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Posts Tagged ‘growing peppers from seed’

Chilli Peppers

Every year I grow my own Sweet and Chilli Peppers from seed, they can be very slow to germinate so are one of the first crops that I get going, if you want to have a go at growing your own now is the time to get started, seeds can be sown between February and April, I will be sowing mine in the next couple of weeks.

Sweet and Chilli Peppers make very attractive plants, there are lots of different varieties to choose from producing fruits in varying shapes, sizes and colours, and different degrees of heat, did you know that the heat of Peppers (and other spicy foods) is measured on the ‘Scoville Scale’, one of the hottest known peppers is called the ‘Carolina Reaper’ and measures ‘2,200,000’, at the opposite end of the scale the Sweet (Bell) Pepper which does not contain any heat measures ‘0’.

Sweet Peppers Yellow

Peppers can be grown in a greenhouse/polytunnel, on your windowsill or even outdoors in a warm, sunny sheltered position, Peppers love the sun and will thrive in warm/hot conditions which allow their fruits to ripen and change colour, those grown indoors tend to produce bigger crops that mature quicker.

How to sow your seeds

Fill your seed trays or pots with seed compost and sow the seeds thinly on the surface, lightly cover with a fine sprinkling of compost or vermiculite and water carefully, don’t forget to add a label, Chilli and Sweet Pepper seedlings and plants look almost identical.

Place in a propagator at a temperature of 15-20C (60-68F), do not exclude light this helps germination, be patient some varieties can take 7-21 days.

pepper plant

Growing On

Once your seedlings have appeared, remove them from the propagator and grow on in a warm environment, once they are large enough to handle pot on into small pots of good quality compost.

When they have outgrown their pots (you may notice roots growing through the bottom) it is time to transplant them into their final growing positions (larger pots, hanging baskets, containers, grow bags) where they are to crop. If you want to grow them outside harden them off first and plant out in a sunny, sheltered position after all risk of frost has passed.

Aftercare

Gently spray the flowers with tepid water to encourage fruit to set, feed the plants weekly after the first fruits begin to form, keep the plants moist but do not overwater. As the fruits develop you may need to stake the plants to support the fruit bearing stems which can become quite heavy.

Sweet Peppers Purple

I grow both Chilli and Sweet Peppers, I give a lot of my Chilli Peppers to friends and family as I am not a big fan of hot spicy food, I do enjoy the Sweet Peppers in salads, stuffed, roasted and stir fried they are delicious.

Happy sowing

Gill

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Following our Easter break it is now all about pots and propagators.

I tend to sow most of my seeds in April with the exception of Chilli and Sweet peppers which are quite slow to grow and germinate, these were sown in early March and are now ready to be potted up individually into small pots (click here for a guide to growing Chilli Peppers).

Red Chillies

The following were the first to go into my two propagators:

Tomatoes – a must, packed full of flavour and goodness they are so healthy, I usually grow different varieties, cherry/mini plum tomato (perfect for lunch boxes and for putting on skewers on the BBQ) , medium size tomato (general use), large fleshy tomato (for soups/chutneys) and hanging basket tomatoes (handy by the back door, they look great too). Click here for a guide to growing tomatoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watercress – easy to grow and doesn’t need running water it has a lovely peppery flavour great in salads or if you grow plenty Watercress Soup, its rich in Vitamin C (click here for a guide to growing Watercress).

Watercress close

Cosmos – one of my favourite flowers and loved by Bees and Insects, planted in groups they make a stunning display and can be cut to enjoy indoors.

All of the above seeds have germinated and are growing on nicely they will be ready to pot on when their first set of true leaves have grown,

they have now been replaced in the propagator with:

Basil, Parsley, Coriander – essential summer herbs for salads or cooking

Coriander

Sweet Corn – pick then cook and eat as soon as possible before the sugar turns to starch, shop bought simply doesn’t compare to home grown

Butternut Squash – not something I have grown before but can be boiled, roasted, mashed and made into soup, they store well for winter use

these will then be replaced with:

Salad Leaves – a summer essential

Frilly Lettuce

Cucumbers – you can’t have a salad without cucumber, home grown are delicious (click here for a guide to growing cucumbers)

Courgettes –easy to grow and will produce a big crop until the first winter frosts

Pumpkins – I always grow these for Halloween but they can be made into soup, pies and cakes, don’t forget to roast the seeds (click here for a guide to growing Pumpkins)

T's Halloween Pumpkin

Sunflowers – the flower of Summer, loved by bees and insects the seeds can be dried to feed to the birds, this year I am planning to grow a ‘crop’ on my allotment (click here for a guide to growing Sunflowers)

Sunflower 1

Many of the above can be sown directly outside but they simply will not grow if it is too cold, I wouldn’t be without my propagators and would recommend them to anyone, the constant gentle temperature really does make a difference to the germination rate of your seeds.

Click here to learn more about growing in propagators.

Growing your plants from seed is easy and very economical and to many children it is pure magic!

 The essential heated propagator

Why not enter our free competitions for a chance to win your own propagator (click here for full details) or one for your School (click here for full details) hurry, the closing date for both competitions is Wednesday 30th April.

Good Luck

Gill

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