Pre-sprouting 101

March 30, 2010

I’m about a week behind starting my peppers indoors so I decided to start them this morning.  Pepper seeds need a lot of heat to germinate and,  since I’m behind schedule, 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 take.

For my supplies, I use a Sharpie, sandwich-sized Ziploc bags, coffee filters, two plates (the left one is filled with water), seeds and a heating mat:

I take one coffee filter and soak it in the left-hand plate that has water in it:

I transfer it to the dry, right-hand plate and space pepper seeds in one quarter area:

I fold the coffee filter in half:

And then again so that it’s a quarter of the size:

I write the name of the pepper variety on a Ziploc bag using a Sharpie pen and place the damp, folded coffee filter with seeds in it and zip it up:

After I’ve packaged up all the pepper seeds that I want to pre-sprout, I put them on my heating mat, arranging them so that they all receive equal heat:

I started:

  • Chocolate Beauty
  • California Wonder
  • King of the North
  • Habanero
  • Red Habanero
  • Variegated Fish
  • Holy Mole
  • Early Jalapeno
  • Joe’s Long Cayenne
  • Bhut Jolokia

It’ll take a few days before they begin to sprout and until then I’ll be checking them every morning to see if they’re drying out and need extra water.  I’ll only add enough water for the coffee filter to soak up as too much water will encourage rot.

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3 Responses to “Pre-sprouting 101”

  1. roundrockgarden Says:

    that’s a great way to get those seeds germinated, and takes a lot of guess work out of it, too! thanks for sharing.

  2. NY Gardner Says:

    This is great, thanks. How do you know when they are ready? How do you transplant them?

    • Kathy Says:

      When I start seeds this way, I check every day to see if they’ve sprouted. You will know they’ve sprouted when you see a little white growth come out of the eye of the seed. There’s some great shots on this website.


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