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Edited by post on April 30, 2015, 12:12 am
The secret to starting some seeds indoors is to give them gentle bottom heat or keep them in a slightly warm location until they sprout. I bought some heat mats designed for that purpose, but I used to use my oven with the light bulb on (it keeps the inside of the oven just a tad warmer than the room temperature). Some people say they use the top of the refrigerator where it might be a little warmer. Then after they germinate I put them under fluorescent shop lights for about 16 hours a day until it's warm enough to set them outside during the day. If it's cold at night I bring the flats back in the house until the plants can safely go in the garden.
With seeds, I've found that you pretty much get what you pay for. My neighbor buys real cheap seeds on sale and then they fail to grow. They may be cheap because they're old or poor quality.
Some seeds (such as lettuce) can be kept for several years, but I buy fresh tomato, pepper, and eggplant seeds every year. They germinate much better than old seeds and grow faster.
Another trick in starting those seeds indoors is to mix some milled sphagnum peat moss with the upper part of the soil in the pot. It prevents a disease called 'damping off' which can kill tender seedlings, especially if they're in cool conditions.
The chocolate peppers taste nice and sweet when ripe, and are good even if green. I like to grow different colors of peppers because each color (such as green, orange, red, brown, purple, or yellow) contains a different array of antioxidants (such as lutein, beta carotene, zeaxanthin, or lycopene) which may contribute to health in different ways. If I remember right, the chocolate peppers are a mix of various colors that blend together, and so I think maybe they give us a whole spectrum of antioxidants.
I've found that in my garden, the orange peppers are hardest to grow and don't yield very well, so I've kind of given up on them.