An interesting, but difficult time is approaching for any enthusiastic summer resident and gardener - growing seedlings. Of course, you can buy it on the market, but, firstly, in the overwhelming majority of cases, market seedlings do not stand up to criticism regarding quality and survival rate, and secondly, only by growing seedlings on your own, you can try new, unique varieties and adapt them to your own. individual growing conditions.
Pepper is a well-known heat-loving culture, which in most regions of Russia can only be grown with the help of seedlings. And here a lot of questions arise, especially for novice gardeners, associated, first of all, with the timing of sowing seeds, with the choice of varieties, with the peculiarities of preparing seeds for sowing, etc. After all, planting pepper for seedlings is not an easy task and requires a thoughtful attitude towards everyone even small nuances. Only in this case, the pepper seedlings, and subsequently the plants themselves, will delight you with their beauty, strength and healthy appearance.
Sowing dates for pepper in 2021
It is important to figure out what the timing of sowing pepper depends on, so that in subsequent years you can independently calculate the time when you can sow pepper for seedlings.
Further, we will consider all the main factors on which the sowing time depends.
The length of the growing season - that is, the period from germination to harvest. Sometimes the technological maturity of the fruit is considered - when the peppers are already edible, but have not acquired their final ripe color and the seeds in them are not yet ripe for sowing.
Another two weeks may elapse between technological maturity and final maturation. For peppers, this period averages 110-120 days. But this figure can vary greatly depending on the particular cultivar. There are early (85-110 days) and late (120-130 days) sweet pepper varieties. So if you want to know when to sow peppers for seedlings, look on the seed packet for the length of the growing season and remember (write down) this number.
The age of the seedlings before they are planted in the ground is quite an important characteristic, although it often strongly depends on the growing conditions. Typically, pepper seedlings are planted in the ground after the formation of the first flower in the first fork. For early varieties of pepper, this occurs at the age of 50-65 days from germination, for late varieties - at the age of 65-85 days.
The approximate planting time of pepper seedlings - first of all, depends on the further growing conditions. Where you will grow peppers in summer - in a greenhouse, in a greenhouse or in the open field - largely determines the timing of planting peppers for seedlings. And this period, unfortunately, is the most difficult to predict, because it most of all depends on weather conditions. The greatest dependence on the weather is obtained when planting peppers in open ground. And in the case of growing in greenhouses, it depends on the gardener himself whether it is possible to use additional heating or shelter in the event of a sudden cold snap. A little later, the final table will show the approximate dates for all major regions of Russia.
The germination period of seeds is a rather important characteristic, which for some reason is often not taken into account.
At the same time, pepper seeds germinate on average for 10-15 days, and they can "sit" in the ground for up to 25 days. The good news, though, is that there are many ways to speed up seed germination. Therefore, if for some reason you were late with sowing pepper for seedlings in 2021, then you can always catch up to 10-18 days using pre-sowing seed treatment.
The term for obtaining a possible harvest depends, first of all, on a specific variety. This characteristic is more important for advanced gardeners, but it can be interesting for beginners as well. It is clear that in the case of peppers, no matter how hard we try, these periods can start somewhere from mid-June (for the southern regions when grown in greenhouses) and until late autumn. Nevertheless, if planting pepper seeds for seedlings will take place in several stages, then using different varieties, from very early to late, you can really extend the fruiting period to several months. Here you can take into account the demanding plants for heat.
The fact is that in recent years, breeders have obtained a lot of relatively cold-resistant varieties of pepper. You can try to plant them under temporary shelters 5-10-15 days earlier than their more thermophilic counterparts. Don't count on it too much, but as an experiment, why not?
Advice! Try to choose sweet pepper varieties that are regionalized in your region for planting.
The climatic conditions of a particular region are the most important determining factor. Below is a table where, for the main regions of Russia, the approximate dates for planting pepper seedlings in greenhouse conditions and in open ground, as well as the time of the first possible frosts, are indicated.
Landing in open ground
Northern regions (St. Petersburg, Syktyvkar)
Middle latitudes (Moscow, Kazan, Chelyabinsk)
Middle latitudes (Voronezh, Saratov, Orenburg)
Ural (Perm, Yekaterinburg)
Siberia (Omsk, Novosibirsk)
South (Rostov, Krasnodar, Crimea)
These dates are very approximate and average, but nevertheless they allow us to answer quite definitely the question of when to plant peppers for seedlings in 2021.
