Germinating Chilli Seeds
Grow Your Own Hot Chilli Peppers From Seed
A small corner of a room at home can hold hundreds of baby chilli plants, it’s amazing what you can grow in a small corner.
Its also easy to make your own chilli seed propagator. I have used an old biscuit tin lined with a freezer bag. On top of the bag is a double sheet of kitchen paper. Put the kitchen paper in and spray with a mister bottle of water, boiled and cooled if in high chlorine area. If you smoke make sure you wash your hands before touching the seeds. The seeds are then placed around the damp paper, sprayed again to wet the seed and a damp bit of doubled paper over. A piece of cling film stretched over the tin and holes pierced in the top to let it aerate. Put in a warm place and check every day for mergence and to make sure it is still damp.
Below shows the easiest way to germinate your chilli seeds Growing Chilli Peppers If you use our new Germination Powder, make up solution, soak seeds for 1 hour take them out and put on dry kitchen paper to dry naturally, 10 – 20 minutes, do not pat dry. Take 2 bits of kitchen paper, put both bits together and fold in half. Damp the paper (as wet as a wrung-out sponge) In one quarter of it place the seeds and fold it over itself like a sandwich. Place the kitchen paper which is a quarter, inside a freezer bag, catch some air inside and tie a knot in it, like a balloon. Label the bag and place in a warm place such as an airing cupboard or heated propagator. Repeat for each variety. Check seeds every 2 days and damp down the paper if they start to dry out.
Once your seeds have sprouted you can transplant to 75 mm pots. (We use multi-purpose compost with vermiculite mixed in to aid drainage.) Add water to your compost and mix well; it should be as moist as a wrung-out sponge before you put it into your containers. Ideally you want the compost to be in a warm place before planting takes place so as not to shock the seedlings. Fill your containers 25 mm from the top. We use a plastic plant label or pencil to pick the seedling up and drop it in the middle of the 75 mm pot, do not worry which way the seedling is facing it will sort its self out as it grows. Sprinkle a little compost over the seedling. Water to settle them in with a spray bottle. Label with a plastic stick label using a permenant marker pen. As the seedlings grow use your spray bottle to keep them moist.
“Potting On” Your Seedlings When you can see some roots through the hole in the bottom of the pot or you receive your from us, you can re pot your plant. A standard progression is, 75, 150 and then the final 200 mm. First, fill the new containers with moistened compost, make a hole of the right depth for your seedling to sit into. Lift the tiny plants carefully with the help of a pencil pushed from the underside of the pot through the drainage hole. The less the roots are disturbed, the better. Lower each plant into the hole you've made and plant it in its new home. Peppers (unlike other plants) will make new roots along their buried stems, so if your seedlings are leggy, you can transplant them so that their stems are covered by the soil up to the base of the bottom cluster of leaves. Gently firm the soil around the transplants and water carefully. Once your plants set fruit, start feeding once or twice a week with a good all-purpose liquid fertiliser such as Miracle-Gro, or a general Tomato Feed diluted half-strength. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Better still try, this chilli plant food is a precise formulation for optimal performance of chillies in pots, grow bags or even in the ground. You can buy it from our website. With plants can be fed from the seedling stage onwards. The recommendation is to feed weekly but this can be increased as needed. As long as foliage is dark green then feeding is adequate but if it becomes pale then feeding can be increased. Increase frequency of feeding rather than feed strength. Plants can be fed up to three or four times per week without problems.
Most hot peppers and some sweet peppers require insect pollination to form fruit. If the proper insect is absent, or if the local insects are not attracted to your pepper flowers, you may see the plants flower and never set fruit. This is especially true for hot peppers grown indoors or in a greenhouse. Pollen is produced on the stamens, and usually ripens between noon and 3 PM every day. Take a moistened watercolour paintbrush, and pick up some pollen on your brush and transfer it to the other flower centres. You can get close to 100% fruit set with hand pollination.
The hot varieties of chilli can be tricky to germinate at times and do benefit from our germination solution and a germination temperature of between 80°F and 89°F. Once flowers bloom they benefit from hand pollination with a paint brush. The hot varieties can take between 7 and 28 days to germinate. Do not leave your chilli plant on a window sill over night as temperatures can drop and it will not do your plant any good. We are always available to offer help and advice to our customers.