Sowing: Chilli's and peppers require alot of heat in order to germinate efficiently and this is best done in a heated propagate or a windowsill propagator. Alternatively a 6" pot of compost with a plastic sandwich bag over the top will act as a mini greenhouse until the plants have been separated into individual pots.
Potting On: When the seeds have formed their first set of true leaves pot up the seedlings into 3" pots. The plants need a long growing period so a slow release fertiliser added to a compost is advised.
Pests and Diseases: The number one pest for the peppers and chilli's are aphids, tiny insects that bit into live plant tissue allowing in other pests and diseases. Marigolds are a way of reducing the appeal of the plants as the aphids do not like the smell however in times of infestations a multipurpose insecticide is normally enough to stop the attacks. The other problems for peppers and chilli's include:
- Slugs and Snails - Pellets
- Blossom end rot - Check watering regime
Varieties: The following are the varieties i have used with notes on the performance of each one.
- Cayenne - Widely available, easy to grow and good cropper
- Jalapeno - Good fruit producer, good on the kitchen.
- California Wonder (Sweet) - Easy to grow, widely available, excellent in the kitchen