Dirty Business: How to Germinate Seeds

Propagating pepper seeds and, any seeds really, is not that hard.  You just need to have the right equipment, patience, and an attention span.  As many of you know, my wife is an avid gardener and we recently built a greenhouse.  Getting ready to move in and equip it has been a long and painful process but mostly because she is a perfectionist.  We are almost done, just waiting for the electrician to hook everything up so I can close up the walls and start building all the shelves/tables.  In the meantime, we are starting seeds in the house to get ready.  She is giving me some high priced space in the greenhouse for my pepper growing hobby.  Here’s what you need to get started growing in the most bulletproof manner…

Seed Heat Mat

Starter trays w/ humidity domes

or you can buy a full kit of tray’s with humidity lid (my wife got one of her favorites at the dollar store!) w/ a mat

Light (this grow light is awesome, super adjustable and can be used for more than just seeds.)

Seed starters (you can do your own soil but these things are so simple and really make it easy.)

Buy seeds (if you are doing new strains, read up on people’s success with them.  Newer varieties may have a lower success rate than more established varieties.)


It’s pretty quick and easy & this page expresses it better than I can. 


This site says at least 6 hours of light, we do 12.  More is definitely better but they need a break so you can’t do 24 hour light.  I cannot stress enough, do not bury them too deep, the depth of a pencil eraser is more than enough.  Don’t panic if some come up really quickly and some don’t.  I had my cayenne peppers come up in just a few days but the chocolate reapers are still just starting to appear after 3 weeks.  They all look alike when they are small so make sure you label well if you are planting more than one strain.

Here’s my setup

After two weeks my Purple Cayenne peppers were the first to show

Next the Chinese 5 Color

Then the Chocolate Ghost

and finally my problem child the first Chocolate Reaper came up almost a 10 days after the first Cayenne

I’ll cover the next steps when we get there but for now, get prepared & get those seeds started soon!

For those that are curious about the greenhouse status, it is fully built, just need to put the siding on and build the interior racks, tables, insulate the bottom and close up the walls (that is 2 days or so of work).

I also rented a trencher and have to run power from the house. I hired a pro for the hook up but running the conduit has been fun! (by fun, I mean, not fun!)

I’ll cover more on the greenhouse later & start my random series about “guess what shit she put in the greenhouse now!” down the road.



  1. I made it to the gate!  If I don’t reply to anything, that means I’m actually flying!  So weird to be in an airport after a year of no flights.  Day after I get back, electrician comes & then she can move in greenhouse.  That will definitely take some stress of my marriage.  

  2. The greenhouse looks awesome. Any chance you can go solar for it? If it’s just for lights and maybe a fan, it may be a lot less work than running cable and probably not much difference in price over the long run.

        • Yeah that’s a lot of energy. Obvious solution is ditch the heater and stable some livestock in there and keep the space warm with their body heat.
          Still have to work out how to protect the plants, though. And if you’re using livestock-based heat for the house, that lowers the therms in the main house. Lots of details to figure out.

  3. You guys are making me want to grow stuff. I recently inherited a Topsy Turvy Hummingbird Hangout and I have a iron plant hanger that my dad forged for me to hang it from. I was going to work on that project today but our weather turned super sucky from yesterday’s beautiful day. 

Leave a Reply