Gardening: Hot chili peppers
[Music] Gardening: Hot chili peppers
These colorful tiny peppers are very easy to grow.
All they need is a bright, sunny location and they will grow well in the smallest garden,
even on a windowsill. Many are also excellent for drying, meaning
that one plant can provide you with a whole year’s supply of hot peppers.
You’re going to need: Some small plant pots or seed trays.
Some larger plant pots for re-potting. Seed compost.
Multi-purpose compost. Liquid tomato fertilizer.
Scoop or trowel. Slug pellets.
Garden stake or cane. Soft string.
A heated propagator if you have one. And if you want to grow your plants indoors,
you’ll need plants pots at least 10 inches or 25cm.
Step 1: hot peppers need a long growing season and should be kept under cover (in a greenhouse
or indoors) in early spring. Fill small pots or seed trays with seed compost,
water well, and allow to drain. Plant the seeds and water again.
They’ll need to be kept at a temperature of around 68-75oF or 20-24oC to germinate, so
keep in a warm spot or heated propagator for a week or two, or until seedlings appear.
Step 2: Once the seedlings appear, keep them inside in a warm, bright place – no cooler
that 64oF or 18oC, even at night. As they grow bigger, transfer them to larger
pots and fill with multipurpose compost. When seedlings reach 4 inches or 10cm tall,
start feeding them using a liquid tomato fertilizer. To encourage plenty of fruiting stems, pinch
or snip off a few growing stems near the top when 8 inches or 20cm tall.
Step 3: If you plan to grow your plants outside, begin hardening them off in early summer.
To do this, place your plants in a shady, sheltered spot outdoors during the day and
bring them back in at night, for around seven to ten days.
After about a week, plant outside in a sunny, warm spot at the same depth as they were in
their pots, and water them in well. Protect them from slugs with a scattering
of slug pellets. Support the plants by inserting a sturdy stake
next to each one, and tie it in with a soft string.
Use several stakes to support large-fruited varieties.
To continue growing your peppers indoors, transfer the plants to pots at least 10 inches
or 25cm wide and keep in a bright, sunny spot. Potted plants also need to be supported with
stakes. Step 4: Water plants regularly during the
growing season, especially those in pots or containers, and feed often with a liquid tomato
fertilizer. Step 5: Hot peppers mature over several weeks
and can be harvested as soon as they are large enough, whether still green or fully colored.
Be careful not to touch your eyes after handling them.
Hot peppers can be dried green or fully ripe, although you’ll need varieties with thin skins
– fleshier types tend to rot rather than dry. Lay the fruits out under cover on wire racks
in a warm, dry, well-ventilated spot or string together and hang up.
Hot peppers dry in about a week.