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applestar
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Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

OK I'm starting to think about how Im going to start pepper seeds in February. I recently learned that C. Chinense species should be started earlier than C. Annuum so I'm thinking of starting them on GroundHOG Day.

One of my issues last year was that I couldn't get the soil temp high enough even with the heating mat. Someone was extolling the virtues of 2nd-hand warming trays that caterers use for starting pepper seeds, so I was thinking about looking around, but then I thought ...hmmm, my glass top range has an element called "warming zone" that I never use, I wonder how hot that gets and if it would use too much power or could cause a fire or something :shock: if I tried leaving that on....?

Assume I would put something like a canning or cooling rack above the element, then an old oven tray, then the seeds either planted in soil and covered with a dome or in little seed baggies (I came across a new idea I want to try -- she germinates hers at around 80-85°F).

Current alternative I'm considering is to put the heating mat in the bottom of a smallish/low storage tub by cutting a hole for the plug and cord near the bottom. A small hole on the lid in the opposite corner should provide a bit of airflow.
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digitS'
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Re: Reality check please -- warming zone element on glass to

Image combustibles on a cooking surface?

What about an aquarium heater, AppleStar? Some are supposed to run all the way up to 99°f. It would seem that even with a bucket, if a fish tank isn't available, the temperatures would stay consistent and safe. BTW, I once knew a farmers' market grower who used a waterbed for seed starting :D .

Craig's list must have steady offerings of aquariums and supplies.

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Re: Reality check please -- warming zone element on glass to

Haha it's OK for everyone to blast me for losing my marbles and common sense you know. I get that way sometimes in my enthusiasm, and I just need a good figurative knock on the head to rattle the loose pieces back in place.

Thanks digit'S you are right of course -- what was I thinking!? :roll:

I have one more week to figure this all out. One more week also to wade through all my existing and newly acquired pepper seeds and ID the C. chinense varieties that need to be started in the first string. (No I DON'T think I could plant all of these this year either :shock: ...oh I don't think I've included the ones I'm getting from the Webmaster's pepper seed giveaway in this list :() )

Pepper, Albino Bullnose
Pepper, Alma Paprika Sweet
Pepper, Alma, Édes (sweet)
Pepper, Aranyesö
Pepper, Bhut Jolokia Peach
Pepper, Black Hungarian
Pepper, Bonda ma Jacque
Pepper, Chocolate Cake
Pepper, Doe Hill (sweet)
Pepper, Donne Salis
Pepper, DOUX LONG D'ANTIBES PAPRIKA
Pepper, Édes Fuszerpaprika
Pepper, Fehérözön
Pepper, FISH supervariegated
Pepper, Golden Treasure
Pepper, Golden Treasure
Pepper, HABANERO RED SAVINA® f2
Pepper, HABANERO WHITE BULLET ® f2
Pepper, Hanoi Market (f2?)
Pepper, Holy Mole Hybrid
Pepper, Italian Gourmet
Pepper, King of the North
Pepper, Lipstick
Pepper, mammoth giant jalapeño
Pepper, Marconi/Giant Marconi
Pepper, Mme. Jeannette
Pepper, NuMex Eclipse
Pepper, Numex Sunset
Pepper, Pasilla Bajio
Pepper, PEPERONE DE SENISE
Pepper, Pimienta di Padron
Pepper, Pimiento
Pepper, Pusztagold
Pepper, Red Monster Bell
Pepper, Romanian Rainbow
Pepper, Santa Fe Grande
Pepper, Silling Haba
Pepper, Sivri Biber
Pepper, Soroksari Paprika
Pepper, Sun Thai
Pepper, Sweet Chocolate
Pepper, Szentesi Feher (White from Szentes) 'Szentesi Kosszarvú'
Pepper, Takanotsume (hawk claw)
Pepper, Tangerine Pimiento
Pepper, Thai Dragon
Pepper, Thai standard
Pepper, Tobago Treasure
Pepper, Tolli's Sweet
Pepper, Trinidad Perfum
Pepper, Yellow Cheese
Pepper, Yummy Snacking
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Re: Reality check please: starting pepper seeds on stovetop

