When to sow chilli seeds

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One of the joys of growing your own chillies is you will eventually have a ready supply, perfect for picking and using in meals whenever you please. There are plenty of different varieties to choose from too, so you can do some research to find out which crop you want to grow. If you want to make your own salsa, why not try jalapenos? Or alternatively, Scotch Bonnet chillies might be for you if you’re looking for a really spicy kick.

When should you sow chilli seeds?

The optimum time to sow chilli seeds is from late winter to mid-spring.

So preferably, chilli seeds should be sown in February, March or April.

However, you might want to check the optimum times for the exact type of chilli you want to grow for the best results.

How do you sow chilli seeds?

Thompson & Morgan advises starting by growing your chillies indoors, as the heat can help the seeds to germinate.

Initially, you can opt to use a seed tray or 10cm pots for sowing your chillies in.

To grow chillies you will need a moist seed compost, which you can then flatten down in the pot or tray.

Sow a few seeds on top of the soil and cover with a fine sprinkling of vermiculite or compost.

The next step is to make sure the chillies get enough heat to start flourishing.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) explains: “Seeds will germinate quickly in a heated propagator, or simply put the pots on a warm sunny windowsill.

“Place a clear plastic bag over each pot, secured with an elastic band, to raise the humidity.

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“As soon as seedlings appear, take the pot out of the propagator or remove the plastic bag.”

Fill the pot with multipurpose compost and place it in a warm spot with sunshine.

Thompson & Morgan explains when the seedlings are stable enough they can be moved to individual pots of compost.

Around May time, if the plants are large enough, they can be put in their final position.

The chilli plant can be put into a 22cm pot or three can be planted in a standard growing bag, according to the RHS.

However, you may want to set the plants outside in the garden, just make sure it’s a sunny and sheltered spot.

Thompson & Morgan explains: “Gradually acclimatise your plants to outdoor conditions over a period of seven to 10 days before transplanting them into well-prepared beds of fertile, moist, well-drained soil.

“Space your chilli pepper plants 50cm (20 inches) apart in the ground.”

With any luck, and some regular watering and maintenance, you’ll get thriving chilli plants.

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