The Q&A Archives: Growing In Zone 9

Question: What is the best month to start eggplant seeds & hot pepper seeds indoors in zone 9?

Answer: Optimal daytime temperatures for peppers and eggplants is the 70F degree range, with nighttime temperatures of about 60F. In your gardening region, that equates to setting transplants out in the garden in early to mid-May. Using that as a target date, start your seeds indoors 8-9 weeks prior. If you start your seeds indoors the last week of February or the first week of March, they'll germinate in about 7-10 days when kept at 80F-85F. (Lower temperatures will retard germination.) In another 7-8 weeks they will have developed into sturdy little transplants and can be set out in the garden when temperatures are warm.

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