Pepper seeds, sowed!

As I have learned throughout the years, pepper is one of the most economic veggies to grow. They are easy to take care of (once they are in the garden) and can give you fresh peppers for about 5-6 months out of a year, not to mention you can pickle, freeze the extras and use them later. Growing peppers from seeds is not hard, and it can save you a lot of money considering each pepper plant in the store can sell up to $3.50. You can grow your own pepper starts for a fraction of the cost. You will also have the luxury of picking the right varieties yourself.

The peppers I choose this year are : Sweet Eda Bell Pepper and Estella Bullhorn Pepper(From New Dimension Seed). Sweet Eda is a great quality bell pepper, the plant is low and robust, producing tons of peppers with thick meat and great flavor. Estella is a great pepper for making chili rellenos. It matures extremely early and has a long producing season.

2" pots and trays;
Packets of pepper seeds;
Fresh potting soil;
slow release fertilizer (the kind with polymer coatings).

1. For every bag of potting soil add 1 C. of the slow-release fertilizer.
2. Place the 2" pots in the trays. Fill the pots with potting soil.
3. Place 2-3 seeds in each pot, lightly press the seeds into the soil.
4. Cover the trays with a thin layer of the potting soil.
5. Water the trays with a watering can that will distribute water evenly and gently.
6. Place the trays in a nice warm spot, preferably on a south facing window or on top of a heating mat (Most gardening supply stores have them). Keep the pots moist, but not soaking wet. And wait for your pepper seeds to germinate.
The ideal germination temperature is 80F, if the temperature is lower it will take longer to germinate.
Note: If the temperature is too low (say below 55F consistently), then you might not get them to germinate no matter what.

When pepper seeds germinate, remove all seedlings but the strongest one in the pot. Remember: only one (1) pepper plant per pot. This can be hard for beginning gardeners, but absolutely essential! As in a 2" space only one pepper plant can develop healthy and strong. When pepper plants are 2" tall, Transfer them to 4" pots. Then await for spring to finally arrive and transplant them to your garden.

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