Having just sown my pepper seeds, I thought it might be useful to show you how I sow different crops in different ways. Some as an experiment and some by habitude. As I roll throughout the season I will do my best to share these methods with you if I’m not in too much of a rush. Today I want to show you how I’m sowing my pepper seeds in mini soil blocks this year.
I say THIS YEAR as I have found in the past that the DENO method for sprouting pepper seeds works best for me when I sow peppers. The downside is, that it involves quite some work when you are transplanting the sprouts into their new blocks and soil blocks are not the most suitable medium for transplanting when you aren’t using smaller blocks that transplant automatically into bigger blocks. So I want to try and get this method of direct sowing to work. Because soil blocks are really the way to go for me. You need less plastic and you can sow really big quantities of plants on a smaller surface. I just have to figure out a way how to sow different crops in different ways, so that everything works out.
Last year I tried this method as well, but it failed miserably. Partly because I couldn’t keep a close eye on them, and partly because I didn’t perfect the method (I hope). I actually sowed my seeds and dumped my tray (with lid) at a colleague of Eduard, who kindly offered to take care of my seedlings while I was on holiday. Unfortunately I had very erratic germination and the poor guy felt guilty for something that wasn’t his fault. It meant for me that I had to buy my pepper plants last year.
THIS YEARS PLAN
This year I have come up with a better way of germinating my pepper seeds. Part of the adjusted plan is: not going on holiday in february, march and april. But that isn’t all.
- First of all, I am bringing out my trusty heat mat to bring up the temperature to an acceptable level. Our house is an equivalent of a fridge (if we leave the house in winter it actually turns into a freezer) and peppers do like it hot!
- Secondly, I have made sure that my soil medium was very wet when I created the soil blocks. Not too wet, so that the blocks won’t stay together, but wet enough. Peppers like sufficient humidity to germinate. I also added some coconut ‘peat’ to the mix to absorb more humility for a longer period of time. The rest of the soil is just a regular sowing mix. A very fine mix, as the mini soil blocks can’t handle chunks of soil very well.
- And then lastly, I have put a black garbage bag on top of the soil blocks to create an dark environment for them to grow in. These tiny blocks are very tiny, and due to that it’s quite hard to get the – quite substantial – seeds well under the soil level. And because of that, you have the risk that the seed will germinate on top of the soil block and will find it hard to root. By putting a black plastic bag on top of the soil blocks, I am hoping to prevent this. On top of the black bag, I have my usual greenhouse roof.
And that’s it! I will of course let you know here or on Instagram how these guys are progressing. I hope to have a tiny green field in two weeks or so. By that time I will remove the black plastic and find some decent light for them to grow into. And in case you want to know which varieties I will grow this year, here is a list of most of my varieties.