Peppers thrive in well-drained, fertile soils with a pH of 6.5. Abundant phosphorus and calcium is needed for the best results.
GROWING SEEDLINGS: Sow seed in 20-row or shallow flats, 4 seeds/in., 1/4" deep, in late March or about 8 weeks prior to transplanting. If possible, maintain soil temperatures at 80-90°F (27-32°C). Pepper seeds germinate very slowly in cooler soil. When the first true leaves appear, transplant seedlings into 2" cell-type containers or 4" pots. Grow plants at approx. 70°F (21°C) day and 60°F (16°C) nights.
COLD TREATMENT: Exposing the seedlings to controlled cold treatments can increase the number of flowers and fruits. When the third true leaf appears, grow the plants at a minimum night temperature of 53-55°F (12-13°C) for 4 weeks. The plants should receive full sunlight. After 4 weeks adjust temperature to 70°F (21°C) day and night. If this technique is used, peppers should be seeded 1-2 weeks earlier than usual.
TRANSPLANTING: Transplant out after frost when the soil is warm and weather is settled. Ideal seedlings have buds, but no open flowers. Set plants 12-18" apart in rows 24-36" apart, or 2 rows on poly/paper mulch, 18" between plants. Water-in transplants using a high phosphorus solution.
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