Applestar,

I start pepper seeds on my stovetop, though nut everyone has a 2'x2'x3/4" slab of steel on their stove, to temper the heat:
Image

I like the idea by digit'S for the Aquarium heater. Maybe have a large storage container with a piece of plexiglass on top, to keep the water from evaporating, and have a flat surface for the seed flats.
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Re: Reality check please: starting pepper seeds on stovetop

Oooh! So I'm not so crazy after all? I bow to the master :>

Is that a current photo? Did you start yours already? 8)
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Re: Reality check please: starting pepper seeds on stovetop

No, that photo is from years ago. I will start a few a week into Feb., but most I start on 4-1 every season. This way, the plants are ready to transplant about 2 weeks into may; any earlier I would have to have them in much larger pots, and not enough lighting for all the peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and other odds and ends. 4-1 sounds late, but when germinating the seeds at 90°, the time is cut by a generous amount.
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Re: Reality check please: starting pepper seeds on stovetop

Thanks, pepperhead212 :D

...in the mean time, I found a 150W thermostatically controlled aquarium heater among DH's pile of old aquarium supplies. Now we're getting somewhere 8)

I'm soaking some C. chinense seeds overnight in a bucket of heater warmed water (in small paper packets inside water filled sandwich zip bag weighed with a piece of lumpy glass weight). I'll see if I can convert the bucket -- or a different tub, but probably the bucket -- into a pepper seed sprouting chamber tomorrow :mrgreen:
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Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

image.jpg
...the person who showed this used a coffee mug and put it on her -probably- gas stove (with pilot light?) she called it "tiled" -- looked like one of those painted metal two burner covers.

So mine is rather klugey looking by comparison, but that's OK because I think I just found a way to keep a lunch cooler of warm water warm (at constant temp) for making jars of home made yogurt. :D I used to need to replace the water after 6 hours for another 6 hours to culture the yogurt. 8)

This heater fits exactly in a standard OJ jug -- it needs to be submerged. I'm thinking set that up in a closed tub....
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Re: Reality check please: starting pepper seeds on stovetop

What about a crock pot?

I could fit 2 6packs in my crockpot. Mine has a warm setting!
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Re: Reality check please: starting pepper seeds on stovetop

Or the bottom of a milk jug! Haha put that in there with some water around it on the warm setting?
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Re: Reality check please: starting pepper seeds on stovetop

I'm sorry I'm stuck on trying to figure out why you are putting "two 6-packs in the bottom of a crockpot" ...on "warm setting"! . :>
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Re: Reality check please: starting pepper seeds on stovetop

Ha! 6 pack seed starters ;)

I do have a really good beer chili recipe though!
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Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

Ooh! Have you already posted that one in the recipes forum?
If not, PLEEEEASE? :-()

...so I meticulously packed these pepper varieties in the little zip baggies with forceps to get them germinated. I'm hearing that it's best to let them completely sprout in the back until seed coat has loosened and come off to avoid "helmet heads"

Pepper, Bhut Jolokia Peach
Pepper, Bonda ma Jacque
Pepper, Brazilian Starfish
Pepper, CUMARI
Pepper, Habanero Yellow Bumpy
Pepper, JAMAICAN HOT CHOCOLATE
Pepper, PERU PAINTER "PI215741"
Pepper, PERU WHITE HAB
Pepper, RED SAVINA (tz)
Pepper, Habanero RED SAVINA® F2 (ph)
Pepper, Habanero WHITE BULLET ® F2 (ph)
Pepper, Trinidad Perfum

-- amazingly, Red Savina F2 had already germinated after the 20 hour soak! :shock:
image.jpg
The Chiness takeout tray of spoons in zip baggies are sealed and back in the 2 gal bucket at 85°F for the night, I'll need to supply better light for them tomorrow.
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Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

Using forceps, the seeds were removed from the soaked labeled little paper packet separators into the personal tea strainer (this part is my own idea :D ), then swished in mild Oxy Clean solution, then rinsed twice. Then they were removed from the tea strainer to the boiled water soaked folded paper towel on plastic spoons, then into labeled zip bags.

