How To Grow Chili Peppers

stuart747Starred Page By stuart747, 16th Dec 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/4120z7mt/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Gardening>Planting & Growing

Listed on this page is some simple advice for those who wish to grow your own spicy Chili peppers

Guide to growing Chili Peppers:

Chili Peppers come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colours and strengths, A rating known as Scoville units (SHU) is used to describe how hot different types of chili's are, This is the number of times that the chili extract needs to be diluted in water for it to lose it's heat, Different varieties of Chili Peppers have different strengths ranging from mild to extremely hot. Bell Peppers rank at 0 SHU, Jalapenos 3,000-6,000 SHU, Habaneros 300,000 SHU and the Guinness World Record holder is the Naga Jolokia Chili that has a rating of over 1,000,000 SHU, Chili Peppers originated in the Americas but are now grown all over the world, Growing them can be simple and fun however some varieties will take more care and attention.

Getting Started:

JANUARY-FEBRUARY, The first thing to do is to get organized, I would recommend getting some Label Sticks as it can get confusing if you are growing different varieties of Chili Peppers, Potting Compost, and Seed Trays,Germination of the seeds is one of the hardest processes and should be done either indoors or under glass, If you have not got a green house a sunny widow or conservatory will be ideal, The plants can then be moved outside when they have matured, Remember that different varieties of Chili Peppers will take different times to germinate, Cayenne Chili's will germinate within 2 weeks where as Habaneros will take 2-5 weeks but if the conditions are not right it may take longer, Before planting your seeds it is advised to soak them 5 minutes in some warm water or for harder to grow Chili Peppers try- placing the seeds between two sheets of damp kitchen roll and then place them in a sealed freezer bag or container, Try to leave them in a warm place such as an airing cupboard or near a radiator, This will keep the seeds warm and moist which will speed up the germination process, When the seeds start to swell or sprout it will be time to plant them into the compost.

Planting:

When Planting the Chili Pepper seeds place them 5cm apart and cover with 0.5cm of lose compost, spray the compost lightly with water and try not to drench them, check them daily and make sure that the compost is not dry, Try to prevent the compost from drying out rather than keeping it overly wet, Using a propagator or propagating heat pads would be ideal for this stage however placing the tray in a warm place will be sufficient, The key is to be patient and keep the seeds warm and moist.

Once the seeds have started to sprout Light is the Key factor, If they are being grown in a sunny environment this will not be a problem, However if it is not yet summer time it's advised to keep growing them indoors or inside a green house, when growing indoors the chili plant like all other plants will grow towards the main light source (the sun), This can tend to make the plant grow tall and spindly, A way to stop this is to introduce artificial lighting but that's a more professional approach and will only be required by dedicated growers.

Potting on/out:

Once your seedlings have developed their second set of leaves it will be time to re-pot them, Ideally you should be re-potting into pots or tubs with a 10cm diameter, you should try not to damage the young shoots during this stage, The best advice is to try and not touch them altogether by re-potting the area of compost with the Chili Pepper shoot in the middle,This way no damage should be done to the shoot or it's roots, Depending on the variety of Chili Pepper and the amount of light they are getting they will need to be re-potted again but this is advised when the plants are well established and growing well, When the risk of frosts has passed you will be able to plant outside.

Tips:

During the growing period try not to over water them, water them just enough to stop the soil from getting dry on top, A little bit of Tomato food can be diluted with the water but remember not to over feed them,

When moving the plants outside it can be an idea to try and get them acclimatized to the outside world first, Try placing them outdoors for a couple hours at at time before finally leaving them out there.

Aphids, These small little bugs seem to thrive on young Chili plants, products such as Dusts, Soaps and Sprays are available, I personally think the best method of getting rid of them is by finding Ladybirds that will naturally feed on the Aphids.

When the Chili plant begins to flower they will soon start to grow into Chili pods, If your plant is outside insects will naturally pollinate these flowers, however if your plant is indoors you will need to pollinate them yourself, This is very easy just use either a finger, Cotton bud or small paint brush to rub the inside the flower head and they will soon start producing the Chili pods.

Your Chili's can be eaten fresh, dried or ground down to produce chili flakes and powders

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Comments

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
17th Dec 2012 (#)

Covered every detail - thanks Stuart for the share - siva

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