Chillies and bell peppers are known to have a rather long time in growing and cropping. So there are those who believe that the earlier the seeds are sown, the greater the chance of a bigger bounty. That is if you can get the seedlings to germinate within the confines of a heated propagator. In the past, I have used my heated prop, and seeds have indeed cracked and germinated. However, these babies have soon keeled over with a lack of heat and light. Perhaps my own naivete too.
There has been far greater success not using a heated magic seed growing box. So I am taking this route, even for early experimental chillies. This year, I made two sowings. The first was in January, and these did keel over for want of a warm hug. A A few of these were rescued, and sat next to a second sowing made in February. Without a heated prop. And nestled amongst white paper, as I thought this might act as a heat trap. When all it did was reflect the heat up through the bottom of the yoghurt pots. Useful, when chillies require bottom heat to crack the seed. At least that was my logic…that the heat would be trapped in the box and help keep them warm.
Anyway, post Christmas, early sowing of chillies. I have done this before, a boxing day sowing. If only I knew then, what I know now. Perhaps they would have survived.
- Nigel’s outdoor chilli
- California Wonder Sweet pepper
- Pretty Purple rainbow Chilli
- Hot Th^i chilli
- Hot patio Sizzle
- Early Jalapeño
With the exception of the early jalapeño, six seeds of each have been sown into yoghurt pots. So each yoghurt pot, has been filled with dampish soil and three seeds each in a triangle. Each pot has then been encased within a foodbag, sealed and labelled with the name of the variety. Positioned then onto a warm window sill. There is a distinct lack of warm window sills in the absence of a classroom as used previously.
There is little guarantee that any of these actually germinate. Chilli seeds are notoriously stubborn, and will generally require a heated propogater. It could therefore be, that my previous good fortune has been nothing but fluke. I have deliberately chosen the varieties sown. In that this year, these were actually quite successful, and having an early jump on the growing could be potentially beneficial.
The Pretty purple rainbow chilli, early jalepeno would have to be the biggest surprises, and were the second sowing in Feb. A point to note, was the hot patio sizzle. This particular variety did take it’s time. A later fruiter, in that it was easily August before it fruited, and then it was fruiting abundantly September when many of it’s poly tunnel comrades were ready to give up the ghost. In addition, I had plucked some of the the fruits off in the their pale yellow phase, and on putting them in ma’s kitchen in a glass bowl; observed them starting to change colour. Though they had actually just started to turn on the plant.
Below, you have green nigel outdoor chilli and the lovely pretty purple rainbow chillies. It was only later, when these had been moved back into my classroom, that the rainbow bit actually happened.
And the jalepenos found themselves in a bit of a jam.
So there are high hopes for these seeds sown to day. And the slim possibility that they will then go on to reside in the poly tunnel. The next plan, is to sow superhots, namely the dorset naga and a few habeneros in late January early February.