I haven’t really had much to write about with regard to my chilli plants these last few weeks because growth has been so slow but over the last couple of days, with all this nice weather we’re having, the plants are really starting to take off now.
As reported previously, I’ve decided to grow varieties that other chilli heads rated as their favorites, and in particular, smaller varieties this year.
The second set of sowing seeds were much more successful due to slightly warmer days and longer hours of light.
I planted 58 seeds in my first sowing and now have 26 plants. For my second set, I had sown 31 seeds and now have 16 plants so altogether I have 42 plants for 2013.
Of the 11 different varieties, Loco F1 and Aji Umba were by far the hardest to get germinated. I only have one each of these chilli plants.
All the 7 pots varieties germinated really well and continue to grow slightly quicker than others.
Chillies don’t like peat free compost
In that picture above you can see the eight smaller plants in the front. They were the first to be planted up and they look like they were only done yesterday. That’s because I originally planted them up in peat-free compost back in March.
The structure of the soil was awful and didn’t retain any water or moisture, and worse no nutrients for the plants to grow big. So the other day I gave up on the peat-free and re-planted them into peat formula compost.
Seeing the difference, even in the picture, is stark but the little plants are already beginning to pick up again. The root system on those plants was huge, I suspect, as they tried desperately to find food within their soil.
I know, I know – peat is a complete no-no. However I haven’t a clue what growing media I could use instead of peat that would give the same growth and vitality in the plants. In my (small) defense I did try peat free.
In previous years I’ve used coir to sow my seeds and this works really well but not sure if it’s any good once planting on?
If someone can advise me on this I’d be grateful.
Another new experiment I’m playing with this year is the feed. I’ve opted for organic seaweed liquid food this season. Most chilli feed is made up of seaweed so I’m hoping I’ve just cut out the middle man. Tomato feed is also good but I wanted one feed for both chillies and the rest of the garden (including the lawn), this time so have opted for the seaweed to see what (if any) difference it makes to the chilli pods.
Hopefully, if the weather holds, the chillies will be outside by the time I update again.