This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he always thought the garden was his. Even though I do all the work, he always stood by me. I'm located near Boston (in USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot and a backyard vegetable garden. I use sustainable organic methods and try to grow all of my family's vegetables.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

sowing pepper seeds

pepper seeds peppers and plumbing
planted peppers
At the last minute, I found a few more varieties of pepper seeds, bought some trays and quickly planted my pepper seeds on schedule - March 15. Same date as last year.

My garden is now 7-8 weeks before the last frost. Our usual last frost date here is May 5-10.

I planted these five varieties of peppers.

Sweet Canary Bell: (hybrid) Easy to grow, exceptional flavor, thick-walled and bright yellow color. It sets fruit early and produces throughout the summer. A vibrant accent in salads and deliciously sweet when sauteed or grilled. 69-80 days

Sweet Chocolate: (open pollinated) A lovely purple brown. Lumpy, elongated shape. Smoky-sweet flavor. Very productive. Peppers are very sweet, have thick walls, and turn from green, to chocolate when mature. The interior walls are brick red. Excellent fresh in salads. 85 days.

Anaheim Chile: (open pollinated) a mild variety of the New Mexican chile pepper. Like a poblano with a slightly thinner flesh. Fresh Anaheim peppers, like the poblano, need to be roasted before use. 78 days.

Poblano Chile: (open pollinated) a very mild chile pepper. The plant is multi-stemmed, and can reach 25 inches in height. The pod itself is about three to six inches long, and about two to three inches wide. An immature poblano is dark purplish green in color, but eventually turns a red so dark as to be nearly black. It can be prepared a number of ways, commonly including: dried, breaded and fried, stuffed, or in sauces called moles. After being roasted and peeled (which improves the texture by removing the waxy skin), it can be preserved by either canning or freezing. When dried, this pepper becomes a broad, flat, heart-shaped pod called an Ancho chile. 65 days.

Habenero Chile: (open pollinated) The habanero is the hottest chile pepper you'll find. Most habaneros rate 200,000 to 300,000 Scoville heat units. Yee ha!! That's hot!! 95 days.

I put the tray under my fish tank in among all the plumbing. It stays a nice constant 78 degrees F under there and worked well last year. For pepper seed, the recommended soil germination temperature range is 75-80°F.
chile and bell peppers (Capsicum)



Anonymous anastrophe said...

I put my peppers and eggplants out on Wednesday but I'm worried they won't germinate---I really haven't got a warm place in my house where I can put them. Do you think covering them in saran wrap and sticking them in a south window would help, or would that cook them?

March 17, 2008 1:32 PM

Blogger carletongardener said...

I don't know what you mean by putting them out. Outside? I think you should try the saran wrap on the south windowsill. Maybe it will work. The temperature may fluctuate too much though. You could stick a thermometer under the wrap to check. It would be better to look around for a place with more constant warmth: under/on the refrigerator, on or under an old electric blanket. Peppers are hard to raise from seed because, for germination, seeds need to be kept between 75oF- 90oF (24oC-32oC) with the optimum around 85oF. (I have never grown eggplants from seed.) Good luck!

March 17, 2008 3:57 PM

Blogger carletongardener said...

Also, here's a comment Patrick left last year with some more information.

Patrick said...

Maybe you already know this, but the trick with starting peppers indoors is the soil temperature.

The soil needs to to stay above at least 70F, 24 hours a day, and 75F is better. At garden centers you can buy a variety of gadgets to heat the soil if your house is colder than this.

You also have to make sure the soil doesn't dry out because it's so warm, and your house is probably dry during the winter anyway.

Once the seeds germinate temperature isn't important anymore.

February 14, 2007 6:39 PM

March 17, 2008 4:07 PM

Anonymous anastrophe said...

by "out" I meant out of the package and into the seed flat! sorry, poor choice of words.

I've been keeping them on top of our old gas stove which has pilot lights--so far the eggplants have sprouted but no sign of the peppers. I think the heat isn't even enough. Thanks for the suggestions, hopefully my peppers will come up soon!

March 18, 2008 11:12 AM

Blogger carletongardener said...

Last year my peppers sprouted in about 12 days at 78F. The package says 10-21 days! (I found a website that says eggplants only need 7 days at the same temp.) So hang in there. Pepper germination can take a long time.

March 19, 2008 4:01 PM

Anonymous anastrophe said...

you know, my broccoli says 10-21 days and it came up in four! I planted it on the 15th and yesterday when I looked they all had leaves:) maybe the peppers will be next.

March 20, 2008 8:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I brought home some hot pepper seeds from the Basque region of Spain last summer but I forgot to start the seeds until today (4/12). They don't have days to maturity or anything. Do you think I'll get peppers before frost? I live in East Arlington. I hope I get some, because they are delicious!

April 12, 2008 5:32 PM


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