Pre-sprouting 2009

February 13, 2009

I’ve officially started my seeds for 2009!  I’m currently pre-sprouting Long Red Cayenne, Carribbean Red and Bhut Jolokia hot peppers.

Pre-sprouting is a great way to get your seeds up and running quickly, cutting down on the number of days needed to germinate.  I use a coffee filter, Ziploc bag, heating mat and Sharpie to pre-sprout my seeds.

Fold the coffee filter in half and dip in water to get it fully wet.  Place your seeds on one side of the half-filter and fold it again into a quarter.  Put the folded filter in the Ziploc bag and label with the name and date.  Place on a heated surface like a heating mat or on top of your fridge.  Check everyday to see if the seeds have sprouted and to make sure the filter hasn’t dried out (add a few drops of water every other day to keep it moist).  Once they sprout, carefully transfer them to your seed starting trays and put them under fluorescent lights or in a windowsill.

Here you can see my pepper seeds that I started this morning:

Once I get home tonight, I’ll write today’s date on each of the bags.

Oh, BTW, I’ve been able to source the jalapeno and habanero seeds from a local gardener and will be pre-sprouting them tonight as well.  I had called around to a number of nurseries and garden centre with no luck.  Eventually, I remembered there was a hot pepper store out in Navan, ON called Chilly Chilies and, once I called, I found out that they have all kinds of pepper seeds for gardeners.  Neat!


7 Responses to “Pre-sprouting 2009”

  1. Oh, I can’t wait to see those peppers- I’ve never grown them. Great plan for pre-sprouting. I sometimes do this for older seeds I find laying around or ones that tend to do better when you do this. Happy Gardening!

  2. Chiot's Run Says:

    I love the blog name!!!

    I’ve never pre-sprouted, I should try sometime.

  3. Dan Says:

    I just read about Bhut Jolokia peppers on another blog, I have never heard of them before. I did a google image search and found some pictures of them grown to the size of a small tree.

    What do these peppers taste like, what are they used for?

  4. Kathy Says:

    Dan, bhut jolokia, a.k.a. ghost pepper, is known as the hottest pepper in the world. It’s so crazy hot that people video-tape themselves trying it for the first time. I don’t have to stones to try it, however, a few people I know are willing to try. Some people will only take a piece of this pepper and lightly drag it over their food for a wicked heat kick.

    It sounds crazy enough for me to want to try and grow a huge crop of it.

  5. John Says:


    You might try standing your baggies upright, so that the seedlings roots will grow straight down, instead of trying to grow down through the paper.

    Works great though eh!

  6. Kathy Says:

    Hi John,

    Yes, I love pre-sprouting seeds – it makes it a lot easier to see what’s germinated. After I see the root emerge, I remove the seed from the coffee filter and pot it up into some seed-starting mix instead of growing it in the baggie with the filter.


  7. […] the best and fastest way to do that is called pre-sprouting.  I’ve written about it before, however, I wanted to give more detail on the steps I […]

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