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  • Chilli seeds - propagation

    Last year was my first at trying growing my own anything. I kept seeing different types of tomato seeds and buying them, ended with loads of plants, too many to take care of well, so most of them failed tomato wise. There were too many for me to maintain well. So this I'm going for quality over quantity. Lesson learnt!

    Anyway, chillies, we did well with these last year, and the sweet pepper went... meh, ok-ish too. But again, I just went with whatever I found in the shops. This year I'm going for the exact ones I want. And chillis are going to be the main thing I grow, since they don't take up as much room as tomatoes and more importantly, we use loooaaaads of them. Chilli'd breakfast scrambled eggs anyone or chilli'd omelet?

    The Cayenne and scotch bonnets did well for me in my first time last year.

    I have got these:
    • JalapeƱo
    • Paper Lantern
    • Twilight
    • Hot Chocolate Habanero
    • Joes Long
    • Ring of Fire
    • Super Chilli F1


    And will get a few sweet ones too. Didn't seem to be able to get

    I have a couple of these heated propagator, Good value, and actually made by Sankey for B&Q. This has some paper lanterns in a the moment, and is in the kitchen, near the window.

    I'm wondering, once the seeds start to come up, and a prick them out into 3" pots. Will those pots then need to stay under the heated propagator for a while longer? If not, what conditions will they need?

    On my attachment, ignoring the 3 rows on the left (as they are tomatoes), so we are looking ta the 3 rows on the right. I'm wondering whether they are getting too leggy? And when to take them out of the heated prop and into 3" pots each? I planted them just over a week ago.


    Cheers,
    HN
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hello, welcome! Do you play hockey?

    I take my chillies out the moment they break the surface of the compost - if you leave them in there, they'll end up getting long and drawn (leggy), and will be weak plants.

    If I start them off early I put them on a sunny windowsil with a foil backing to reflect more light back onto the seedlings.

    I sow directly into 3" pots now, I used to do modules, but found partial germination hampered my efforts. I sow 2-4 chillies in 3" pots, and when the roots start to poke out of the bottom of them, I then pot them up a size - sometimes if they're large I do it before the roots show out of the bottom. I tend to put them in 4", or 5" pots then. Eventually working my way through a 7" pot into a 9" one I think. Most people end up with them in morrisons flower buckets (or supermarket ones should I say!).

    Where are you based? It'd be good if you could put it in your profile so advise can be tailored to your region - it doesn't have to as specific as your lat & long

    Once you start thuogh, it's a slipperly slope - be warned! I started off with chillies, cucumbers, and tomatos...

    Now I have taken over my garden (but loosing my veg growing space in there due to a little one having a wendy house). I then moved onto Chickens, and now have an allotment

    My wife sometimes feels as if she is a single mother!

    Comment


    • #3
      Sorry didn't see the image!

      It's not loading for me (works connection is dire at lunch time) - I think I can see them sprouted already? I'd take them out, and put them on a sunny windowsil.

      You may need to turn them if you don't prick them out - once a day I'd have thought would be ok - or whenver they start to bend to the light, if the roots are pokign out of the bottom, I'd definately prick them out into individual pots.

      Edit: I've the same props - cheap and cheerful - work brilliantly. If you don't want a messy ktichen windowsil unplug it, and take the top off it.
      Last edited by chris; 15-03-2011, 12:30 PM.

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      • #4
        once they're up the main thing they'll need is light. as mentioned above a sunny window sill and foil reflector is good. personally I have some in my conservatory and some under flourescent tube lights (18 hrs a day) to really maximise their growth.

        watch out for cold windowsills at night - i move mind into a warm living room to sleep ;-)

        loads more chilli growing tips on my blog (link below in my signature).

        happy growing!

        Comment


        • #5
          In you Photo the seedlings look very leggy - straining and leaning towards the light.

          At the least put some tinfoil (tapped to half-a-cardboard box, or similar), or a mirror, behind them.

          But preferably get them more light than they currently have - a growing lamp if you are a Chilli Nut or a conservatory if possible / warm enough.
          K's Garden blog the story of the creation of our garden

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Hockeynut View Post
            what conditions will they need?
            16c day & night, ideally, and as much light as you can give them - you may have to wait until the days lengthen a bit more, depending on your location ...?
            Last edited by Two_Sheds; 15-03-2011, 01:50 PM.
            All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Two_Sheds View Post
              16c day & night, ideally, and as much light as you can give them - you may have to wait until the days lengthen a bit more, depending on your location ...?
              Should they be put back in a controlled temperature once they have established themselves. Some of mine are now 5-6 inches high and seem to be doing ok. But they are on a south facing window. The diurnal range even in the house means the temperature drops well below 16 degrees.

              Does this harm the growth or the plants potential to grow fruits later on?

              Loving my allotment!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Newton View Post
                the house ... drops well below 16 degrees.

