Capsicums are commonly known as Pili Pili Hoho. They grow in most regions in Kenya. Capsicums have a high demand and a 50 Kg bag fetches between Ksh 2500 – 3500. These prices depend on market forces so it’s always good to plan yourself well before embarking on this journey.
Capsicums are profitable and easy crops to manage on the main field but they have one huge challenge. They are stubborn when it comes to germination! It doesn’t matter if you buy normal seeds or Hybrid seeds (F1). If you do not sow them in the nursery correctly they will refuse to germinate. Some seeds even mock you by taking a whole month to sprout :D.
So how do you get Capsicum seeds to germinate faster?
Capsicums require warmer conditions than tomatoes and are more sensitive to cold and frost. That means you need to provide the RIGHT CONDITIONS in your nursery for them to listen. To prove this we did the following;
- Set up a small experiment by setting up a small 3m x 3m greenhouse on our farm. We regulated our greenhouse temperature by installing ventilation.
- Made a regularly raised seedbed and mixed it with manure.
- Scrapped the top of the seedbed lightly with a 30cm ruler at a depth of 1 cm. We then scattered Capsicum seeds on top and covered them lightly. Don’t cover them excessively.
- We then watered the seeds with sprinkler misters installed on top of the greenhouse and waited. You can use a watering can if you don’t have misters. Make sure you water the seeds every day.
- 7 days later 90% of the seeds had germinated.
Conclusion: Capsicum Seedlings will emerge faster if the temperature is suitable. The temperature needs to be within 20°C and 35°C. At temperatures of 15°C, emergence may be delayed by two weeks or longer. Germination is poor at temperatures below 15°C or above 35°C.