I couldn’t take it any more. The jealousy surging through me after viewing photo after photo of freshly sprouted pepper plants all over social media finally got to me. This past weekend I started my own 2018 pepper season — 40 total plants of 28 different varieties.

The process and set up this year is vastly different than last, the biggest change being the location of the plants. In 2017 I utilized the big front window of our home that allowed a ton of light and sunny warmth to shine through. The wife wasn’t the biggest fan of that set up so the adjustment was made to move everything under a new light set up in my basement office. This is the same location and and lighting system that I used for the hydroponic Aji Lemon so I wasn’t too concerned with using it again to start this season.

2018 pepper season starts

The potting mix is different this time, as well. I went with a one-to-one blend of Jiffy seed starter mix and an organic potting soil. Additional perlite and a small sprinkle of MI Gardner’s Trifecta+ were also added to the light and fluffy mix.

photo of soil mixture

Getting the seeds into their individual pots took a bit longer than last year as I deliberately slowed that process down. I thought I was organized last year, but several plants that were labeled one thing ended up growing into something else different. I didn’t want to make that same labeling mistake again this year. But, once everything was all said and done everything was all tucked in and ready to grow (I hope).

pepper pots
pepper pots

Last year, I had uses ziplock bags to mimic small greenshouses for each freshly potted seed. This year, since I’ve got a bit bigger in scale, I’ve decided to utilize the container lids to do the same thing. You can’t see it in the photo below, but condensation started appearing on the sides of the containers within a couple of hours of sitting on the heating pads and under the lamps.

pepper pots

I’ve changed a great deal for the start of the 2018 pepper season. I’m hoping that everything I have altered is for the better and can’t wait to see some sprouts start to break through the soil. Good luck to all you other growers out there.