We recently ran Harald Zoschke’s cool Seven Hacks for Chile Gardeners over at Central. Here’s just one of the ideas you’ll find in that story.
Many chile gardeners prefer to soak their pepper seeds in bleach solution, tea or plain water before sowing. If you have a lot of varieties, that means a lot of small containers. Or you follow my advice to use ice cube trays. If you’re lucky (like me), you’ll find one for tiny “cubes” – like shown, with 60 compartments. Alternatively, a pill box for a 4-week supply offers compartments to soak seeds for up to 28 varieties. Be sure to number your compartments with a waterproof felt-tip pen and take notes what you put where, or you’ll be in trouble.
Depending on what liquid you’re using, soaking seeds may soften the seed casing, encourage seeds to break their dormancy or kill seed-borne diseases. We successfully used weak camomile tea particularly for hard to germinate peppers like wild chiles. But normally, especially if we’ve got rather fresh seeds, we skip the soaking process. Does soaking help? Why not try out yourself. But first, get those handy ice cube trays.