Q: Hey Dave,
I was wondering… How far in advance do I need to plant seeds in the house, to have the plants ready to plant in my garden? I have some peppers that I would like to grow from seed, or at least give it a shot. I have heard that the best way to plant them is to barely cover them with soil and just keep moist. Is this what you do? I live in Arizona, so would it be a good idea to cover the planters with some kind of clear plastic to hold the moisture in, or do they need a fresh air supply? I did leave the peppers on the plant until they totally dried so the seeds ought to be good for germinating.
A: Hello Jayson:
For the basics on growing chiles, see "Chile Gardening 101" at
http://www.fiery-foods.com/dave/garden.html You can plant your seeds now (middle of February), but be sure that you have plenty of sunlight, like a south window. Yes, you are correct about barely covering them with soil (commercial potting soil). Do not cover the planters with clear plastic, as the seedlings will damp off. The way you left the pods on the plant is fine, and the seeds should be ready for germinating.–Dave