Now I completely avoided handling hot pepper seeds and I thought I was safe, but just a little while ago, I touched a n itchy corner of my left eye and now it's BURNING :eek:

In retrospect, I DID handle the soaked papers ... -wall-
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Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

image.jpg
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Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

Hey up!

It looks like very careful work for a helpful someone with small digitS'.

:)

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Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

So... Not for dgitS who has big digitS? :wink:

- Here's my bucket of incubating pepper and eggplant seeds (and luffa). The newer spoons have pink-ish paper towels because I soaked them in hot willow bark/leaf decoction to moisten. The date on the spoon indicates when they were placed on the spoon -- but I count the "days to germination" from when they were first soaked for a day. They were then kept in the moist paper packets in the interim.
- Three have germinated so far -- latest is Takanotsume (Hawk Claw) at 10 days. The germinated spoons are removed from the bucket and placed under the hot T-5 tubes to sprout.
image.jpg
- The 2nd to germinate White Bullet is now sprouting. :-()

Well, what do you think?
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

:idea:)

:idea: I just had an idea! :idea:

...I might put a small air pump in the bucket to add movement/vibration to the water in the incubation bucket...
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

That is incredible about the red savina germinating time! The shortest time I have gotten one to germinate was three days, and that is short for any pepper.

I like that idea of the air pump as a vibrator - I would place one on top of my flat, though I may put it on a timer, to run when I'm not here, as it is in the kitchen.
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

The red savina was the fastest germinater for me, too - I set the seeds to soak late Sat. night, put them in my sprouter about 2 PM Sun, rinsed 3 times yesterday, and 8:30 am Mon there was a sprout on one longer than the seed! Stil nothing on the mustard hab or naga jonah - the long seson varieties I wanted to start very early. Still nothing after 6 days with the pea eggplant seeds.
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

God, the things you are willing to do to get an early start. I'm glad I can wait a while. Next to the frig and the top of the water heater would be the warmest places for sprouting seeds. Only thing is, I would forget they are there.
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

That is so cool @pepperhead :D
...now, my Red Savinas are saved seeds from the ripe fruits you gave me. So they would be F2 right? I also found very old seeds from 2011 in my collection -- they haven't germinated (yet) :bouncey:

@imafan -- I'm trying to determine if by trying too early while ambient temps are too low, I might actually be sabotaging my efforts. ...but it doesn't help that we don't have the luxury if long growing season so too late getting a good sized seedling going could mean disappointing harvest or even none. :?
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

They say red savinas are F1, but they didn't used to be. Another thing I think they are saying to discourage seed saving of certain varieties with trademarks. We'll have to do a comparison tatse test of our red savinas! LOL
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

I wonder if I can just let them float around in little sealed baggies in the fish tank. The poor fish would be so disappointed...
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

Perfect, Lindsay! The fish can poke at the bags and provide the vibration :wink: Let us know how well that worked. :D

...I forgot about the air pump until day before yesterday, but I put one in there, and another one -- Bonda ma Jacques -- germinated today for total of 8 pepper varieties and one eggplant variety so far. :-()
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

There is a good bit of turbulence on the water surface. I'm sure they'll be bumped around a good bit! :D
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

For some reason it's one of the EGGPLANTS that are sprouting first. Here's a second seedling to be planted. I tore the paper towel surrounding the delicate roots. You can see another one has germinated on the spoon -- that one and the ungerminated seeds on the spoon will go back in the seed bag and under the T-5 tubes to sprout.
image.jpg
I have spoons of Donkey Ears and supervariegated Fish pepper seeds that are germinating enmasse -- 6 on each spoon, as well as 7 or 8 other hot pepper varieties... And about a dozen more spoons in zip bags in the incubator. I'll be kept busy potting them up soon. I may switch to the more space saving seed blocks.
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

image.jpg
...in case anyone is interested... :wink:
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

image.jpg
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

The two eggplants in pudding cups are looking good (I don't know what that volunteer sprout in one of the eggplant cup is :| ... Plus an extra Donkey Ear pepper and a Jalapeno M in K-cups.
image.jpg
Four Donkey Ears and Four supervariegated Fish were planted in 2" miniblocks.
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

Adopting the idea for luffa seeds -- moistened paper towel-lined Nutella lid inside a zip bag:
image.jpg
...the first three germinated much more quickly than I had anticipated -- it took 10+ days last year and I think 2 - 3 weeks the year before. However, these are new seeds from Fedco.

