This is the ultimate idea for making your own FREE pots with recycled toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls. Who doesn't have these around? Instead of throwing them away, use them to start your vegetable seeds!
Pictured below are some sandiaseed.com Hatch chile pepper seedlings from last year. We put 6 toilet paper roll "pots" in tupperware containers to hold them upright which also makes it easy to water, you just pour some water in and the rolls suck it right up.
Starting Chile Peppers from Seed:
Use well draining soil, pepper seeds need light, well-draining soil to germinate and then grow to a transplantable size. Seedling Mix and Sunshine Mix #4 works well or something similar with small particles and good drainage.
Paper Towel Method for Germination:
Some people find it easier to use the paper towel method to germinate peppers. This paper towel method helps keep the seeds moist and warm until they germinate, rather than trying to keep the soil evenly moist while you wait for germination. Be Patient: Germination should occur within 7-21 days but sprouting can take up to 40 days!
To do this, lay a paper towel on the counter and spray or mist to dampen, then place pepper seeds about 1-2" apart in a grid on half of the paper towel. Fold over, then spray or drizzle more water to get the towel fully damp. Then, you can put the paper towel into a glass or plastic container with a lid or a ziplock bag to keep it moist. Place in a warm area (80-90˚) with moderate light (not full sun). Make sure the towel stays damp, and leave a little opening in the container or bag so a little air can get in. Learn more about Pepper Seed Germination »
Once the seeds germinate, you can then gently place them into your paper roll pots.
Keep them warm!
The secret to germinating chile pepper seeds is to keep them warm! The soil temperature must remain between 80° F – 90° F for successful germination.
Don't Overwater Chile Peppers!
Make sure not to overwater your pepper plants! Chile peppers don't like soggy or wet feet, we've overwatered ours many a time in the past and they get yellow and sad looking. Simple cure: let the soil dry out a bit between waterings. Also, once they've sprouted, make sure to give them a breeze from a fan, or "pet" them by brushing them daily with your fingers to strengthen their stems and keep them from getting spindly.
Learn more about how to fix weak pepper seedlings »
It's very good practice to harden off your seedlings before planting them outside. We advise to bring them out for a few hours a day, gradually increasing the number of hours they have in the sun for a week or so, and finally leaving them out overnight for a night or two before planting outdoors. This will give them a chance to get used to the hot sun, wind, and outdoor temperatures so you don't shock them when planting.
For lots more Pepper growing tips, visit our growing tips page: