My Piece of Dirt

Zone 8 Gardening

Peppers 4 Next Year–Ole

on September 13, 2014
Banana Peppers

Banana Peppers

Germinating pepper seeds today for next year’s planting.  It is really easy to germinate peppers in September’s heat; whereas, if you wait until January to try it, it can be a long, frustrating and expensive project what with the heating pads and the grow-light bulbs.

Keep in mind that you may be forced to move these pots around more than the average bear, so do not go with big, heavy containers.  You want the plant to stay small over the winter.

I am doing 1 Cayenne and 3 Banana Peppers.  That should be enough to start 2015 with a blast.

Seeds can be germinated in the garage or anywhere in the shade, just as long as it is hot, hot and hot.  Heat, water, soil and seeds are all that is needed.  Once the seeds germinate, transfer to a sunny spot. These plants will be okay outside until temps drop below 40F-ish.  If you leave them outside as long as possible, bringing them indoors from 40-45F outside to 65-70F inside should be a bonus.  They will not, of course, produce peppers over the winter, but they will give you a jump start on next year.  Do not transplant outside until winter temps are completely gone and spring is assured.  Once again, moving them from 65F inside to…say 80F outside should be a bonus to the plant.  But never get in a hurry with peppers and spritz them with Epsom Salt (3 teaspoons in a spray bottle) when they get pale and unhappy.

Now…bringing outside plants inside, can raise another issue: GNATS.  I am told, by a good friend that I can banish gnat eggs from the soil by letting the dirt get completely dried out–like desert dry.  Sticky-tape can help with the adult gnats.  We will see about that….

If all tricks fail to get rid of gnats, it is possible to gently uproot the plant, wash everything, including the roots and re-pot in some new soil.  That would be very traumatic, and a last ditch effort.

Sounds like a lot, but hey, it beats heating pads and grow-lights.


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