I've planted the first seed which is already sprouting with seedleaves nearly out of the seed hull, and another seed with longer seed root than the one in the picture. I've put this one under the hot T-5 tubes and I'm planning to let it completely sprout out of the seed hulls before planting.

I'm probably going to run into problems with them getting too big too quickly, a Gardener's Murphy's Law in action, :roll:
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

Tomato seeds are not as reluctant to germinate, but using this method saves a lot of space initially, and I'll only be planting seeds that not only germinated but sprouted past the helmet-head stage. I lost at least a dozen seedlings that couldn't shed their seed hulls last year.
image.jpg
-- all of these spoons have at least one germinated seed on the spoon. The rest of them are in stacked, covered Chinese takeout trays lower down from the lights since they don't need to be up close yet. I was advised to use a piece of straw to lift the top of the zip bag up and away from the seeds that are trying to sprout as you see here. This also increases airflow to the little babies....
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

I finally got a 7-pot jonah seed sprouted - the mustard and red savina habaneros that were started in the sprouter at the same time (2-7) have sets of true leaves already!

I also have some seedlings of the pea eggplants - I started those on 2-1, and got the first sprout on 2-18, and now there are about 10 or 12 very long sprouts still in the sprouter (I planted the first 10 or so, and they're up now) which will be wasted, but that's better than not getting any!
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

Quick post to say I decided today that Bounty is too strong for using with tomato seeds after breaking quite a few nice long roots. :?
I'm not having problems with pepper and eggplant seed roots, however.

I'm going to try using inexpensive paper napkins as well as regular printer paper. I have noticed that printer paper is ready to fall apart into pulp after just a couple of days when soaked in warm water.

@pepperhead -- it seems like seeds I harvested tends to have excellent germination when done correctly. But I'm finding pepper germination to be still difficult to manage. ...but I'll figure it out yet! Isn't it so satisfying when they do sprout?
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

Tomato seeds love this. They demonstrated one objection I have wirh this kind of pre-germination method. I was busy yesterday and today -- this evening, came home to a mess of sprouted, cotyledons fully extended... MUST BE POTTED seedlings :roll:
image.jpg
This meant starting my first tray of 2" mini soil blocks :()

...I also already have three 8 miniblocks @ 2 1/2 gal rice milk containers of peppers and eggplants, another 4 and 6 miniblocks of tomatoes, plus one more block... 30 tomatoes in miniblocks and 17 peppers and eggplants.
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

applestar wrote:Quick post to say I decided today that Bounty is too strong for using with tomato seeds after breaking quite a few nice long roots. :?
I'm not having problems with pepper and eggplant seed roots, however.

I'm going to try using inexpensive paper napkins as well as regular printer paper. I have noticed that printer paper is ready to fall apart into pulp after just a couple of days when soaked in woarm water.

@pepperhead -- it seems like seeds I harvested tends to have excellent germination when done correctly. But I'm finding pepper germination to be still difficult to manage. ...but I'll figure it out yet! Isn't it so satisfying when they do sprout?
I tried posting this last night, but the site cut out on me! They must have been doing some updating.

How 'bout using toilet paper? Nothing breaks up better, and there is some stronger stuff that may hold together for you, but still disintegrate eventually.

