photo credit: Mike the Gardener
|There are a number of fruits and vegetables that I absolutely love to grow in my home vegetable garden. Peppers being one of them. Like all of the other fruits and vegetables, I love to start my peppers from seeds. I enjoy not only the cost saving benefits of using seeds, but the challenge of it as well. Not to say that growing anything from seed is overly difficult but when you start your garden from seed there is a requirement for a little more care in the beginning to get them going. Here are four tips I put together if you are looking to start your peppers from seeds.
Pepper seeds are fairly small and very light which means they do not generate a whole lot of energy to push through the top soil. Therefore they should be planted no less than a quarter inch deep. Any deeper and they may never see the light of day.
Just like with tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables you will want to get a jump start on your peppers by planting them indoors. Your method on how you plant them is up to you, but I like using a humidity dome, a homemade seed starting soil mix and left over yogurt cups. My seed starting soil mix is equal parts perilite, home made compost, and peat. Start your peppers eight weeks prior to the last frost in your area. When the fear of frost subsides then you can move them to the outdoors.
Peppers grow best when the soil is a bit more acidic. You can invest in a soil pH tester from your local home or garden center or from our online store for less than ten dollars (US). Peppers will grow well in the 5.5 to 7.0 range but will do much better in the lower portion of it. If you do not know what your soil’s pH level is, then you should definitely get it tested.
So you are ready to move your peppers to their final growing place, but how far apart do you space them? Since there are so many varieties of peppers, spacing requirements will vary, but for most, twelve inches is perfect. That will give their root systems plenty of room to spread out without feeling overcrowded or in competition for the soil’s nutrients.
My favorite are sweet peppers so I will grow loads of them in many varieties. Your tastes I am sure will be different, but if you follow the tips above you too will be able to grow great tasting peppers in your own backyard home vegetable garden.
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