                Does this harm the growth or the plants potential to grow fruits later on?
                It can retard them, yes.
                I have the house thermometer set to 16c, and my chillies and toms come off the windowsill into the room for their bedtime. Back on sunny windowsill in the morning.
                Bit more info here: Chili Peppers - Capsicum by the Chili Monster
                All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Oh dear, I fear I may have got it a bit wrong with this first batch of seeds then. I haven't had time to transplant them yet, I won't until tomorrow, and they are about 4-6 CM long now. Nevermind, maybe I'll have to consider them education and do better with a fresh batch of seeds.

                  Can I re-use the same compost, or does it need to be fresh each time?
                  Should I keep them covered until the seeds sprout?

                  So just to clarify, should I move them into 3"pots as soon as they are poking through by about 1cm? I mistakenly previously misunderstood and thought that they should stay in the prop until the second set of leaves.

                  Sorry for so many questions!

                  I also tried following some of this advice:
                  South Devon Chilli Farm - Growing Chillies from seed, Part 1
                  South Devon Chilli Farm - Growing Chillies from seed - part 2

                  Originally posted by chrismarks View Post
                  Hello, welcome! Do you play hockey?
                  I used to play Ice and inline.
                  Last edited by Hockeynut; 18-03-2011, 07:02 AM.

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                  • #10
                    You can transplant the 4 - 6 CM seedlings into individual pots. You can bury them right up to the first seed leaves - which may be helpful if the initial stem that grew out of the see is quite lengthy.

                    The seedlings in your picture do look very drawn from lack of light though, so they may be weak as a result. But worth a go I reckon - daylight is improving, so new growth will be stronger and less leggy. But get them into better light if you can - and put some tinfoil behind them on the windowsill to reflect light.
                    Last edited by Kristen; 18-03-2011, 07:22 AM.
                    K's Garden blog the story of the creation of our garden

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hockeynut View Post
                      I used to play Ice and inline.
                      Completely OT - but I used to be a regular in roller snakes in notts, spent so much there on inline kit. Moved over to ice now though! G'luck with the seedlings

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kristen View Post
                        You can transplant the 4 - 6 CM seedlings into individual pots. You can bury them right up to the first seed leaves - which may be helpful if the initial stem that grew out of the see is quite lengthy.

                        The seedlings in your picture do look very drawn from lack of light though, so they may be weak as a result. But worth a go I reckon - daylight is improving, so new growth will be stronger and less leggy. But get them into better light if you can - and put some tinfoil behind them on the windowsill to reflect light.
                        Excellent point Kristen, I had forgotten I could plant them upto those first leaves! I'll pot them into 3" pots tomorrow, I assume I take any soil that stick onto the roots to the next pot... rather than shaking it off?

                        They do look a little weak though, that pic is old, they look a bit worse now, so we'll see. Ill get it right on the next batch that take their place in the prop.




                        OT
                        Originally posted by chrismarks View Post
                        Completely OT - but I used to be a regular in roller snakes in notts, spent so much there on inline kit. Moved over to ice now though! G'luck with the seedlings
                        Hehe! I remember that. And rollers, where the bowling rink now is!
                        Although I'm from Notts, I played up in Sheffield and Rotherham.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hockeynut View Post
                          I assume I take any soil that stick onto the roots to the next pot... rather than shaking it off?
                          Yes. If you pot-up when they are very small they may only have a single tap root, in which case probably no compost will "stick", but if they are larger and the root structure more developed, they will probably have a little "root ball", and you can just drop the whole thing, roots, root ball, and the stem up to the seed leaves, into the little hole you made in the new pot.

                          (Trying to remove the compost runs the risk of damaging the roots, but I do have a prod about with the pencil I use to tease them out of the seed tray to remove the "excess" before planting then into their new pot)
                          K's Garden blog the story of the creation of our garden

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            That's what I was thinking, thanks Kristen.

                            They are in John Innes No 3 at the moment, should I pot on into No 2 yet, or still use No 3 for the 3" pots?

                            Also, can I reuse the No 3 that I have in the propagators for the next seeds to germinate, or will it have lost its nutrients?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You would be better with J.I. Seed compost for seed sowing - that has the least nutrients (and seeds don't need any / much). J.I. No 1 is the "weakest" and No 3 the "strongest", so perhaps you have them in the wrong sequence?

                              Apart from using Seed Compost for initial germination I am, personally, not too fussy about what I used after that. For my Tubs and Urns I use J.I. No 3 as the planting is fairly permanent, and I think peat-based composts are very hard to re-wet if they dry out, and soil based are easier, but for everything else I just use multi-purpose - particularly for things that get planted out in the garden /veg patch.

                              For serious chilli growing (if that is the route you are heading down) you need to ask a serious chilli grower , 'coz my chillies just get treated the same as all my other veg, rather than the Love and Attention of a more specific hobby
                              K's Garden blog the story of the creation of our garden

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