Planting tips

Here are a few planting tips compiled from TheChileMan and TropicalPermaculture:

  • The seeds need at least 20° C to germinate. Start them in early spring in cooler climates or any time during the dry season. (You could start them all year round in the tropics, but it’s a good idea to let the plants grow strong before the wet season hits them.)
  • Capsicum plants are usually started in seedling trays or small pots, with only one plant per pot. If you grow them in seedling trays or smaller pots, plant them out once they have four to six true leaves (about 5 cm tall); if you don’t, their roots will start feeling restricted and it will set them back.
  • If you have enough seeds to allow for a high percentage of fatalities, you could plant them directly in the ground or a big pot, because capsicum plants don’t like being transplanted. You can plant several chili seeds per pot and once your seedlings have a few leaves, snip off the weaker ones and only keep the strongest plants.
  • Capsicum plants don’t mind growing in bigger pots, so the timing for planting them out is not critical if you use pots. If you live in a cooler climate, use pots. Let them to grow to 10 to 15 cm. Make sure it’s warm enough before you put them outside!
  • Sow your seeds by placing them on the surface of the soil, then cover them over with more soil but only so that they are just below the surface, perhaps as little as 3 mm. Seeds only have so much energy stored before they need to generate more from light, so plant them too deep and they will run out of energy before they reach the surface.
  • To get moisture to the seeds you need to water the surface of the soil. Not too much, you want the soil to be moist, not water-logged.
  • Depending upon the variety that you are growing, your seeds will take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to break the surface.