Growing Chillis Part 1: Getting Started
Getting started with growing chillis is pretty easy and cost effective, especially when you consider the varieties you can grow and the number of chilli pods you will get compared to how much chillis are in the supermarket.
There are a few things that you need in order to get started these are:
Without seeds you aren’t going to get very far. You can get a huge variety of seeds from the highstreet and an even wider variety from the internet. Prices vary from pence to pounds depending on where you get them from and which varieties you choose, there is a list of my favourite internet based chilli seed suppliers on my links page.
Once you have got your hands on some seeds the best place to keep them is in an airtight container somewhere cool and dark, this will help keep them “fresher” for longer.
You can also save the seeds from chillis you have grown or bought, the main problem with this is if your plants have cross polinated you are unlikely to get the same chillis next year, having said that it can result in some interesting varieties.
Everyone who grows chillis has their oppinion on they type of soil that is best to grow chillis in, personally i prefer a good quality compost although some of the own brand stuff from garden centres and DIY shops is great value for money and can always be pepped up with a bit of fertilizer.
I could spend all day listing the various bits and bobs you could use but instead ill just give you a quick list of the stuff i tend to use most.
- Pots – Chillis are quite versatile and can be grown in anything from an empty bean can to a large bed or container. I tend to transfer seedlings into little plastic cups until they out grow them and then into a slightly bigger pot before putting them in their final pot, My favourite type of pot is the black florists buckets from the supermarket, bascailly anything goes as long as its got good drainage, ill explain more in the transplanting guide.
- Tools – You don’t really need any tools as such but a trowel and a small “pricking out” device could come in handy when transfering the seedlings.
- Propagator – i find this is the best way to start chillis, you can get lots of different ones i currently have 2 that are shown here
- Bits and bobs – I find it useful to have some labels, canes, string, plastic bags, plant ties and something for collecting your havest in.
- Greenhouse – Not essential as you can grow your chillis anywhere warm with plenty of sunlight but if you want to grow them outside then a greenhouse would be handy especially here in the north.
Thats it for part 1, check out part 2 for all about germination.