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Keating Wines
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Location: Sonoma Valley

Zone 9, peppers from seed

What is the best month to start new hot peppers from seed?

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Zone 9, peppers from seed

Are you starting seed indoors under lights? Then figure out when your average last frost date is (you can look it up if you don't know) and count back about 10 -12 weeks from that. According to this:

https://ucanr.edu/sites/scmg/2013_Garden ... arden_Tips_/

your average last frost date is the same as mine April 15.


However... I did some looking. If this is right

https://www.intellicast.com/Local/Histor ... n=USCA1076

You don't get real cold, but also very slow to get warm. You aren't hitting night time temps above 50 until well in to May. My winters are a lot colder, but I am having night time temps above 50 in late April.

At transplant time, you will want plants that are 6 - 10 weeks old, soil temperature at least 65, night time temps above 50.

So even though you have the same average last frost date as me, you might want to slow the process down a little, lean towards 8 -10 weeks back instead of 10-12. So early to mid Feb sounds good to me. Best is always to ask around and see what people where you are do...
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imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Zone 9, peppers from seed

Peppers like warmth. The grow very slowly or fail to germinate in cold wet soils. As long as your night temperatures are at least 65 degrees they will still germinate. When it gets colder you might need a heat mat. Peppers that are already started and grown should do fine unless you get overnight freezes. Peppers are not frost tolerant but can tolerate light frosts with protection.

There are cold tolerant peppers that are early maturing like Gypsy bell pepper.

In zone 9 your frost dates are Dec 15-Feb 15. Peppers can be sown indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost date for transplanting out. Bell peppers take 60-90 days to mature. Some hot peppers take up to 150 days.

Since it is already November, if you can wait a bit until January to sew the seeds on a heat mat, they should be ready to plant out at a safer time.

I live in zone 12a and can tell you that pepper seeds die off more from dampening off (winter rains) and they grow even slower with cooler nights and shorter days. The winter planted seedlings are surpassed by the ones I grow in March every time. Once a plant stunts it is hard for it to recover.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Zone 9, peppers from seed

OP will have to tell us and I would think different parts of zone 9 would have different frost dates - zone 9 only tells you how cold it gets.* But the UCalif site I linked to above says:

The last frost date in Sonoma County is April 15.

I'm also not completely convinced OP is in zone 9, looked more like zone 8 to me.


*For example, St. Augustine, FL and Bakersfield, CA are both zone 9. St Augustine has average last frost date of Mar 1 and Bakersfield has average last date around Jan 25. https://www.plantmaps.com/interactive-ca ... te-map.php
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Zone 9, peppers from seed

hmmmm. still musing on this. The UC site doesn't say what it means by last frost date. Most of the dates I cited are 50 % average last frost dates. UC could have been talking about the last last frost date (say 90% probability)...


Anyway for Keating, the message is figure out when your average last frost date is and count back about 10 weeks from that and plant your seeds indoors, on a heat mat, under lights.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration



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