Growing Chillies From Seed. If you are thinking of having a go at growing chillies next year, here is a shopping list to get you off to a flying start.
Shopping List. A heated propagator or warming mat is a valuable tool for germinating chilli seeds - they like it hot! At the farm, we sow the seeds thickly in a soil-based seed compost and place the pots in heated propagators - we expect to see an erruption of shoots between 6 and 10 days later - some do take longer. A Jonh Innes soil-based seed compost is a good start for them. Plant labels, a water-proof marker pen and a few plant pots, and you're all set - apart from buying some seeds.
Recommend Chillies. Here is a list of easy-to-grow varieties that we have always found very willing. It tends to be a good idea to stick to well-known varieties - you will have a better chance of starting with good quality seed. My six-of-the-best would be:
- Santa Fe Gande - a 'yellow' chilli that ripens to orange - good for salsa
- Cherry Bomb - ripens early and the fruits look amazing
- Hungarian Hot Wax - usually eaten green (or yellow in this case)
- Numex Twilight - a rainbow of colour and hundreds of 1"-long chillies.
- Ring-of-Fire - a very product cayenne type.
- Jalapeno - probably the most well know chilli - usually eaten green
What Else Do You Need? Chilli seedlings can get a little too leggy if grown-on after germination on a windowsill. A greenhouse is ideal, but you can also use a mini plastic greenhouse (less than £20) or a cold frame.
You'll find tips on growing from seed and general plant care here. We also send a printed copy of instructions with our mail-order seeds.