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Gardening Articles: Care :: Seeds & Propagation

Starting Eggplant, Pepper, and Okra Seeds Indoors (page 2 of 2)

by National Gardening Association Editors

Pot Basics

To start growing your transplants, fill the container with moistened, not wet, potting mix or soil. If you're using peat pots or Jiffy 7's, plant a few seeds in each. This ensures at least one good plant per pot. In flats, sprinkle the seed about 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart. Then firm them into the soil with a flat, rigid object. such as a small wooden shingle or a kitchen spatula. Sprinkle some more of the potting mix over the seeds, covering them only to a depth of three to four times their own diameter. For pepper and eggplant seeds, about 1/4 inch of the moistened soil or mix is about right. Okra seeds are bigger and can take about an inch of covering. Firm the top of the soil again, so that the seeds come into good contact with the moistened soil to help germination.

Cover the flat or container with plastic wrap or put it in a plastic bag to help retain moisture. Then place the bundle in a spot that's consistently warm but not hot, such as the top of the fridge. Cover the packages with a few sheets of newspaper to help insulate them.

A sunny window is the worst place to put seeds that are trying to germinate. It's hot during the day and usually cold at night. These temperature extremes don't help the seeds to germinate. The top of your refrigerator is a great location because the temperature is constant, warming the soil around your seeds. It has the added benefit of getting flats or containers out of your way. Eggplant, pepper and okra seeds don't need sunlight to sprout, just warmth and a bit of moisture.

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