There are always some peppers I have had trouble with when germinating right next to others that did great, so I know it's not me! And occasionally I have had varieties that would not shed a single seed husk! Those I simply don't try again. The ones with only one or two husks I try to remove by donning an eye loupe, and using two tweezers, or a tweezer and a scalpel. I have maybe a 50% success rate, though some are on so tightly that I don't even try it.
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

@pepperhead -- Helmethead surgery? Wow. I need one of those "eye loupe thingies" :bouncey:

TP is a possibility, though I have a -possibly- illogical aversion to using them. I will first use up the accumulated pile of take out and fast food napkins, then I will probably go ahead and use TP.

Germinating peppers and eggplants has been a hit or miss so far, even with this method. I may have to seriously think about using bleach or that chemical you mentioned that I can't think of right now. There are some varieties that I have received in trade that are too precious to me not to succeed in growing them.... :(

@asmx91 is the online name of the tomato and pepper growing enthusiast from whom I learned this method, and she was correct. Her pictures had spoons with the handles cut off... And I also had to start cutting off the spoon handles once I really got going.... I used up all my spoons on the peppers and and eggplants and first group of tomatoes. I was in despair until I thought of trying forks. I started decapitating these forks in preparation for the sprawling basket types, dwarfs, and very late varieties that are currently soaking
Image
The spoon handles turned out to be perfect size for labels.

The luffa seeds I mentioned above have been sprouting nicely on the Nutella lid + open-top domed MacCafé lid in place of straws to hold up the top of the zip bag.
Image
Here are 5 seedlings all potted up in 2L bottle SWC (Self-watering Container):
Image A 6th sprouted seedling was planted today (no picture).
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

One of my seven pot jonah sprouts just came up today! Only one of those is left of all of the pots I started sprouts in, though one of the Red savinas seems stunted, so I dug up one of the extra Mustard habs and planted it in that pot, in case the RS never recovers.
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Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

7 pot Jonah, eh? :cool:
Well, I'm trying to grow more sweet peppers this year -- I have Chocolate Cake :D
image.jpg
I'm also posting to show that forks work, too. :D
-- you can t really see them, but all of these have at least one germinated seed in them. I've run out of 2x3 seed bags so I'm using 2x2 size in which the spoons and forks hardly fit... But that seems OK.

Stick with cheap utensils. I'm not even using the "dinner size" plastic utensils one would buy for parties -- these are all various fast food and take out food freebies. McDonald ones are mostly sized for children's hands -- useless for adults but perfect for germinating seeds. I have found that forks work, too, as long as you replace them with spoons when they germinate. It's relatively painless to slip the flat fork out and slide the spoon in.

I've settled on putting a piece of regular matte tape on the bag to write on with a Sharpie marker. This way, the tape is easily removed when the seeds have all sprouted and the seed zip bag and the spoon can be washed for re-use. The tape turns white due to the moisture or heat, so I put the labeled side on the bottom so as not to block the light to the sprouting seeds.

The fast food and take out napkins as well as printing paper are much better than Bounty kitchen paper towel -- without the strengthening fibers woven into them, the paper turn into loose pulp and the roots can be easily slipped out or the wet paper can be easily picked from around stubborn roots with a sharp tip of a bamboo skewer.
image.jpg
These were the earliest to germinate out of Dwarfs and Very Late to,ago varieties that were put in to soak on March 1 and spoonseedzipbagged on March 3. (Before anyone says anything, Berner Rose is NOT a very late variety. I just wanted to start some of them NOW and didn't have a "group" to fit it in since pink beefsteaks are scheduled for later start next week.)
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pepperhead212
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Posts: 1513
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Re: Starting pepper seeds >> spoon in zip bag germination

applestar,

Speaking of germinating eggplants, have you gotten the pea eggplant to germinate? Those things take a long time, and are slow, once germinated, but eventually, they take off! I have three very small seedlings growing now in the same pot, waiting for one to look best, but I hate to toss the other two, so let me know if you need one (or both!)

My other 7 pot jonah is looking good now, with a set of true leaves. The stunted red savina doesn't seem like it is going to grow, so I stuck an extra mustard habanero in that pot, and it is already bigger than the red savina, even though it was just an extra, that popped up late! They were really good peppers last year, so I'll just have an extra, in place of the red savina.
Dave

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