Hi guys, on Sunday I planted my brand new selection of chilli seeds for the 2013 season. I mentioned in my last post that last year I tried to hand germinate most of the seeds, going against my usual preferred method of planting straight into the soil. This year I’m reverting back to planting straight into a good grade compost but instead of using my usual 6 cell seed pots I opted for the 15 cell ones. I’ve found in the past the 6 cell’s work perfectly and the plants can remain in them for a long time (avg 2 months) but they have to do a lot of growing to reach their planting out stage.
In general a chilli plants root to vegetation growth ratio is related to the size of pot its in. ie the bigger the pot the more the plant concentrates on root growth and in a smaller pot the plants roots find their boundaries quicker and therefore focuses on growing the actual plant upwards from a strong root base. I have used this method in larger plants and it has worked very well so I’m working on the basis that this will also be beneficial to seedlings in the early growth stages.
One of the slight disadvantages to this is that I will need to plant them out more often as they grow out of their smaller pots but this doesn’t bother me. This method is also a really handy space saver for growing indoors or starting your plants off.
A lot of people ask me what is the best compost to use, at the start I use compost only and then as they grow into their larger pots I use good old irish soil straight from our garden mixed in with the compost as they are less delicate at this stage. I don’t stick to any brand really I just buy a good quality (medium price range) seedling or potting compost. The seedling compost will come super fine but if you choose potting compost, which I do mostly, you just need to pick out any large pieces that may hinder early growth. If you go with potting compost this means that you won’t need to buy different compost types for the different stages in your chilli growing which works out expensive and I feel unnecessary. I’ve been growing chillies like this for years in Ireland and it works.
Super excited, the new Ninja year has started and as always I’ll keep you updated on my progress. If you’re thinking of growing chillies this year I recommend that you get on it immediately and get yours planted by the end of the month at the latest. Especially if you live in a colder climate like ireland and don’t intend to use and propagators or heating equipment like myself. Don’t forget I’m giving away FREE chilli seeds all you need to do is like my Facebook page and private message me your address and I’ll ship some out to you – what could be better?! *EDIT – ALL SEEDS GONE NOW TO VARIOUS LOVELY CHILLI FANS – SORRY!
I’d love to hear about what you’re growing this year – especially if it’s your first time growing chillies.