So, first, choose the date of planting seedlings based on the data in the table and your growing conditions (greenhouse, open ground). Subtract the age of the seedlings from it before it was planted in the ground, it is directly related to the length of the growing season, which is indicated on the bags. (Usually 55-60% of the length of the growing season). From the received date, subtract the germination period of the seeds and, as a result, get the approximate sowing time.
If we do all the above operations, for example, for the central regions (Moscow, Ufa, etc.) and open ground, then we get the following calculations:
- For early maturing varieties - in 2021, it is possible to sow pepper for seedlings from March 16 to April 16.
- For late-ripening varieties - from February 25 to March 22.
As you can see, even in April it is not too late to plant peppers for subsequent cultivation in the open field.
These calculations are basic and they can be adjusted in one direction or another, depending on the varietal characteristics of the pepper or the timing of a possible harvest. And, of course, thinking about when to plant pepper seedlings, one cannot but take into account the lunar calendar.
Attention! It is better to sow later than before, because with an abundance of warmth and light in late spring, the plants planted later will catch up and overtake their early sown counterparts.
Presowing seed treatment
There are several techniques that allow not only to accelerate the germination of seeds, which is especially important for such a tough culture as sweet peppers, but also to charge future seedlings with energy to resist many diseases and possible adverse conditions.
- Soaking for 10 minutes in a 3% salt solution to select seeds that are not known to be germinating (those that will float on the surface). Do not forget to thoroughly rinse the remaining seeds in running water to remove salt.
- Soaking seeds in a solution of phytosporin or glyocladin will allow disinfection of seeds, even more reliable than using traditional potassium permanganate.
- If there is a suspicion that pepper seeds are not very fresh, but the variety is very valuable, then there is an operation that significantly increases the percentage of seed germination. It is called bubbling. The seeds are lowered into a jar of warm water, where the end of the hose from the aquarium compressor is fixed at the bottom. When the compressor is turned on, the water begins to actively saturate with oxygen. The processing time for pepper seeds is about 12 hours.
- Soaking the seeds in a solution of stimulants such as Epin-Extra, Zircon, Amber acid, HB-101 will enable the grown seedlings to withstand unfavorable environmental factors: frost, drought, low light.
Basic rules for sowing pepper
When preparing for sowing, first of all, it should be borne in mind that peppers really do not like transplants. Therefore, planting peppers for seedlings should, if possible, be carried out immediately in separate containers. Peat tablets have been very popular lately, and it is no coincidence that they immediately replace both planting containers and ready-made soil. In addition, they have everything that a pepper needs for its initial growth. You can use ordinary cups, ready-made cassettes, and homemade containers.
Important! Do not use transparent containers for planting. Roots need darkness for good development.
Another important feature is a decrease in temperature by several degrees immediately after the appearance of the first shoots. This technique will allow the seedlings not to stretch and build up a good root system. Thus, if you sowed pepper seeds at a temperature of + 25 ° + 30 ° С, then after the emergence of seedlings, the seedlings must be placed in a place with a temperature of + 18 ° + 20 ° С.
If pepper seedlings are grown in March, and even more so in February, then it must be supplemented so that the total daylight hours are about 10-12 hours.
If pepper seedlings are grown on windowsills, pay attention to their temperature. Usually they are 5-10 degrees colder than the environment. Peppers do not like cold soil very much, so place the seedlings additionally on a board, a piece of foam or any kind of insulation.
After the appearance of the first two true leaves, the pepper seedlings must be transferred into large containers. You can take small ones at first, about 500 ml. But it must be remembered that the more space you can provide to the root system during the period of growing seedlings, the better the plants will develop, the stronger and healthier they will be, the faster they will bloom and begin to bear fruit. Therefore, it is advisable to transfer the pepper into large containers so that, ideally, before planting in the ground, the seedlings grow in two-liter pots.
Watering pepper seedlings should be moderate, as the topsoil dries up. It is advisable to carry out top dressing several times from the first transshipment to planting in the ground. It is advisable to use complex fertilizers with a balanced NPK content and the most complete set of microelements.
Following the above tips, you will definitely be able to grow strong and healthy pepper seedlings, which can later please you with tasty, large and beautiful fruits.