|Image credit - http://dutchchilifest.nl/|
While consuming hot chilli peppers can certainly be a challenge for most people, growing hot chilli peppers is actually surprisingly easy. Originating from the subtropical regions of America they can be grown outdoors in most warm temperate climates, including the cooler regions of northern Europe. However despite the shorter growing seasons of northern European countries, you can make the most of what there is by germinating chilli pepper seed early under protection and then extending the season by growing under the protection of a large cloche, polytunnel or greenhouse.
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The seedlings should emerge in 7-10 days, at which point remove them from the propagator or polythene bag. They can now be grown on in cooler conditions. Once the roots have established in the pots you can plant the seedlings outside once the threat of late frosts have passed which in the United Kingdom will be by the end of May or early June. They will need to be hardened off for a week or so first to prevent the young plants from becoming damaged from drying winds or being scorched by direct sunlight.
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If you can, position your crop with the added protection of a south-facing wall. Space chilli pepper plants at a distance of 50 cm apart.
The chilli peppers should be ready for harvesting in August and September. Growing them under the protection of a greenhouse or polytunnel will allow the plants to crop earlier and then extend the harvesting period to october and even the beginning of November.
For related articles click onto the following links:
T&M: How to Grow Chillies
HOW TO OVERWINTER CHILLI PLANTS