Best mix for jalapeño pepper seeds

Pepper, bell   

Sorry if this is posted in the wrong place. I am looking for advice on the best mix to use for growing jalapeño seedlings. Some people seem to use a regular potting mix while others use various soilless mixes. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Posted by: Bill (3 points) Bill
Posted: February 18, 2013


I have been doing some research and I hope I can give you some suggestions. There does seem to be a lot of conflicting advice out there and everybody has their own preferred method. Hopefully that's all part of the fun of growing your own plants and you can experiment a little to find out what works best for you.

A popular medium among growers of hot peppers seems to be fine grade fir bark. You should be able to find this at your local garden center, usually marketed as orchid bark - but make sure it is fine grade as the particle size in regular orchid bark is too big and in addition to the germinated seedlings finding it difficult to emerge, the heavy particles will decrease airflow. In addition, it is common to produce a basic mix using bark and regular potting soil. The bark in the soil lessens compaction, promoting good airflow, while the soil retains moisture. Other elements can then be added to this base as desired e.g. lime or crushed eggshell provides the plants with calcium and can help to neutralize the acidity of the bark; perlite or vermiculite aids drainage in the soil and also promotes good airflow and alfalfa, or composted material, will add important nutrients such as nitrogen and potassium to the soil mix.

Hopefully there are some other users out there growing hot peppers who can share their experiences.......

Posted by: Lindsay McMenemy (2 points) Lindsay McMenemy
Posted: February 18, 2013

Regular potting mix should be fine. I wouldn't start with a mix designed for ornamental flowers though, as this can make them flower too early. You want a pH around neutral, or slightly basic. While peppers will grow in acidic soils, this makes them prone to iron deficiency as iron availability decreases with decreasing pH. Start growing with a mostly nitrogen fertilizer to give them good vegetative growth. When you're happy with the size and health of the plant, throw in some phosphorus and watch it bloom. As the other poster said, loose soil is better than compacted, clay-ey soil for airflow.

Posted by: Matt Peoples (7 points) Matt Peoples
Posted: February 22, 2013

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