Cold outside; Chilli inside

soil warmingIt’s nearly the end of January and I still haven’t sown my chilli seeds. I need to get my skates on, but have decided to wait one day longer. My compost has been sitting outside in the cold so, to prevent any possible seed-rot, I’ve popped a couple of filled trays in the propagator to take the chill off them.

I’m sowing four varieties this year.

Cayenne Chilli
Mr Fothergill

Cayenne, from Mr Fothergill. The classic hot chilli, long, slim and red. A staple, rather than an event, but takes up so little room and the pods are so decorative, I have to have them.

Chilli Numex Twilight
Numex ‘Twilight’, Thompson and Morgan

Numex ‘Twilight’, from Thompson and Morgan. I grew these last year for their fiesta fairy-light looks, but was a bit disappointed. All the plants I gave away came to fantastic, (VERY hot) fruition in other people’s glasshouses and windowsills; mine never really came to much, so I’m trying again.

‘Sweet Sunshine’ F1 from Suttons. If these dear little peppers really are as orange and prolific and sweet as they claim, and they really do grow in hanging baskets, they will be a delightful event for salads throughout summer. I got them off the front of a magazine; we’ll see how they perform.

Aji Hot
Aji Hot, Simpsons Seeds

Aji Hot from Simpsons. I tracked these down as being some of the best flavoured ones around, but haven’t tried them myself.

Because chillies are so prolific I don’t need many plants – frankly just one or two of each. I’ll sow a very few of each to ensure germination and give away surplus plantlets. I’m using two half-trays, each divided down the middle so I know what I’m growing in each section.

Chilli seeds are easy to sow as they’re large enough to handle, so they can be placed very thinly on the surface of the compost, very lightly covered with vermiculite. They need heat and light, so a mini propagator is perfect. Sunny windowsills are good too, but I don’t really have them.

I don’t know. The propagator’s out, seed packets have been opened. Potatoes are chitting. Spring must be on its way.

Soil warming propagator

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