How To Grow Vegetables

How To Grow Chilies

How to Grow Chilies? Warning! Not only are chilies hot, they require love and attention, and whilst hardy they do need regular care.

Ideally sown in January or February but Chilies can be sown year round if you have the right climate or grow them indoors. Chilies require ongoing warmth for the best results. Some people do grow the outside in soil once the younger plants have developed, but I have found that for best result they just love compost and a nice greenhouse.

Most chili seeds have a very good initial rate of germination. Regular feeding with a good fertilizer throughout their life will reap benefits.

Sowing and planting your chili seeds – If you have one sow your chili seeds in a propagator, I use plastic food trays, washed out and filled with good compost. Punch holes in the bottom of the trays first and then water the compost heavily.

Some people recommend that you sow Chilies an inch or so apart but to be honest I find the scatter gun approach works the best. Then simply sprinkle a light layer (3mm) of damp compost over the chili seeds. You can start the propagator off in a dark room (under stairs cupboard is ideal) to generate accelerated chili growth.

Once the Chili seedlings have shooted to around 2cm then you can bring them out of the propagator – again keep them in a warm area and keep the compost moist. When the chili plants are around 5-6cm high then move them into small individual pots filled with damp compost, ensuring you bed them in well.

Only put one chili plant in each pot. I tried 2 per pot, and one kills the other, yet with 1 per pot all my chili plants survived. Once the chili plants are around 6 inches high, then either place them in large 9”pots or save money and do what I do and place 6-8 Chili plants in 1 grow bag!

Now chilies are hardy, yet they need love, ideally to keep them warm you should erect a clear plastic cover over them. As they grow they will need support and they don’t like lots of wind. They do like sunny positions and to be kept moist but not over wet (if the chili plant leaves go yellow then stop watering for a few days until they go green again.

You can pick the first chilies when they are green – the smaller they are the hotter they are! Harvest the chilies with a sharp knife, never tear them off or the plant will be damaged. Storing chilies – You can wither use them as they are or they will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

If you want Chilies to last for ages then dry them out in the sun on a window ledge. Then store them in a plastic container and you should have enough chillies to see you through winter! Or why not learn How to Grow Peppers if chilies are too hot? In general they are easy to grow but also see Chili Pests And Diseases

For great chili recipe ideas check out - Chili Chicken

Or try our recipe for the Worlds Hottest Chili Sauce - Beware! This is very,very hot!

By Richard Allen -

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