PEPPERS & CHILLI
- Both peppers and chilli are from the family of crops called Capsicum.
- Warmth and a good amount of sun is vital if you are thinking of growing peppers or chilli.
- Both will appreciate a high quality fertile soil and really good drainage is preferable.
- While for hot chilli there is some heat in the seeds the majority of the heat is in the pith.
Sowing and Growing
- When sowing from seed patience is key, peppers and chilli can be slow and fussy germinators and it is not uncommon for germination to take a month or more!
- To ensure the best germination rates make sure to use in date seeds, and make sure the temperature is between 17*C and 25*C.
- sowing in small pots or seed modules is recommended as you can sow undercover slightly earlier and can control the temperature slightly better. Top tip would be to sow in a propagator or use cloches to provide the appropriate temperature, this can also be achieved by sowing on an indoors windowsill.
- Once the seedling reaches 5cm to 10cm plant out into a larger pot.
- The best time to sow is late February if you are planting in a heated greenhouse, propagator or windowsill. Early spring for a unheated greenhouse and in summer for direct sowing. I would recommend starting your seeds indoors on a warm windowsill in late February to ensure the plant has a full growing season.
- Space the plants 30cm apart if growing in rows or grow in large containers or grow bags.
- It is common to 'top' the plant once it reaches 25cm. This is a process where you pinch out the top of the plant. this may delay harvests but will encourage the plant to bush out providing a higher yield. It is not necessary but highly recommended.
- Chilli’s and peppers do not respond well to overwatering, a light water twice a week will normally suffice, during long hot/dry spells they may need more. Once the plant starts to flower they will appreciate a liquid feed every two weeks.