Chilies need an early start to get the best collect you can from them. The chili grow is one which thrives in a sizzling climate and if, like me, you live in the temperate zone then the longer you can give then to develop the better. I have to grow mine in a greenhouse to find the best from the type I grow but I still start them away from early.
I am planning on starting some chili seeds this morning and there is 6 inches of snow on a lawn outside. I start the chilies in little plug trays which have individual cells and will sow just one seed in each cell. Sieve some compost over the top of this then you need to put the seeds somewhere cozy. The seeds will need at least 15C to germinate but higher is much better and 20C to 30C will be better. Some chilies, such as Habanero, can take as long as a month to germinate so be prepared for a wait several chili seeds tend to germinate much faster than this. I tend to germinate most of my seeds on a kitchen windowsill in my house but with chilies I use a heating pad to give extra warmth.
Once the seeds have germinated you can reduce the heat and I tend to move them on to the windowsill rather than a heating pad. When the seedling starts to develop, and you can judge this particular as the roots start to grow with the bottom of the cell it is time to grow the seedlings into pots. As I grow my chilies in a green house I always use new pots in order not to introduce any disease through old pots. I do reuse the pots but not for greenhouse plants. Pot your chilies in to compost suitable for seedlings and remember to handle the particular chilies by their seed leaves just. This is to avoid crushing the stem of the developing plant which will lead it to die. As I grow mine within small individual cells, it is easy to push the complete root ball out of the cell and plant this in the compost in a new pot.
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This eliminates a check to the growth of the flower as you are not disturbing the root.
Always grow the plants on a windowsill inside your house when it is cold outside and do not plant them out into your greenhouse or the ground too early as you need to avoid frosts and cold spells.