Friday 28 February 2014

The chillis are off...

Ten days ago I sowed seeds for several different types of chilli and sweet pepper. I sowed two seeds in each pot, as I usually do. Then, when they germinate I pinch out the weakest of the two. It's really a way of increasing my chances of having a plant in every pot without having to re-sow at some stage. Of course, if I were using expensive F1 seed I might do it differently!

My pots have been under the lights for about 16 hours a day since then. They don't produce a lot of heat - just a gentle warmth which is enough to aid seed-germination. As soon as germination occurs, the seedling has plenty of light, so it is less likely to become stretched or "leggy". This is a much better arrangement than what I did before, which was to put the pots of seeds in the airing-cupboard. This meant that I had to keep checking them as often as possible. Things being what they are, it always seemed as if they germinated about 10 minutes after I went out to work, meaning that I couldn't check them until about 12 hours later! Anyway, I now have lots of healthy young seedlings:

This year I am growing several varieties of chilli and sweet pepper from seeds sent to me by blogging friends in various parts of the world, for which I am very grateful. Here are a few examples:-
This is "Red Jalapeno",  given to me by Tiffany in Virginia, USA

This is "Ohnivec",  given to me by Dominika in the Czech Republic

Second on the left is "King of the North" (Pepper), given to me by Eddy in Holland
For the record, this is the list of varieties I have growing at present:

Red Jalapeno
Ring of Fire
Red Habanero
Bird's Eye
An unknown one named after the place I got it: Redfields Red
Scotch Bonnet (so far no sign of this one germinating)

King of the North
Piment d'Espelette
Unknown one nicknamed Turkish Bell Pepper
Big Jim (so far no sign of this one germinating)

I'm giving no gurantees that this will be the full list. I may decide to sow some others.

Here's one of my Bird's Eye chillis:

If you are into chilli-growing, you should read this informative and amusing review of a new book about the subject, by Jason Nickels, on the blog of Roger Brook - the no dig gardener


  1. Wow you have lots to choose from, I am definitely sowing mine at the weekend. The propagator is warming up as I type!

  2. I envy those chilies. I always found the lights to have enough heat to germinate them when I grew them too. As long as they were close to the seedlings at least.

  3. One of our grow gardens have a light that isn't working despite a new tube so I'll have to investigate further.

  4. Looking good! Nice to see green.

  5. They're looking very healthy, no sign of them getting leggy at all. I don't grow chillies and I'm giving sweet peppers a miss too this year. They did really well last year, better than ever before, I wonder if it was because we had a good summer. I expect so.

  6. You are lucky to have the Ohnivec, I have been looking for seeds for that pepper. Please let me know of any to be had.

    1. Kim, If you send me your address I'd happily send you a few Ohnivec seeds. My email address in in my Profile.

    2. ohnivec seeds are to be found at

      I have no connection to that website or company, other than it being where I found ohnivec seeds for my own use.
      Mine are a month old now and doing very nicely ;-)

  7. Healthy seedlings! and, indeed, would we expect any less from you, Mark? I'll be sowing my tomatoes and one mild variety of chilli this week. I have to germinate on windowsills so know what you mean about checking regularly! Hopefully the weather will be mild enough to pop them outside in a greenhouse by the end of March.

  8. My apologies for waking an old thread, but has anyone found a US source for Ohnivec seeds?


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