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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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If you like a bit of heat in your cooking then why not have a go at growing your own pot of Chillies on your windowsill.

Chilli Pot

Windowsill Chilli Pot

Chillies make attractive plants, there are lots of different varieties to choose from which will produce chillies in varying shapes, sizes, colours and degrees of heat from mild through to hot, some are even described as ‘inferno’ these definitely are not for the faint hearted.

Chilli seeds need heat to germinate, the plants prefer a warm and sunny position to grow on and ripen their fruits, as they are slow to germinate they need to be sown early to crop in late summer.

Fill your seed trays or pots with seed compost and sow the seeds thinly on the surface, lightly cover with compost or vermiculite and water carefully with a fine rose.

Place in a propagator or on a warm windowsill at a temperature of 18-21C (65-70F), do not exclude light as this helps germination, which can take 7-14 days.

Once the seedling are large enough to handle pot on into small pots of good quality compost, and then when they have outgrown their pots transplant into larger pots, hanging baskets, containers, or into grow bags where they are to crop. If you want to grow them outside harden them off and plant out in a sunny sheltered position after all risk of frost has passed,

Feed the plants weekly after the first fruits begin to form and water when the compost feels dry, you may need to stake the plants to support the fruit bearing stems.

Chilli Starter Kit

Chilli Starter Kit

Give them a try; why not treat yourself or someone special on Mothers Day (10th March) to a Chilli Growing Kit .

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