As with many good things in life preparation is key. Your seeds will need a few days of prep work, a good wash and a little tea time before diving into the soil. If you don’t plan on planting your seeds right away be sure to store them in a cool place.
So, with that said here are the first Steps of PuckerButtPepper Co’s Seed Starting and Plant Care Guide. This guide covers what you’ll need to do Before planting and when you place your seeds into soil.
- It is important that every seed be washed, dried, and ready to be planted.
- If you plan to wait months/ years- Keep seeds in a cool, dark and dry place.
Two: Before Planting
Chill for a few days and then have some tea.
- Refrigerate seeds for 3 days before planting. This can mimic winter conditions and once seeds are brought back to room temperature they may respond as if exposed to spring conditions.
- Soak seeds in room temperature, plain, black tea for about 30 minutes to soften seed shells.
Once you’ve done the right prep work you are Soil Bound and Ready to Get Planting.
Three: Soil & Planting
The right soil, container and seed depth are key during the soil and planting phase. You may assume the deeper the better but in the case of pepper seeds the real success is located close to the surface.
- Use a sterile, soil-less, lightweight mix.
- Sow seeds approximately 1/8” deep in sterile, soil-less planting mix. (1/8 inch is about the size of the seed itself)
- Sow in clean containers allowing adequate drainage (i.e., holes on bottom of container).
- Cover seeds with a light dusting of soil.
- It is preferable not to load it with additional water.
- Dampen soil mix from the start and continue to keep moist, but not so much where it is completely soaked the majority of of the time.
- Never let the soil completely dry out.
- Plant seed no more than 1/8 inch below the soil
- Seeds may take 4 – 6 weeks to germinate. If planted too deep, germination time can increase or cause loss of seeds.
- Cover with a light dusting of soil or vermiculite.
- Lightly spray the covering with water.
- If needed, bring soil temperature up to 80-85 degrees to speed up germination. This can best be achieved indoors using a heat mat under the tray.
- We do Not suggest using paper towel or any other methods.
*Seeds may take 4 – 6 weeks to germinate*
Young seedlings don’t need a ton of nutrients in their early stage. But once they begin establishing here are a few important things to not on fertilizing your seedlings as they begin to grow.
- Seedlings- It is preferable not to load it with additional nutrients; as young seedlings do not need a lot of food in early stages and it can actually hinder the process. Established Plants are those with at least 3 Sets of Leaves.
- Fish Emulsion- To use fish emulsion, you'll first need to dilute it. Add just a 1/2 ounce of fish emulsion to 1 gallon of water. Then water the plants using that fish water. Yum...the plants find fish water delicious.
- Flora Bloom- Liquid Concentrated Nutrient, stimulates flower and fruit development by providing phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and sulfur, which are essential for a comprehensive plant diet. It's all about stimulation here.
- 10 10 10 Fertilizer- The numbers are percentages and the component parts are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), in that order. So 10-10-10 fertilizer contains 10 percent each of these three main nutrients.
- Black Kow Manure- An organic soil amendment for gardens. Add this to the soil to promote healthy plant growth. It has a 0.5-0.5-0.5 fertilizer analysis and provides nutrients for your plants.
- Cal-Mag- Is a plant supplement designed to correct the inherent problem of calcium, magnesium and iron mineral deficiencies found in most soil fertilizers and some hydroponic nutrient formulas.
*IMPORTANT. Too much of too many good things all at once is not a good thing. Do not use all of these at the same time.*
At this point you are ready to move into the next phase in the planting and growing process: Water, Temperature, Time and Acclimation. If you haven't already started feeling like a mad scientist, this is where it should start setting in. Just keep following Ed's mad science steps, you've got this.
Read the next Growing Tips article to learn more Step-by-Step Instructions. Read Here.