And so it begins…

Habanero Chocolate, Fatalii Seeds

The key to growing Chillies is patience and more importantly preparation. I mentioned in my last post that there was one particular type that evaded me last year – the Habanero Chocolate. It just seemed that this Chilli needed optimal conditions so this year, even more determined to prove my worth, I’m giving them a head start in germination using the simple tissue paper method. I’ve also included 3 other rare types that are more difficult to grow and have extra long growing periods, Fatalii, Tabasco, & White Habanero. Bring it on!

The whole idea here is to create an environment that will kickstart the growing process giving the seed the best start whilst also enabling the grower to plant only the seeds that ‘make it’, saving precious time and frustration (that’s if you get frustrated by such a thing. I think of myself as a more relaxed type of fella)

There’s not much apparatus needed, I laid four clumps of tissue paper on a dinner plate and then placed twelve of each type on top. I planted six of each last year straight into the soil so I’m over compensating this time, and if they all grow it won’t be a bother as it plays right in to my dastardly plan to make Chilli bushes! So it’s win win for the Ninja.

Keep in mind that a good few layers of tissue are needed so it doesn’t completely disintegrate when the water is added.

Seed GerminationSeed Germination

Seed Germination

It’s best to lightly pour the water around the edges and then over any of the paper that hasn’t soaked in. The trick is not to have it swimming in water, just enough so there is a wet base for the seeds to sit on. That coupled with warm surroundings will create the perfect environment for them to germinate.

Seed Germination

I finally stretched cling film over the plate which will help to retain moisture preventing drying out and they will need watered much less also.  These will go onto a shelf in my hot press were I’ll be monitoring them closely –  they should start hopefully showing signs of growth in the next 5-7 days. All this is seriously worth it because in my eyes, to grow a fantastic Chilli such as the Habanero Chocolate in Ireland would be a great achievement! Even though wifey might start to point & laugh at the sheer level of fanaticism that may come with it!

So, I’m glad to hit the ground running with these guys and looking forward to seeing positive results soon (watch this space!)

Have you ever started the germination process like this before? If you have your own method I’d love to hear it. Chilli Ninja

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16 thoughts on “And so it begins…

  1. Astra says:

    That looks great, saves the hassle of potting them up and half never germinating – I hate that… I’m sure you’ll get the chocolate chillies this year, with this kind of start I reckon they’ll do brilliant :)

  2. As a matter of fact, I had chili plants before. Although it was bought with chilis already sprouting, still, I loved the feeling of having something useful being produced!

  3. Astra says:

    Hi Ninja, me again, just wanted to let you know I’ve TAGGED you! Come see my post, hope you’ll join in and tell us a bit about yourself :)

  4. Great organization Chilli Ninja,

    our growing window is not quite as tight as yours so when I finally get around to diving into the chilli plants wholeheartedly I may or may not adopt a similar approach, although i have to agree with Astra. There’s nothing worse than seeds not sprouting, I’ve had a number of failures this season and unless you’ve done a germination test similar to your method you never quite now the problem.

    To date we only have a few chilli varieties and capsicums growing from seedlings bought from the store. Busy, busy times.

  5. Chilli Ninja says:

    Thanks Dalles! It certainly is busy times. Today I have finished planting my 2012 Chillies for the year, a couple of weeks later than normal due to the very cold weather, but still in good time on the grand scheme of the growing season.
    Good luck with your Chillies and other produce on the K & D Family Farm.

  6. Slowvelder says:

    Oh this is great. I have some special chilli type seeds that need some gentle care so I will be trying this. I have to grow my chillis in winter :)

    • Chilli Ninja says:

      It does work well as you can keep an eye on them. Have you tried growing Fatalii – you have a perfect climate for it down there in South Africa :)

      • Slowvelder says:

        I am really new to growing – this winter is going to be my first proper season. I don’t even know what fatalii is :) – I am going to try pepperdews.

        • Chilli Ninja says:

          Never tried or grew Pepperdews. They are native to South Africa aren’t they? My wife has tried stuffed Pepperdews.
          Lol – Fatalii is a Mid African Chilli which is extremely hot and very hard to grow in cooler climates like Ireland. I managed to grow a few plants last year – they look like this, and mature to a bright yellow or orange colour. However, If you prefer a milder heat you should probably give this one a miss :)
          Good luck with your first season!

  7. prats says:

    How many days the chilly seeds take usually before they sprout?I tried putting them in soil couple of months ago, but none germinated.this time again i tried and only one seemsto have come up.(todays the 4th day).and the tissue method,ill try it today…which variety is the easiest to grow,im growing this on an urban balcony for fun so pls guide me.thnks .

    • Chilli Ninja says:

      Hi. It really depends on the type of chilli that you are growing and where you are growing. If you give me a bit more info I’ll be glad to help :)

      • prats says:

        hey,many germinated by the 5th day.i dont know the exact variety,im from Mumbai,India.I’ve planted it outside the balcony,gets afternoon sun about 2and half to 3 hrs.Is the sunlight sufficient?

        • Chilli Ninja says:

          Hey Prats. I hope things have moved on well since then. Unfortunately it is hard for me to give advice on your climate as it is much different to mine here in Ireland. I would say that it is better to move seedling inside at night to give them maximum protection in case the temperature drops. I’d love to see some pics of your progress.

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