Sow Chilli Pepper seeds on the surface of a good, free-draining, damp, seed sowing mix and cover with a fine sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. Place seed trays in a propagator at a temperature of 18-25C (64-77F) until after germination, which takes 7-10 days. Do not exclude light as this helps germination.
When seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant into individual 7.5cm (3″) pots of compost and grow on in cooler conditions. When plants are well grown and all risk of frost has passed, transplant them into grow bags and containers, or plant them in well prepared beds of fertile, moist, well drained soil. Chili peppers may be grown undercover in a greenhouse or polytunnel, or grown outdoors in a sheltered position in full sun. When growing chilli peppers outdoors, gradually acclimatise them to outdoor conditions over a period of 7 to 10 days prior to transplanting them. Space pepper plants at a distance of 50cm (20″) apart.
Water chilli pepper plants regularly throughout the growing season and feed weekly with a high potash tomato fertiliser once the first fruits have set. Taller varieties of chilli peppers may require staking. Provide a thick mulch of organic matter around the base of the plants to help conserve moisture and reduce weed growth. In greenhouses, maintain high humidity by damping down paths daily. Harvest chillies singly by cutting them from the plant with secateurs or pull the entire plant when full of red peppers, and hang upside down in the kitchen for use all year round. Chilli peppers grown outdoors must be harvested before the first frosts.
June, July, August, September