If you grow bell peppers indoors from seeds, you will have the opportunity to take advantage of the much longer growing season in a more controlled growing environment, which is not possible in an outdoor setting. The key to the successful growth of your bell peppers is in providing the plants with a much better growing environment while also providing them with the nutrients that they need in order to ensure that they remain healthy and capable of producing peppers regularly.
So here are the steps on how to grow bell peppers indoors from seeds.
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Gather The Seeds
So before you begin planting, the first thing that you may need to ask yourself is where will you get the seeds to plant? For most people, seed saving is the best way to gather the seeds to plant bell peppers and other vegetables indoors. You can also purchase the seeds from a garden supplies store however not all pepper varieties may be available there. So if you have a certain variety of bell pepper that you want to grow, then gather and preserve the seeds for future planting.
Understanding the differences between the different types of bell pepper plants, along with learning the bell pepper plant life cycle can help to improve your chances of growing your seeds successfully. It is important to note however that not all the seeds that you have preserved from a grocery bought bell pepper will be able to sprout. And if they do, they may not be able to produce the same fruit as what you have bought from the grocery store.
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Proper storage is important when it comes to preserving seeds to be planted. If you are not immediately sowing the seeds, you need to store them properly so they will remain viable for planting. Most of the bell pepper seeds can be stored for about two years, as long as they are packaged correctly. Some people will choose to store the seeds inside a glass jar or a paper envelope.
You may also include silica gel inside the jars or paper envelope in order to dry the moisture that’s trapped within the jar or paper. It is important that you label it with the variety of the pepper seeds, as well as the year they were harvested. Store the seeds in a cool and dark place until such time that you are ready to plant and grow bell peppers.
Soak The Seeds In Water
So once you have the seeds available, you can now begin planting. Begin by soaking the seeds in water. Simply pour the seeds in a small plastic cup and then fill the cup with warm water. Leave the seeds soaked in the cup for up to eight hours until such time that they sink deep down to the bottom. Soaking the seeds is important as it helps to break the hard coating down, which speeds up the germination process.
In some instances, the seeds are also soaked in chamomile tea or in a solution that consists of 250 ml cup of warm water and one to two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide. Preparing these solutions are a much better option than water as they are more effective at breaking the coating down and also provides an added benefit of disinfecting the seeds.
Fill the Seedling Tray With Soil
The next thing to do when it comes to growing peppers from seeds is to look for a plastic seedling tray that you can fill with soil. Make sure to mix the soil with a loose draining potting mix that you can purchase from a home improvement store or from a garden supply store. Or better yet, mix vermiculite, peat moss and coarse sand in equal parts in order to come up with your own potting mix.
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Pour about two gallons of soil on each container in the tray and add two tbsp. of slow release fertilizer that contains phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium, having a ratio of 10 : 10 : 10 for your potting mix. You can use banana peels as fertilizer as well.
As soon as the tray is filled with soil, poke a tiny hole in the middle of the soil with your finger or you can use a tiny stick. The hole should be around 1/4 inch or about 2/3 in depth.
Bury the Seeds in the Soil
Once you are done with creating holes on each of the plastic seedling tray, the next thing to do is to start planting the seeds. Bury the seeds on each of the holes you have created. Gently push the seeds down deep within the soil until it’s fully covered with thin layer of soil.
When you are done with burying all the seeds, place the tray in a warm area indoor. Move the tray into an area that is known to receive a lot of sunlight all throughout the day. Perhaps, you can place the tray in a sunny and warm windowsill.
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Remember that when you grow bell peppers indoors, temperature is a very important factor. Bell peppers will be able to germinate best if the temperature of the soil is at 27 degree Celsius or 80 degrees Fahrenheit. As much as possible, let the seeding tray sit at the top of the seedling heat mat. Make sure to keep the seeds moist. Do not allow the soil to dry out. As soon as you notice that the surface of the soil is dry, spray it immediately with water.
Water the Plants Regularly
Water the soil constantly but make sure not to drench the soil with water or the bell pepper plant will die. As soon as your pepper plants will begin to grow some flowers, then you should fertilize them weekly with a water-soluble fertilizer that has the appropriate NPK ratio.
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Closely monitor your bell pepper plants and watch out for the formation of the bell peppers. This is very important when growing peppers from seed whether it’s indoors or outdoors. Leave the bell peppers to ripen while still attached to the plant until such time that it begins to develop a bright red color on the entire fruit surface. You can make use of a sharp knife in order to sever the stems, just right above the area where the fruit is attached in order to prevent the plants from getting damaged.
More Tips to successfully grow Bell Peppers Indoors
You may incorporate companion planting. Companion planting is a planting technique that can help to ensure the success of your bell pepper plants. Following this technique, you can try planting the peppers beside other plants such as carrots, parsley, basil and tomatoes. But make sure to avoid planting the peppers near kohlrabi or fennel.
The best way to eliminate insects and diseases is to use organic and natural pesticides. Destructive caterpillars such as tomato hornworms and cutworms can be controlled easily with the help of Bacillus thuringensis (BT or Thuricide). The Rotenone and pyrethrum can also help to handle pests like flea beetles, pepper maggots, weevils leaf miners and aphids.
Another good idea to ensure that you will be able to grow bell peppers successfully is to test the pH level of the soil where it is planted. Bell peppers will be able to grow best on soils that have a pH value of 5.5 to 7.5. You can choose to add a ground agricultural lime on the soil if you want to increase the soil’s pH level. If you want to decrease it however, then simply add fertilizer or compost. You can also use Aspirin to help plant grow.
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Hopefully these tips on how to grow bell peppers indoors can help you to successfully grow your own bell pepper plant. Even if this is the first time that you are planting vegetables indoors, you sure can achieve success if you just follow the tips above. And remember, it is very important that you closely monitor the growth of your plants.