Growing any vegetables begins with the seed. But in order for this seed to germinate and start to bear fruit, it is necessary to do very scrupulous work. Of course, much depends on the quality of the seeds themselves, as well as the terms and conditions of storage. Some gardeners simply plant seeds for seedlings in the soil, and get a poor harvest. And you can hold some activities to prepare the seeds for planting seedlings. Pepper belongs to whimsical vegetable crops, therefore for the strength and fruitfulness of plants it is important to strengthen from the very beginning. It can be said that the preparation of pepper seeds for seedlings is the basis for growing this vegetable.
Pre-planting preparation will not only speed up the process of growing peppers, but also increase germination, due to the separation of non-viable seeds. They will also get stronger, and will become more resistant to external factors and various diseases. So, if you grow your own seedlings, this information will be very useful and informative. And applying this knowledge in practice, you will be able to achieve even higher productivity of pepper.
Pepper Seed Features
Pepper is one of the first places among vegetables for thermophilic. Because of that, planting pepper seeds immediately in open ground does not make sense. But at the same time, the pepper matures for quite a long time, this process can last up to 200 days. Therefore, in order to speed up the cultivation of pepper, it is customary to plant seedlings. Thus, as soon as the frosts end, you can plant already strong shoots into the ground, and sometimes even with buds.
But in order to properly and in time to sow seedlings, you need to know some of the features. In order for the pepper to ripen before the onset of cold weather, it is necessary to begin planting seeds at the end of February. And pepper springs for quite a long time, the first sprouts can appear only after two weeks, and even more. The reason is the shell of essential oils, which covered all the seeds. Also, due to the dryness of seeds, under the wrong storage conditions, they can lose their properties. And during prolonged storage, the germination of seed material is significantly reduced. After 2-3 years of storage of seeds, only 50-70% of them will rise.
Importance of preparation
Many may conduct seed preparation, but do it inconsistently, or by neglecting some steps. Often, gardeners in large quantities use growth promoters, which is also a mistake. In this case, it is important to accurately observe the proportions and terms. Due to improper preparation, pepper may not rise or slow down in growth. Conversely, by doing everything exactly according to the instructions, you can get an excellent result.
Of course, you can not waste your time and sow untrained seeds, but then the time saved will take a long wait for germination. Such a pepper will grow slowly, and will not soon produce fruit. So, let us consider in detail each stage, how to properly prepare the pepper for planting on seedlings. Each of these steps is very important, which means you should not miss anything.
If you have been growing peppers on your plot for the first year, then most likely you are harvesting seeds yourself. Also, many use purchased seeds. The most important thing is that their quality is high.Tip! Always pay attention to shelf life. Add one more year to it, because on the package the date of packing is indicated, not the collection of seeds. In the end, you need to take only those that are no more than three years.
Further germination is significantly reduced. A five-year seeds generally unsuitable for cultivation.
The preparation of pepper seeds for sowing on seedlings begins with the sorting of storage periods. Also immediately dress and tag the pepper varieties if you grow several species. It is better to set aside sunflower seeds immediately; no growth stimulants and soaking will help them anymore. Even if such seeds are grown, the seedlings will be weak and will not give the desired yield.
Now that everything is sorted and decomposed, calibration can begin. We select large non-dried seeds, which are the strongest and most fruitful. This method is often used by gardeners, however, the eye can not always accurately determine the quality of the material. Therefore, after a visual inspection, the screening is performed using saline solution.
To prepare the solution will need:
- 0.5 liters of water;
- 1 teaspoon kitchen salt.
Now the components must be mixed well to dissolve the salt. Next, drop pepper seeds in a container with a solution, and wait for them to separate. Good seeds will remain at the bottom, and non-viable and light float to the surface. We collect unsuitable waste with a spoon, and wash the lower seeds with salt water.Important! The method of selection using saline also does not always give a 100% result. Simply drier seeds can emerge, but still, this method is very popular, and more effective than visual selection.
Pepper seed disinfection
The next step in preparing the pepper for planting is seed dressing with a 2% manganese solution. This procedure will help make the seeds of peppers disease-resistant and strong. This will significantly reduce the care of seedlings after planting in the ground.
The etching solution consists of the following ingredients:
- 500 ml of water;
- 2 grams of manganese.
Do not be alarmed that the solution turns out so dark, so it should be. Prepared seeds are poured into a disinfectant and infused for 20 minutes. Next, the seeds must be very carefully washed and dried.
This stage is optional, because during the growth of seedlings, peppers will be fertilized more than once. But such saturation will only benefit. To do this, you can use purchased mineral fertilizers. But many prefer proven folk methods. To prepare such a mixture you will need:
- 1 liter of water;
- 4 teaspoons of wood ash.
The solution must stand for a day. Next, the prepared pepper seeds are placed in a tissue envelope, and left in the solution for five hours. After that they should be dried, washing is not required.
Also as a biological stimulant use aloe juice. It is not inferior to the purchased mineral supplements. Such methods will help accelerate the growth of seedlings, and make it more resistant to environmental conditions and possible diseases. After this procedure, you can immediately plant peppers for seedlings, or proceed to the next stages of preparation.Attention! The use of biological stimulants is possible only if the temperature in the room does not fall below +20 ° C.
Soaking pepper seeds
If you are in doubt whether pepper seeds should be soaked for planting, then note that this procedure will accelerate germination by a week, or even two. Many gardeners miss the previous steps, but soaking is a must. Although all the preparatory measures are very important, it is by soaking the seeds that the seedling growth can be preliminarily accelerated.
For soaking need to use settled water, or even better - melted snow. If there is no snow, you can freeze the separated water, and leave it for a while, so that it melts completely. Also rain water will do.
Soaking is carried out using available materials at hand. For these purposes, you can use:
- A piece of cloth.
- A napkin.
You will also need a container to place the pepper seeds. Suitable plastic container or glass plate. For the shelter of seeds useful film or plastic bag. Now that all materials have been prepared, you can begin soaking.
Important! Ensure that the temperature in the room is not below +25 ° C.
If you are going to grow only one variety of pepper, then you need to prepare a container of such size that all the seeds fit. If you have several types of seed material, it will be better to place them separately. So, in the prepared container we place a cloth moistened with water (or another material). Excess water that could not absorb the fabric, must be drained. Pepper seeds should not be allowed to float in water. Next, place the seeds on the fabric so that they all lie one by one and not in several layers. To separate them, you can use a toothpick. Of course, you can place several varieties of pepper in the same container, but on separate pieces of cloth. But in this case it is very easy to get confused.
Next you need to cover the pepper seeds with the edges of the fabric, and place the container in a plastic bag (or use food wrap). Put the container in a warm place, and make sure that the temperature does not fall to +18 ° C. In such conditions, the pepper can rot.
Tip! It is important to constantly monitor the moisture level of the seeds. Do not allow them to dry out.
Pepper seeds can be planted at different stages. Some gardeners planted just soaked sunflower seeds. Others wait for partial germination, which occurs after 7-14 days. Note that the seeds must germinate quite a bit, otherwise there is a risk of damaging them during transplantation. Soaking helps germinate seeds after sowing after a couple of days.
So, we have discussed in detail how to prepare seed for sowing. These methods will help grow strong seedlings with high disease resistance. However, this does not mean that without these procedures you will not be able to grow peppers. Many do not wish to do such thorough processing, and use only one or a couple of methods. Most of the preparation needs to be collected personally by the seeds, because often the producers themselves carry out the necessary processing steps. Information on the packaging indicates whether it was carried out. If yes, then you only need to calibrate the seeds.