Before you plant your chili pepper seeds you need to make sure that you have made a nice home for them!
Here’s how to prepare some plant pots to give your seeds the perfect chance of growing up big and strong.
First you need to choose a pot to plant them in. Your pot should be quite small, with holes in the bottom for drainage.
After choosing the pot for your chili peppers, make sure to wash them thoroughly!
Next you need to fill your pots with soil or compost. If you’re using cheap compost, make sure you break down any larger lumps (or just remove them altogether).
Fill your pots with compost or soil, leaving a gap of around 10mm at the top.
Tip: Press down on the compost with your fingers/knuckles to get the air out of the pot and to make sure the compost is nice and firm.
This next step is optional, but many gardeners like to add a thin layer of vermiculite on top of their soil. Vermiculite is a very useful natural mineral which holds water, as well as other nutrients, and can slowly distribute them to your seedlings. You can buy vermiculite from any good garden centre, or larger supermarkets/DIY shops.
Sprinkle the vermiculite on top of the soil, so that there’s a 1mm covering, and tamp down with your fingers.
That’s the first pot prepared – now get the rest ready!
Tip: If you have a greenhouse, always fill a watering can at the end of the day and leave it to stand inside over night. That way, when you come to water plants (especially seedlings) you won’t shock them with freezing cold water as it will have warmed up naturally.
The last step to prepare our pots is to water them. The reason for this is simple – if you put your chili pepper seeds into a pot of dry soil, and then add water, you risk pushing the seed too far down into the pot and stunting its growth. By creating a moist, warm environment from the very beginning, we’re giving our chili peppers the best chance of strength and survival.
The best way is to pre-water leave them to stand in a tray of water for a few hours (or even over night) and let them soak the water up from below.