Gardening Magazine

Sowing Chilli Seeds

By Mwillis
I'm sure most of my regular readers know by now that I usually delay sowing my chillis until after Valentine's Day. My view is that if they are sown any earlier than this they are likely to struggle, and may become leggy due to lack of light and warmth. Anyway, for better of for worse, I sowed mine this past weekend.
Whilst shopping in our local Morrissons supermarket on Saturday I noticed these little 3" / 76mm pots for sale:
Sowing chilli seeds
At only 75p for a pack of 10, I thought they were a bargain, and just right for starting off my chillis in.
I'm going to use the same procedure that I normally use. I sowed several (in most cases 5) seeds in each of those pots, which I have filled with moist John Innes No.1 compost (a specialist seed compost). The pots are then labelled, placed in seed trays encased in large plastic bags and put into the airing-cupboard until the seeds germinate. I'm prepared for the fact that each type of chilli will germinate at a different rate. After the first couple of days I'll check at least twice a day, and as each one germinates I'll move the pot into my Growlight House, which provides a good level of light, though almost no additional heat.

Sowing chilli seeds

Garland "Growlight House"

Since my collection of chilli seeds continues to expand, thanks mainly to swaps and gifts from friends, the most difficult part of the process these days is deciding which types to grow. This year I have chosen the following varieties: (some of these are nicknames, of course)
Aji Limon, Aji Limo, Cayenne, Golden Cayenne, Chocolate Cayenne
Tenerife, Piri Piri, Fish, Panama 3, Panama 6
Cozumel Fat, Turkey Short Thin Red, Turkey Long Red, Nepali, Whippet's Tail
Scotch Bonnet, Bellaforma, Greek Chilli, Hungarian Hot Wax, Hungarian Goulash.
My thanks to the friends who gave me many of the above.
Most of the pots have 5 seeds in them. There were a couple for which I didn't have 5 seeds, but as long as I get a decent germination rate I should end up with plenty of plants. In theory, I will only keep one or perhaps two of each variety, even if they all germinate. However, I always find it hard to throw away perfectly viable seedlings, so you never know...
Since I was in a sowing mood, I also sowed a couple of pots of peas, for growing indoors to make peashoots as a salad ingredient. One lot of "Douce Provence" and one lot of "Early Onward" (just because this is what I had.)
Sowing chilli seeds

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