Get started with your chillies
We just returned from our Christmas holiday and our new chilli seeds were waiting for us. We have been very excited to plant these and to see them develop, and we are looking forward to finally tasting them in the summer. We are growing ‘Aji Ayoyo’ for the first time, which has the finest baby purple flowers and the ‘Carolina Reaper Chocolate’, which is rumoured to be one of the strongest chillies.
If you just can’t wait to grow beautiful plants or tasty vegetables in your greenhouse, I have good news for you. In January and February, it is possible to start the pre-germination of, for example, chilli, pepper, and aubergine. With the strong chilli sorts, it is best if the seeds get an early start, if you want them to have chillies the same year.
In this article, we will guide you on how to pre-germinate chilli and give a tip or two on how to get healthy chilli plants, that will provide you with chilli fruits all summer long. This pre-germination guide can also be used for pepper and aubergine.
Scoville value of the chilli indicates the development time and placement
We have been giving a great tip, from a seasoned chilli cultivator. The stronger the chilli (Scoville scale), the sooner you must start pre-germination, if you want ripe fruits the same year, as stronger chillies are longer to develop. Pepper and the milder chillies (Capsicum annuum) can wait until mid-April, and they will still produce fruits the same year. So, if you need a little time to search for new seeds, you got time.
How strong the chilli is, will also indicate the amount of heat it needs. The hotter the chilli, the more heat it needs, and it is therefore best to grow your chillies in a greenhouse. The milder Capsicum Annuum will also give a larger return if they are grown in a greenhouse, however, most are fine in a sunny placement outside your greenhouse.
Guide: the pre-germination of chilli
- Fill your pots/seed tray with seed- and potting soil and water your soil, so it is moist, but not too wet. It is important that your pots have a hole in the bottom, so the water can run out.
- Place a seed or two (depending on germination percentage) in each pot and cover with about 0.5 cm seed- and potting soil and water with a sprayer.
- Place them in a warm place, preferably at 26-29 degrees. Be patient, it might take a few weeks for the seeds to sprout.
- When the seeds have sprouted place them in a light place and remove any possible lid.
- Make sure the soil does not dry out but avoid over watering. When the first leaves start to show, we recommend you fertilise every time you water.
- Have you planted several seeds in the same pot, remove the smallest or re-plant them in their own pot, when they have their first 4-6 sets of leaves. Now is also the time to repot in bigger pots, if you planted in small seed trays.
- When the temperature of the ground is about 15-18 degrees, you can start to plant your plants in bigger pots, raised beds or directly in the ground. Make sure to slowly adjust your plants to direct sunlight by placing them outside for few hours a day. The wind will make your little plants stronger.
- Regularly water your plants with fertiliser water and look forward to harvesting your first fruits. If your plants grow too close, you might remove some of the lower branches to create space and by doing so you will avoid fungus and mould.
- If you want seeds next year, harvest some seeds from a ripe fruit and let them dry.
- Do you wish for perennial plants, take in your plants during winter. That is why, cultivating in pots, has its advantages.
The best green wishes.
Behind the Danish company TagTomat (in English ‘Roof Tomato’) is a skilled team whose passion is to create green communities and inspire to green do-it-yourself and do-it-together projects. Today TagTomat sells organic flower seeds and vegetable seeds, which are packaged with our seed packaging machines from 1895. It all began in 2011 in the heart of the neighbourhood Nørrebro in Copenhagen with just five self-watering plant boxes on a wheelie bin storage. You can read more about TagTomat at our website TagTomat.Get to know TagTomat
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