Sweet pepper - 30 seeds

Sweet pepper - 30 seeds

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Start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before last spring frost date. The temperature must be at least 70° F for seed germination, so keep them in a warm area for the best and fastest results. Start pepper seeds three to a pot, and thin out the weakest seedling. Let the remaining two pepper plants spend their entire lives together as one plant. The leaves of two plants help protect peppers against sunscald and the yield is often twice as good as two segregated plants. Begin to harden off plants about 10 days before transplanting. A week before transplanting, introduce fertilizer or aged compost into your garden soil. After the danger of frost has passed, transplant seedlings outdoors, 18 to 24 inches apart (but keep paired plants close to touching.) Soil should be at least 65° F, as peppers will not survive transplanting at temps any colder. Northern gardeners can warm up the soil by covering it with black plastic. Put two or three match sticks in the hole with each plant, along with about a teaspoon of fertilizer. These give the plants a bit of sulfur, which they like.