HOW TO PROPAGATE AND GROW HOT CHILI PEPPERS FROM SEED





The chili pepper is of the few foods that can actually devide a family. You will either love it or hate it, but as an indispensable ingredient for many regional and national dishes, the hot chili pepper is here to stay.

You can start your chili peppers off indoors around January for if you want them to establish quickly for outdoor planting or sow any time up to the end of March for greenhouse growing.
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Sow your chili pepper seeds - adequately spaced - into either plugs or a seed tray containing John Innes ‘seed’ compost. Top them off with another 1/2 inch of compost then gently water them in. It's important that the seeds remain moist until they germinate and as such will require adequate ventilation to prevent fungal rots.

If ventilation is poor you may need to spray your newly germinating seedlings with a liquid fungicide once a week to protect them.

Once germinated – this will be normally between 7 and 24 days - pepper seedlings will require plenty of light, in fact for optimal growth they will need between 12 to 16 hours of light a day. If the weather isn’t yet suitable for planting outside then they will need to be placed onto a south-facing windowsill but remember to turn them daily to keep them from acquiring a permanent lean.

Once the seedlings have produced four leaves they will be ready to prick out into individual pots, but you need to be careful so as not to damage the fragile root system. The safest way is to gently hold onto one of the sturdier leaves while using either a pencil or slim dibber to lift the roots as intact and undisturbed as possible.

When re-potting, use either a standard multipurpose compost or John Innes ‘No.1’ or ‘No.2’ potting compost.Grow them on for another couple of weeks and they will be ready for either the greenhouse or for planting directly outside into open ground once the threat of frosts is over. Make sure you choose a location that is in full sunlight and - if you have it - mix in some mushroom compost or other organic compost to help keep the soil fertile and moist.
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1 comment:

Drumanagh - Ali O'Connor said...

Thanks for the info Simon. Planning to sow some 'Lemon Drop' this week - I got some seeds from a friend. I hope they are not too hot for me!