By in Tutorials

How To Start Pepper Seeds Indoors

Starting pepper plants from seed can sometimes prove difficult. Pepper seeds need warmth to germinate. If you live in a cooler climate where the late Spring and Summer growing seasons are shorter, starting seeds indoors up to eight weeks before the last frost can give your garden a jump start.

An inexpensive grow box consisting of a 30 gallon tote, some aluminum foil, duct tape and a heat lamp fixture with a grow light or 60 watt fluorescent bulb can provide both the warmth and light required for successful germination and growth.

Cut sheets of aluminum foil to line the sides and bottom of the tote. Tape in place.

Cut a hole in the lid of the tote to accommodate the light fixture. I had to cut a circular hole and a "T" formation to get the arm of the light to fit.

Once the grow box is assembled and the light fixture attached, place an aluminum lasagna pan in the bottom of the box.

Place potted seeds in pan. You may add additional warmth to the bottom underneath the lasagna pan, but I find that that isn't needed.

The lighting used can vary. The box will get very warm, so care should be taken to prevent overheating. The light bulbs I use in the fixture is a Compact fluorescent 14 watt (60 watt equivalent) energy saving bulb. This warms the box up and provides the light necessary for healthy growth of seedlings.

Leave the light on in the box for 13-14 hours a day. Leave the lid slightly ajar for increased air circulation. Pepper seeds have successfully germinated and sprouted in less than 10 days. With sufficient light, they will grow quickly and with sturdy structure. This will prevent "leggy" and lethargic seedlings.

Once well established and growing, transplant seedlings into slightly larger pots to promote additional root development. This photo was taken with morning glory and tomato seedlings.

The light bulb fixture will not get too hot for the lid.

Image Credit » &momluvz2knit

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BNelson wrote on June 24, 2014, 8:17 PM

Never had much luck with pepper plants, but then again I do not eat peppers much so not an issue.

allen0187 wrote on July 10, 2014, 8:05 PM

I'm going to try this out.

momluvz2knit wrote on July 28, 2014, 10:02 AM

&alle0187 I hope you good luck with this method. I started mine in March for a head start.

AliCanary wrote on October 16, 2014, 3:33 PM

This seems like a pretty good set-up. I have read advice to keep the seedlings on top of the refrigerator, but I think that advice is probably pretty outdated--most modern appliances don't lose a lot of heat.