill it with the correct soil. This is also important because the wrong soil means your seedlings will not be able to really take root or you will increase the chances of the plants picking up diseases. However, these points are key for the soil.
- It has to be well draining.
- Place gravel in the bottom.
- Make sure sand is mixed in with the soil.
- Add in some manure as well.
- Add in some slow release fertilizer.
- Step 10: Dig a Small Hole in the Soil.
Once you have filled the pot with the correct soil mix it is important that you are then ready to prepare it for actually transplanting the seedling into it. Of course you have to also know how to do this part because if you do not do it right then the plant is going to struggle to take root.
- Make sure that the hole is big enough for the root ball of the seedling.
- Use your finger to make the hole and check the depth.
- Only make space for one seedling per pot.
- Step 11: Transfer the Seedling to the New Pot.
So, you have the pot ready and the next thing that you have to do is to actually transfer the seedling over to the new pot. Of course this is going to be the important part because you have to remove the root ball with the seedling.
- Remove the seedling from the original seed tray by pinching the leaves.
- Gently place it in the hole that you made in the pot.
- Make sure that all of the roots are covered.
- Step 12: Pack the Seedling in Place.
The final step when it comes to transplanting is to make sure that the seedling is nice and secure in the pot because it has to be able to bind with the soil for it to then become established. If you fail to do this, then you are going to struggle to get the plant to grow and you hardly want to see your hard work up to the point going to waste.
- Pinch the soil together around the seedling.
- Gently press down the seedling so it is secure in the soil.
- Gently water the seedling in place.
After this, it is all about the daily care of the plant which is the next part that we will focus on.
- Step 13: Keep the Peppers Warm and Well-Lit.
With this step you have to make sure that the peppers are getting the correct environment to grow in because that is what is going to propel them further forward and actually end up producing fruit. Now, there are a number of ways in which this can be done.
- Peppers need temperatures between
75Fand 85Fto really grow.
- They are warm weather plants so need the heat.
- They require at least 8 hours of light.
- Use grow lights to help you with indoors.
- Step 14: Water them Consistently.
When it comes to watering the plants then you need to be careful with what you do. Clearly water is an important part in the growth of the plant but at the same time it can also be their worst enemy if you do it wrong. This is a major problem for many people as they overthink the watering process.
- Keep the soil moist rather than saturated.
- Water too much in poor draining soil and the roots will rot.
- Too much water will lead to diseases.
- Too much water will lead to stunted growth.
- Water them the same amount but do not allow them to dry out.
- Do not water the foliage.
- Step 15: Test the pH.
Another important factor to think about is the pH of the soil and this is also something that people have a tendency to just forget about or feel it is not important. However, this is not true and there are several key points for you to think about.
- Peppers prefer soil that is between 5.5 and 7.5.
- To increase the pH add lime.
- To decrease the pH make sure that you add fertilizer or compost.
- Step 16: Pollinate the Peppers when they Flower.
If you have never thought about pollinating the peppers, then you are missing out on increasing the yield of your plants and will have less peppers than what was possible. However, thankfully pollinating the plant is a lot easier than you would imagine.
- Use a cotton swab as this is the easiest method.
- Get the male flower and rub pollen onto the cotton swab.
- Rub the swab on the stigma of the female flower.
- Step 17: Harvesting the Peppers.
The final step is to harvest the peppers and even with this you need to be careful with what you are doing or else you are going to run the risk of damaging the plant and who wants to be doing that? Also, you need to know when to harvest the peppers as this does make all of the difference.
- Remember that peppers change to red when mature.
- When they look big enough, then harvest them.
- Use shears to cut them off the branch.
- Leave a stem roughly 1 inch in length on the pepper.
Now, as you can see there is nothing in this list that is too difficult for you to take advantage of and we do recommend that you study the tips that have been included here and think about using as many as possible. After all, you want to put in some effort into growing these plants but only if you are able to get the fruit at the end of it all.