Cooking and growing peppers are pastimes for many people, but not for us. They’re tops on our list of passions. As such, we know that it often takes up to five months for hot peppers to reach their full, growing potential. Sweet peppers, on the other hand, tend to mature more quickly. We also know a little secret that has the power to speed up the growing process, whether you like your peppers sweet or with a lot of heat.
The secret is saltpeter. It’s easily found in both gardening and food service related, supply stores as it has many applications in both industries. If you can’t find the product being sold under that name, look for containers of potassium or sodium nitrate. They’re often comparable or the exact, same thing. Costs will vary and if organic fertilizer or potting soil is included in the mix, all the better. Here’s why:
Potassium and sodium nitrate act like keys. They unlock the pepper seed’s grip, allowing quick germination to occur. But of course, they must be used correctly. In general, the correct method is to grab a gallon of room temperature water, one mixing spoon and a clean bucket. The water should be poured into the bucket and mixed with four teaspoons of the nitrate until the crystals dissolve. Once they’re dissolved, the mixture is ready to use.
Some hot pepper fans simply use it to wet soil or soil-less potting medium. Others will dump the seeds directly into the bucket. Either way, the seeds are generally ready to be rinsed with room temperature water and replanted with three days time. Afterward, the little pepper plants’ growth may be aided further with the addition of some time-tested, TLC. Examples include 80 degree, well fertilized, sandy soil and just the right amount of moisture. To find out more about growing peppers, please reach out to us.